Good Health & Well-Being: The Powerful Reason Why 84 Male Statues Are Standing on This London Rooftop #Project84 #Suicide #SuicidePrevention #SDGs #GlobalGoals #MentalHealth

Each statue represents a real man, and a real story.

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Every week, 84 men die from suicide in the UK.

It’s a statistic that’s got Britain talking today — as 84 lifesize statues, based on real people, were erected on top of ITV’s London studios, staring down at the city as it woke up.

The powerful stunt, called #Project84, was organised by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), supported by UK television studio ITV.

Artist Mark Jenkins and collaborator Sandra Fernandez worked with bereaved family members to create each sculpture as a visual representation of real British men who have taken their lives. Every man is named on the CALM website — and the site includes stories about them as told by their closest friends and family.

Male suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, and 75% of all suicides are carried out by men. Every suicide directly affects 135 other people — and CALM has partnered with Matthew Smith, who lost his brother to suicide 13 years ago, to call on the UK government to improve suicide prevention and bereavement support. Over 50,000 people have already signed their petition.

“My brother Dan was my best pal and my idol,” said Matthew Smith. “He was taken by something silent, something none of his friends or family saw coming. The true horror of what we as his family experienced when he took his own life is something that could be preventable if we all take a stand together.”

Mental health plays an important part in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that form the basis of their vision for a better world. Under its global health campaigning, it promotes positive wellbeing, and aims to reduce “premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases” by a third

Often, suicide disproportionately affects the poorest people in society. Across the world, research from the World Health Organisation shows that those with low or middle incomes have far higher suicide rates than those with a high income. Such a pattern is reflected in the UK, as one study showed that an additional 30,000 to 40,000 suicide attempts may have occurred after the economic downturn. Academics from Bristol, Manchester, and Oxford Universities suggested that austerity might be responsible for an extra 1,000 suicides.

But numbers alone can sometimes struggle to get the message across, and CALM wanted to lead with more intimate stories.

“With Project 84, we wanted to make the scale of the situation very clear to everyone that sees the sculptures,” said Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM. “By working with the families and friends of men who have taken their own lives to highlight individual stories, we hope to make the impersonal thoroughly personal.”

The stunt evoked a powerful response from Londoners who first caught sight of the statues on the Southbank on Monday morning.

If you need support and you’re based in the UK, you can call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58 between 5 p.m. and midnight. Alternatively, call the Samaritans on 116 123 if you just need to talk.

Environment, Pollution & Life Below Water: Hawaii Is Close to Banning Ocean-Polluting Takeout Containers #Plastic #Hawaii #AplasticOcean #PlasticBan

They would be the first state in the US to ban the foam containers.

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By Erica Cirino, Oceans Deeply

Hawaii, a state with a $17-billion tourism industry and a persistent plastic pollution problem, is moving toward a groundbreaking ban on polystyrene food containers.

While hundreds of cities and counties have passed local ordinances eliminating polystyrene in food containers or in other uses, no legislation has so far been successful at the state level in the United States.A similar effort failed recently in California, while Maryland’s General Assembly is now also considering legislation that was introduced in early 2018.

Internationally, a few nations have imposed strong regulations against the importation and use of polystyrene, including Zimbabwe and the Seychelles, which has banned the use of all disposable plastic items.

All plastic debris is a concern for marine and coastal health because it does not biodegrade and can end up polluting beaches and the ocean, where it breaks up into tiny pieces that can be eaten by marine life. Lightweight polystyrene foam is particularly worrisome in an island state such as Hawaii because it easily blows out of trash cans and eventually out to sea.

“The ban would be a positive step forward in preventing more plastic debris from affecting Hawaiian shores and waters,” said Mark Manuel, Pacific Islands Marine Debris Program regional coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Honolulu.

On Monday, spectators packed a small room in the Hawaii State Capitol building and watched as five senators read public testimony from supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 2498. This is the first time in 10 years that a statewide polystyrene foam prohibition bill has moved through Hawaii’s Senate, according to the Surfrider Foundation’s Oahu Chapter, and follows bans passed in Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii last year.

After the hearing, the members of the Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health committee unanimously voted to move the bill forward. If passed by the full Senate, and the House passes its own version, the provision would take effect January 1, 2019, if signed into law by the governor.

The proposed ban wouldn’t forbid all uses of the polystyrene foam, commonly called by the trade name Styrofoam, just the kind used in food service businesses. However, because so many food vendors in Hawaii distribute polystyrene food containers daily, supporters say the ban could greatly reduce plastic litter across the islands and in the surrounding waters. (The popular Hawaiian plate lunch, for instance, is commonly served up in polystyrene containers.) Senator Stanley Chang, a co-sponsor of the bill, said polystyrene foam is one of the most common sources of litter and marine debris in Hawaii. A 2014 study found that polystyrene foams are the most commonly seen visible plastic material at sea.

The polystyrene debris is affecting the quality of our marine environment and harming our wildlife, both in our major population centres and as far away as the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, where birds and aquatic life often die because of their consumption of human-generated debris,” said Chang.

Takeout container pollution is particularly dangerous to marine wildlife. The lightweight material easily breaks into pieces that can be eaten by animals, disrupting their digestive system and contaminating their blood with toxins.

Douglas McCauley, a University of California, Santa Barbara marine biologist, estimates that 98 percent of all albatross chicks found dead on the islands contain plastic, including polystyrene foam. He said Hawaii’s polystyrene foam pollution is contributing to a mess “in a place that should be famous for generating sunsets, good waves, Mai Tais and memories.”

He said, “This ban is not going to fix the problem of plastic pollution in Hawaii, but it will be a big step in the right direction.” McCauley also added, “It will cut back on a particularly insidious form of plastic pollution that is easy to replace and that is known to harm ocean wildlife.”

Hawaii asks residents to dispose of polystyrene foam in the trash. In Oahu, polystyrene is burned along with other garbage at H-Power, its waste-to-energy plant. Elsewhere on Hawaii, it is sent to a landfill. Polystyrene can technically be recycled, but few recycling centers handle the material and there are none in Hawaii.

At the hearing Monday, opponents to the legislation submitted comments, but they were outnumbered by individuals, scientists, environmental organizations, food vendors and companies. Surfrider Foundation’s Oahu Chapter, a major supporter of the ban, pushed the public to post testimony supporting the bill on social media. In Hawaii’s public schools, teachers asked dozens of students to send letters to their senators. Only one individual – a Hawaii state resident – submitted written testimony in opposition to the bill, stating that polystyrene is “practical” and that the state should instead focus on solving its homelessness problem in order to reduce littering.

“This is a bold bill, but it is way overdue,” said McCauley. “Hawaii is usually a global leader on oceans. People in Hawaii know, perhaps better than any other place on the planet, that ocean health and human health are intertwined. This has been a part of Hawaiian knowledge systems for thousands of years.”

Opponents of the ban – including the American Chemistry Council, Hawaii Restaurant Association, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Hawaii Chamber of Commerce and local polystyrene manufacturer KYD – argue efforts to deal with plastic pollution should focus on litter prevention. They contend that switching to eco-friendly food containers would be prohibitively expensive for small businesses, and that alternate materials would not be sturdy enough to hold classic Hawaiian plate lunches – which are often served hot and drenched in sauces.

This article originally appeared on Oceans Deeply. You can find the original here

Environment And Pollution: These Are the Biggest Recycling Mistakes You’re Probably Making #Reduce #Reuse #Recycle

It’s nothing personal — most of us are.

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We all love recycling, right? And we’re more aware than ever of the importance of disposing of our waste properly for the sake of the environment.

Generally, we’re pretty good on the basics. Aluminium cans, glass bottles, cardboard. Check, check, check.

But the British Science Association (BSA) just released some research — in honour of British Science Week — that showed not a single one of the 2,000 adults they quizzed about the dos and don’ts of recycling got full marks.

It’s not a great sign for the rest of us.

But getting recycling right is a big deal. Between 2012 and 2016, there was an 84% increase in recycling being rejected because of people contaminating it with non-recyclable items. And when that happens, the whole lot can get sent to landfill instead.

So, to make sure all of our recycling records are squeaky clean — here are some of the most common mistakes in recycling:

1. It can’t be recycled if it’s covered in food

Even if a container is recyclable, if it’s got food waste on it it’s likely to be rejected. That means, wash out bottles, plastic containers, and tin cans.

And it also means that those greasy pizza boxes can’t be recycled either. The best thing to do is tear off the parts of cardboard and paper containers that are contaminated and recycle the rest.

It’s the same for dirty kitchen roll too. Some 34% of us think you can recycle it, according to the BSA’s research , but you can’t.

2. Plastic bottle tops

According to the BSA, 44% of people are putting the pump dispenser tops of hand soap bottles in the recycling — but these should be removed from the bottle first.

Plastic bottle tops are a much-debated topic in the world of recycling. According to the National Recycling Week website , however, you should remove plastic tops from your recyclable bottles and cartons and throw them in the rubbish.

That’s because, when the lid is left on the bottle it is more likely that there will be liquid in the bottle — so it will weigh more than it should and the sorting machines can’t process it properly.

Another reason is that when the top is left on the bottle, it also traps air inside. It means that when the bottles are baled together in the sorting process, they can pop back into shape and force the bales apart. They then need to be re-baled, using more energy than necessary.

A second option, according to the site , is to remove the lid, squeeze out the air, and then replace the lid. This means the lid will be recycled along with the bottle, but won’t cause issues with the baling.

3. Coffee cups

The UK ditches 2.5 billion disposable cups every year . But of every 400 disposable coffee cups thrown away, just one gets recycled.

It’s because of a thin layer of tightly bonded polyethylene liner — which is what makes the cup waterproof — that means the cups can’t be recycled in the usual way.

Best option? Get yourself a reusable cup for your hot drinks. You’ll be rewarded for it. Starbucks and Costa Coffee both offer a 25p discount on any drink, while Pret a Manger recently doubled its discount to 50p.

4. Nappies

You can’t recycle these. Just don’t.

5. Other common non-recyclables include: 

Laminated pouches, crisp bags, plastic toys, wine glasses, cotton wool, toothpaste tubes, wrapping paper, tissues, and wine glasses (which have been heat-treated). Soft plastics — such as the bags that Quorn products come in — can be recycled with plastic bags at major supermarkets.

6. Putting recyclables in plastic bags 

Any recycling that’s thrown out in a plastic bag will go straight to landfill , so it’s really just a waste of your time.

7. Batteries and electrical products

These can’t be recycled, and you shouldn’t even be putting them in the bin. Instead, take your electrical waste to household waste centres, or find out if your council does a collection .

Disposable batteries leak all kinds of chemicals into the earth when they’re left in landfills. But most local supermarkets offer collection points for used batteries, where they will be safely recycled.

Another option is to start using rechargeable batteries, so you don’t have to throw them out at all.

8. Food waste

Food is another thing that is often thrown in the bin, but often unnecessarily. Things like eggshells and peel from fruit and vegetables should really be going to compost rather than landfill.

You could install a compost bin in your garden or, if you don’t have a garden, a lot of local authorities have food waste collections where the compost goes to local parks and gardens.

9. Old clothes 

On a similar line, what are you doing with your old clothes? According to WRAP , which works to reduce waste, a quarter of clothes in the UK end up in the bin.

Rather than ditching them, you could sell your old clothes on — for example through eBay — or you could donate them to charity shops.

If they’re in such bad shape no one will want them, many local councils also offer clothes and textile collections.


According to the BSA’s new research, millennials are apparently less inclined to recycle than older generations — with a fifth of people between 25 and 34 finding recycling too time-consuming. Just 6% of over-55s said the same. 

But promisingly, 80% of people said they believe recycling makes a difference. 

“It’s encouraging to see lots of people are concerned about plastic waste, but what you can and can’t put in the recycling bin can often be confusing,” said Ivvet Modinou, head of engagement at the BSA. 

Environment, Pollution +Health: Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants to Sue Oil Companies for ‘FIRST-DEGREE MURDER’ (About TIME!) #GlobalGoals #SDGs #2030Now

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“Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it.”

As climate change makes sea levels rise, storms more extreme, droughts longer, and heatwaves more intense, billions of people are expected to be displaced from their homes and suffer health consequences.

According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, blame for this unfolding catastrophe should be directed squarely at fossil fuel companies, Politico reports,

And they should be sued for it, he said.

The bodybuilder, actor, and former governor of California said in a podcast interview with Politico earlier this week that he will be suing oil companies for “for knowingly killing people all over the world” by suppressing and distorting information about climate change and its consequences and lobbying governments to prevent regulation, all while profiting immensely.

He compared fossil fuel companies to the tobacco industry, which conducted a similar campaign of misinformation in the 20th century as millions of people died from smoking-related illnesses.

“The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it,” he said in the podcast.

“Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,” he added.

Similarly, fossil fuel companies have known about the harms of climate change and the leading role they played in accelerating it for decades.

“The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill,” Schwarzenegger said.

He said that he’s consulting private law firms on how best to develop the lawsuit and is still exploring a timeline for legal action. During the interview, he didn’t go into detail about specific outcomes or specific companies that would be targeted.

In May, Schwarzenegger will be hosting a summit in Vienna on climate change action.

Fossil fuel companies have been sued before and scores of legal battles are currently playing out around the world.

For example, San Francisco is suing several oil companies to pay for infrastructure overhauls that will be necessary once sea levels rise beyond manageable limits.

In recent years, advocates have even sued governments for failing to take action on climate change.

A group of teens in the US are suing the federal government for violating their human rights for failing to regulate the environment effectively. In Colombia, another group of teens are suing the government on similar grounds.

Schwarzenegger thinks that these lawsuits could bring about a new status quo, getting people to realize that catastrophic climate change is only inevitable if people and companies aren’t held responsible.

“To me it’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,” he said. “Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.”

 

Women + Girls: Top Ten 10 Myths About Periods! #Menstruation LET’S TALK! #ItsBloodyTime #PressForProgress #TimeIsNow #MenstruationMatters

It’s ok to wear white! But it’s not ok to feel shame about your period.

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Menstruation Matter

Would you believe that some people pay to have their hair ripped off their body? Or that some women buy sharp metal blades and slide them along their legs to remove hair each morning? What if I told you women pay others to cover their fingernails in different colors, with paint containing toxic chemicals like formaldehyde? These things sound crazy when put this way. But, waxing, shaving, and painting nails are considered totally normal, even daily, practices for women in American culture and elsewhere.

Social and cultural norms create some pretty bizarre trends. The aforementioned trends are beauty related, but there are various cultural perceptions all over the world when it comes to women’s periods. Some cultural beliefs regarding periods are not just weird. They can also bar women from education, jobs, and overall equality.

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Here are 10 myths about menstruation that still exist in the world today.

 

1. Sharks Will Attack Women on Their Periods

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While women may be “riding the crimson tide,” there’s no need to worry about shark attacks if a woman wants to actually go in the ocean.  There’s no data to support menstruation attracts sharks. So for everyone (guys and girls) out there thinking menstruation attracts sharks, think again before you blame periods.

2. Women Will Contaminate Food

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In parts of rural India, there is a myth that women cannot water plants or cook during their period because their “uncleanliness” will spoil the food. In a study done in a random school in rural India, 55 percent of girls surveyed believed they could not cook or enter the kitchen during and 4 days after menstruation or food would sour. While I’m all for more boys and men taking on household chores so that girls in India can get an education, this myth doesn’t help with that.

3. Showering Will Cause Infertility  

In Afghanistan, the word “gazag” means to become infertile. It’s said (in old Afghan tradition) that during the week a woman has her period she cannot wash or shower or she will gazag. You’re probably thinking this is gross. It is. And it’s more than that–it’s a major risk for infection.  

In many places, including Afghanistan, it’s common for women to use cloth sanitary napkins. The benefit here is that it’s relatively inexpensive and a renewable way to manage periods. The downside is women are often ashamed to hang clean cloth used during menstruation outside with other laundry. So women hide and wear sanitary napkins for too long which causes infections deadly to reproductive health. This can all be fixed if social taboos over periods are eliminated.

4. Periods Are Debilitating For Women

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Imagine someone telling you to miss work every month even if you don’t feel sick. Menstrual leave is a thing, and this one is more controversial than some others. Several countries in Asia, like South Korea, China, Japan, and Indonesia have laws providing women sick leave during their period. The debate here is whether menstrual leave for women is a form of discrimination or a medical necessity.

Periods taboos are more debilitating than anything menstrual cycles themselves. Lack of access to sanitary napkins, and knowledge on managing periods for girls and women is debilitating. But, periods themselves are rarely a cause for necessary sick leave.

Yes, every woman experiences menstrual cycles differently, but only 20 percent of women report severe pain during periods. The other 80% of women reported no debilitating symptoms or pain. With the proper supplies and knowledge on how to manage periods, girls and women can be empowered to accomplish any task any time of the month.

 

5. Girls Cannot Participate in Class

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Indian Girl addressing crowd

The chaupadi tradition is a practice in rural parts of Nepal where women are literally put in isolation during their period. Again the reason stems back to “being unclean.” Women cannot be in classrooms with other students while menstruating.

The myth goes back to the belief that a woman’s uncleanliness will anger Hindu goddesses. Dispelling myths like chaupadi where 16 percent of women in Nepal are forced from their homes into isolation is a task that will take effort, education and awareness.

6. Women Can’t Prepare Sushi

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According to a cultural belief held by some sushi chefs in Japan, such as Jiro Ono–a famous sushi chef with restaurants in Tokyo, Ginza, and Chūō, women cannot be sushi chefs because of menstrual cycles. The myth here is that menstruation causes an “imbalance in taste” and therefore sushi cannot possibly be properly prepared by a woman. Side note: male sushi chefs also think women’s hands are too small and warm to prepare rice properly.

Fortunately women like Niki Nakayama defy stereotypes and period taboos by mastering the art of sushi. Women deserve to pursue any career.

7. Women Can’t Enter Holy Temples

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This myth exists in parts of the world ranging from Bali and India to Nepal. Women are believed to be “unclean” while menstruating and are thus not allowed to enter “clean” and holy places like temples. This is a form of gender inequality that limits women from the same human rights like freedom to practice religion that men have access to.

Girls and women menstruating are not unclean. They are normal, natural, and healthy. The myth that women cannot enter temples and holy ground is culturally controversial, and a sensitive issue. When women are treated differently because of a naturally occurring body cycle it creates shame, taboos, and humiliation towards periods that is deeply embedded into society. And that is the only thing that’s ridiculous.

8. Women Have “Cooties” That Make Men “Sick”

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In India and parts of Nepal (in alignment with the chaupadi tradition in Nepal). Myth number eight says that women cannot interact with or touch men because men will become sick by touching an “unclean” woman. Some 20% of girls in rural India believe they should not talk to a male member of the family during menstruation.

And 40% of girls in India learn about menstruation from their mothers. So, if external education is not provided these traditions will persist.

9. Menstruation Is a Disease in Iran

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Longstanding stigmatization in Iran has caused a staggering 48% of girls to believe that menstruation is a disease, according to a UNICEF study.

But there is hope.

A 2012 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that when young Iranian girls were given menstrual education, more than half of them started bathing when they had their periods, while others busted the erroneous misconception.

10. Pads Need To Be Kept Unseen and Apart From Other Trash, or Could Lead To Cancer

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Traditional beliefs in Bolivia misinform young women and girls that the disposal of their menstrual pads with other garbage could lead to sickness or cancer, according to UNICEF. Because there’s still so much humiliation around the topic, many are told to keep their pads far away from the rest of the trash and are often led to collecting them in their bags during the school day until they get home.

The organization investigated 10 schools in Bolivia and identified that the two main challenges menstruating girls face include feelings of shame and limited access to private bathrooms. For this reason, UNICEF has implemented a massive menstrual education program in hopes of increasing access to proper menstrual products and sanitation facilities.

The bottom line is period taboos are not only crazy and ridiculous but they are a huge obstacle holding women back in many ways. It’s hard to believe these myths still exist all over the world today. But they do, and they need to be busted.

Awareness and education, especially for people in rural and developing countries, is necessary to empower girls and women everywhere. Together we can create a better world where girls believe periods are powerful not shameful.

The good news is there are people making a difference each day when it comes to eliminating period taboos. Arunachalam Muruganantham is a man in India who’s not afraid of social taboos. His own family ostracized him when he created a sanitary pad that cost $0.04 (USD). Arunachalam is just one of plenty of other men helping end period taboos.

Reduced Inequalities: Focus “Gender Pay Gap” Google Accused of Paying Male Teachers More Than Female Ones #PressForProgress

An official from the Department of Labor called Google’s gender discrimination “extreme.”

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Google is known for being innovative and forward-thinking on many fronts — but gender equality might not be one of them.

On Wednesday, Heidi Lamar, a former teacher at Google’s childcare center, added her name to class-action lawsuit against the tech giant that accuses the company of systematically underpaying female employees and hindering their career advancement, the Guardian reported.

Lamar said that of around 150 teachers employed by Google, just three were men, but two of those men were paid higher salaries than nearly all of the female teachers despite lower qualifications.

Women are notoriously discriminated against in the tech industry, which remains a male-dominated field. A recent study found that women are paid lower salaries than their male counterparts 63% of the time. And a study conducted in 2015 found that 60% of women in tech were sexually harassed.

But even by Silicon Valley standards, gender discrimination appears to be a particularly pressing problem at Google. Following an investigation into Google’s practices by the US Department of Labor, Janet Herold, the San Francisco regional solicitor for the Department of Labor said, “The government’s analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry.”

Lamar joins more than 60 women — ranging from engineers to managers to salespeople — already represented by the lawsuit. But what’s striking about her claim of gender-based discrimination in compensation among Google’s teachers, is that education, in the US, tends to be a female-dominated field, according to government data.

Though Lamar loved her job, when she learned that her male co-worker was offered a starting salary 13% higher than hers, despite having fewer years of teaching experience than her and no masters degree, she voiced her concern.

When Google refused to compensate her for the discrepancy in pay, Lamar reluctantly quit last fall, Gizmodo reported.

“I didn’t want to work for a company that I can’t trust, that makes me feel like my values of gender equality are being compromised,” she told the Guardian. “It feels really scary to speak up, but I do it for the women I work with and the women who are still at Google. We deserve to make livable wages.”

Clean Water & Sanitation: Doctors Finally Acknowledge Period Pain Is as PAINFUL as a ‘HEART ATTACK’ #ItsBloodyTime #EndoMetriosis #Endo DEAR MEN LISTEN!!! No Jokes

An article in which a male doctor called period pain “almost as bad as having a heart attack” is going viral on social media and raising an important question from women around the world:

Why didn’t you listen to us before?

In the original article, published by Quartz two years ago, University College London reproductive health professor John Guillebaud said cramping pain is as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.

When the article resurfaced on social media, women responded with a mixture of anger that it took a man’s statement to legitimize their concerns and relief that their symptoms might be taken more seriously.

The article also prompted a column in Marie Claire, which acknowledged the doctor for accurately depicting dysmenorrhea — the clinical term for menstrual cramps — but decried the need for a man to validate and confirm women’s experiences.

“Although we know that [period pain] can feel like you’re being repeatedly punched in the stomach from the inside out, explaining this to other people (read: generally men) can feel like a lost cause,” wrote columnist George Driver. “Ignoring women’s pain has been a concerning medical practice for, well, forever, with research showing that doctors generally take it less seriously than men’s.”

Around the world, at least 20% of women and girls experience dysmenorrhea painful enough to disrupt their daily life and as many as 176 million women experience endometriosis, a painful affliction where tissue typically found in the uterus grows on other female reproductive organs and peels.

But, the Independent reports, there has been little research related to period pain, which means doctors often ignore or discount women’s complaints.

Women on social media have compared their period pain to childbirth or like a “blender is slowly ripping my insides to pieces.”

But it seems that, finally, men are starting to listen.

Clean Water & Sanitation: 23 Countries With Best and Worst Water Supplies (2016 list) let’s go! Will water be the cause of WWIII?

In Afghanistan, only 13 percent of the population has access to clean water.

Only 2.5 percent of the world’s water is fresh, drinkable water. Every year, snow melts off mountain peaks and runs into rivers, which feed into lakes. This water accounts for such a small percentage of earth’s surface — it’s no wonder wars have been waged over water, and some speculate water will be the cause of WWIII.

These renewable sources are vital to all life on earth. Unfortunately, water as a renewable source is not distributed equally. Small island nations and arid countries have to import bottled water from other water rich countries or invest in expensive infrastructure such as desalinization plants.

Other options in water-scarce regions often fall on the shoulders of the world’s most vulnerable populations, like girls with limited access to education. Girls and women in arid countries, like Afghanistan — where only 13 percent of the population has access to clean water — spend countless hours missing school to collect water.

Here is a list of some of the world’s most water-abundant and water-deprived countries, according to the World Bank and United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization’s most recent data.

Best

1. Brazil

2. Russia

3. Canada

4. Indonesia

5. China

6. Colombia

7. United States

8. Peru

9. India

10. Myanmar

Worst

All of the “worst” countries have no renewable fresh water sources. As less fresh water is available to people around the world, helping small countries like the sixteen listed invest in the latest innovative infrastructure to access clean water is key to breaking the cycles of poverty.

Many of these countries rely almost completely on importing bottled water, at a high cost for both citizens and the environment. Technology to clean water improves every day, especially with creative youth working to make change . Let’s share this technology, to increase water wealth throughout the world.

However, it’s not just about looking at the countries without their own sources of water. Countries abundant in water must also be held responsible at a global level to keep the world’s water clean.

1. Bahrain

2. Kuwait

3. St. Kitts and Nevis

4. Maldives

5. Malta

6. Antigua and Barbuda

7. Qatar

8. Barbados

9. United Arab Emirates

10. Grenada

11. Dominica

12. Cape Verde

13. Djibouti

Reduced inequalities: Yes, Slavery Still Exists — These Countries Are the Worst Offenders. {Shocker!}

The cover story in the latest issue of the Atlantic is a personal history titled “My Family’s Slave.”

The author, Alex Tizon, goes on to chronicle just that — how his mother in the Philippines was gifted a slave when she was 15, how she brought that slave with her to the United States, and how that slave remained a slave for his mother’s entire life, working all day and night without pay, unable to have a social life and enduring endless abuse.

The story is harrowing in its candid exploration of one slave’s experience and its description of how one family managed to normalize slavery through profound denial

But it’s also a disturbing reminder of how slavery still exists all around the world.

Globally, there are an estimated 45.8 million slaves, a greater number than at any other time in history, according to The Global Slavery Index. The refugee crisis currently roiling the world is also fueling the market for child slavery .

Slavery takes many forms, but sexual, labor-based, and human trafficking are the primary modes.

Here are the five countries that hold 58% of the world’s slavery population.  

*INDIA

Total slave estimate: 18,354,700

Rate of slavery: 1.4% of population

Top forms of slavery: Agriculture, bonded labor, domestic work, and sex work.

“There are many people in the village who were working with me as a bonded labor,” said one survey respondent for The Global Slavery Index. “I was physically and sexually assaulted when I was working in the field. I had also threat on my life and on my family. I was also threatened that I had to leave the village.”

*PAKISTAN

Total slave estimate: 2,134,900

Rate of slavery: 1.13% of population

Top form of slavery: Bonded labor for industries such as brick making. More than 20,000 brick kilns operate in rural Pakistan, preying on illiterate and desperate laborers who get trapped in illegal debt programs. If the laborer dies, his or her children are forced to assume the debt load and get trapped in slavery.

*BANGLADESH

Total slave estimate: 1,531,300

Rate of slavery: .95% of population

Top forms of slavery: Men are forced into labor, and women are forced into marriage. Oftentimes, men are captured, drugged, beaten, and enslaved, where they are then sold off as temporary workers. Forced marriage, meanwhile, often entails a life of abuse and poverty.

*CHINA

Total slave estimate: 3,388,400

Rate of slavery: .25%

Top forms of slavery: Sexual slavery and other forms of forced labor. The gender imbalance caused by China’s now-defunct one-child policy creates a demand for foreign brides who are forced into marriage. Because the women are often illegally in the country, they have little legal recourse. Further, there is widespread societal support for this system.

*Uzbekistan

Total slave estimate: 1,236,600

Rate of slavery: 3.97%

Top forms of slavery: Forced labor. Each harvest season, the government forces tens of thousands of people into cotton fields.

Partnerships For the Goals: Women, Transgender, Queer, Indigenous, and All Oppressed People Need to Come Together to FIGHT HATE, Say Activists

The feminist movement needs to forge relationships with all oppressed people — including transgender, queer, and indigenous populations — to form intersectional alliances.

Activists and campaigners have on Thursday come together to call for collaboration between all movements that demand social change.

“There’s a rise of the right-wing, hate is the new common sense,” Indian lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover, told the audience during a panel discussion on re-assessing women’s rights at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust conference in London.

“There is nothing like a common enemy to strengthen the relationships between those who are oppressed,” asserted another panel member, Colombian reproductive rights consultant Monica Roa. “This is the time to come together to connect the dots.”

Bahrain human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja agreed, saying: “We need to have intersectionality in our struggles.”

The diverse panel included people fighting for women’s rights from the US, Bahrain, India, and Latin America, and spanned a vast range of issues — including child marriage, family planning, and domestic violence — and how we can come together to move forward in these areas.

“People don’t know what a big problem child marriage is in America,” said panellist Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained at Last, the only non-profit in the US dedicated to helping women escape or resist arranged and forced marriages.

Read more: Child Marriage in America NOT AS RARE AS YOU THINK!

“In just the 38 states that actually track marriage ages, more than 160,000 children, some as young as 10, were married, and almost all were married to adult men,” Reiss continued. “I thought legislators just didn’t know. But that’s not the case unfortunately. They do know. What’s preventing these laws from passing is very simple. It’s misogyny.”

“If you can solve misogyny, you can figure out how to end child marriage in America,” she said. “The entire world needs to end child marriage.” 

Reiss also highlighted the “hypocrisy” of the US “telling the rest of the world to end child marriage,” through reports such as a Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls — a report launched in March 2016.

“The report defined marriage before 18 as a human rights abuse, and shook its finger at the rest of the world saying they were forcing girls into adulthood before they were ready,” said Reiss. “And at the same time, it’s legal in all 50 states in the US. Twenty-five states don’t even set a minimum age for marriage. And that puts the US in line with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.”

While most US states have set 18 as the legal marriage age, every state has loopholes that still allow for children under 18 to get married — for example, in the case of pregnancy, or with parental approval.

The panel also discussed the recent law change in Saudi Arabia that will all women to legally drive in the country as of next year.

“A lot of people are applauding Saudi Arabia for giving women the right to drive in 2018,” said Al-Khawaja. “But driving is not the biggest issue. It’s only the very tip of the iceberg.”

She added: “They’ve done it the way they do everything else. There was no awareness campaign. There was no attempt the change the social construct that they’re created. [There was nothing to ensure] that women in Saudi Arabia are not going to be attacked by their spouses, by their family, by their community, for driving.”

Al-Khawaja said the biggest problem for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is the guardianship system — which dictates that women must be accompanied by a male guardian such as their husband, father, brother, or even son, in order to apply for a passport, travel outside the country, get married, exit prison, or access healthcare.

Read more: Proposed Iraq Law Would Allow Girls as Young as 9 to Marry

As well as calling for greater intersectionality between movements, the panellists said that a greater presence of women is needed in the human rights arena.

“We need more female legislators,” said Reiss, “more people like [murdered British MP] Jo Cox. And we need to not let the small things go, but to keep pushing and keep pointing out misogyny and patriarchy wherever we see it and never give up.” 

Al-Khawaja reiterated the point, saying: “We need to change our discourse around women. We say, women took part in the revolution, they joined the protest, as though they’re not naturally meant to be there on the frontline.”

“Women human rights defenders are some of the strongest, most inspirational women I have ever met,” she continued. “They do not need saving. They need support, they need to be heard, and recognised for the heroes that they are.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference is a two-day conference on human rights, particularly addressing the issues of modern slavery and re-assessing the rights of women and girls.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.5, for gender equality.