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February 24, 2017

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Have you ever felt like you need to change your look a bit and you start with your hair, and then discover it was the wrong place to start? Well; that’s me. I have a signature hair style and when I wear something else, I can tell it’s not me. The signature hairstyle may not be applicable to everyone, but for those who keep one, it has got its benefits. A woman’s hair is the first and most noticeable part of her beauty. It enhances her personality, and is an important part of her appearance that sets the tone for her entire look. A bad hair day is literarily just a bad day.

Are we all telling a story by the hairstyles we wear, or are we just following the trend?

There’s a reason why some celebrities and famous people maintain beautiful hairstyle or a look as we like to call it. I remember walking into the office a few months ago with a totally different hairstyle, everyone told me I looked different; some were polite enough to say “You look different, buuu..ttt in a good way”, some looked shocked as they asked “what happened?”, and others were blunt enough to say; “this isn’t you; go back to your regular style”.

Without being told, I knew my hair didn’t look good and I couldn’t wait to take it off (when I look back now, why did I change my hair? I was dealing with some personal stuff at the time). Basically, if you are not spotting a signature look, ensure your hair is always properly kept as it is common knowledge in the beauty world that whatever we’re going through in our lives can somehow be observed from our hair. From bleaching the darkest hair to having bangs, it’s a general belief we tend to change our hair style after something bad happens in our lives; so you need to be careful how you treat your hair.

Here Moeen Zuberi, gives us 10 reasons why a good hairstyle completes your entire look:

It enhances your beauty: We aren’t saying your hair style makes you beautiful, but it definitely adds to your natural beauty.

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It can make you look like a professional or a bum: If you’re dressed to impress but your hair doesn’t match your clothes it can ruin your entire look and make you look like a homeless person who stole someone’s good clothes.

A bad hairstyle reflects badly on the person who wears it: With a bad hairstyle you come off as a lazy person or someone with really low self-esteem.

It’ll give you confidence: With a good hair-do you will feel in control of yourself and ultimately feel confident.

It complements your features: Picking the right hair style and colour that matches the shape of your face and complements your skin colour and features can make a person go from oh… to wow!

A bad hair style affects you more than you know: A bad hair style won’t only make you look bad; it’ll have a negative impact on your entire day; it increases self-doubt and personal criticism!

You will feel smarter and more capable: A good hair style = a good hair day. According to a study, people with a good hair style feel smarter and more capable at performing tasks as opposed to those who are going through a bad hair day.

A good hair style even complements a simple dress: A good hairstyle even with a simple dress can make you look glamorous – that’s the power of a good hairstyle.

It shows you take care of yourself: You can’t have a good hair style with unhealthy hair. A good hair style requires shiny and voluminous hair.

You’ll be remembered because of your hair: Sure, people look at your eyes and your lips, but what they don’t forget (ever) is how great your hair looked. Good hair is something everyone wants to be remembered by.

So keep it neat, keep it simple and keep it classy; your hair tells a story about you.

By: Mary Carson

Former first lady of Somalia  Mrs. Edna Adan  has warned international aid agencies  about the  need to speak directly to communities who practice Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or risk ‘winning battles but losing the war’ on the practice.

Edna Adan says that despite a reduction in the numbers of young girls being cut in her homeland of Somaliland and in the wider Somali nation, things are ‘slipping back’. “Unless we get people sitting on the mat in the villages, taking time to speak to the grandparents and the parents and the religious leaders, we lose what ground we have made,” said the midwife and former foreign minister of Somaliland.

“It’s not about the money; it’s about what we do with the money. And in some cases, sending people instead of money is better.”

Adan, who underwent   FGM as a child, is head of her own maternity hospital, set up using funds from the sale of her house and designer clothes amassed as an international diplomat working for the World Health Organization. The Edna Adan Hospital in Hargeisa has delivered more than 20,000 babies. More than 1000 health workers have been trained, among them over 400 midwives, to the exacting standards she says she learned in the UK in the 1970s. Edna Adan’s father was unable to protect her from FGM.

“My hope is that through my army of midwives fewer girls will go through FGM but we need to build the message of health effects and make sure it reaches the practicing communities, as well as change the minds of politicians to build on that work, otherwise we will start to go backwards.”

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Type III FGM is most common in Somaliland, which involves the total removal of the female genitalia with only a small hole left for menstruation and urination. Edna was not yet a teenager when, in her father’s absence, she was taken by relatives to be ‘purified’. She remembers the searing pain and the bleeding as the procedure, performed on a stool, was finished off with stitches made of thorns. Her father returned hours later to find his daughter lying on the floor in shock. The look on his face and his subsequent rage at her mother remains burned into her memory.

“He was a medical doctor. Very well respected in Somaliland and further afield among the displaced. He knew what this meant for me.”

“Work needs to take place in countries like mine, using people who speak in the same language, using the same words as the grandfathers and mothers and religious leaders who can actually change things there. “We must understand that they believe they are doing right by their daughters. They do this out of love not cruelty. And to speak about it we can’t just go straight into that one subject, we have to talk about their homes, their families, health issues, nutrition. Edna has also built a university and she is now touring the world raising money to maintain a legacy she hopes to leave to her people. “At my own hospital, 14 years ago 97% of the women we saw had gone through type III FGM reflecting the National figures. Now our data indicates that is down to 76% for type III, but that’s still a lot.

 

 

By: Phillip Inman

The gender pay gap is likely to persist for more than a generation in the UK after the government rejected proposals to encourage flexible working and help women back into the workforce, MPs have said.

Without ministers putting their weight behind measures needed to end the “pay penalty” suffered by millions of women, the government will fail to meet its target of closing the gap within the next couple of decades, said the cross-party women and equalities committee.

The group made 17 recommendations last March, but most of them were rejected in the government’s response in January. The MPs had called for measures including three months’ paid paternity leave and devising industrial strategies for low-paid jobs carried out by women in

Industries such care, cleaning and retail.

Theresa May highlighted the need to close the gender pay gap in her Conservative party conference speech last year and has since told private and voluntary sector organisations employing more than 250 people they will need to report their gender pay and gender bonus gaps. The regulations, which come into effect in April, will affect about 11 million employees.

Conservative MP Maria Miller, who chairs the committee, said it was clear ministers had set their sights on reducing the pay gap between men and women, but would fail if they continued to ignore evidence to help achieve its goal.

She said the pay audit introduced by David Cameron was only the start and should be supplemented with concrete support in the workplace, adding: “The government says there is no place for a gender pay gap in modern Britain and has restated its pledge to end the pay gap within a generation.

“But without effectively tackling the key issues of flexible working, sharing unpaid caring responsibilities, and supporting women aged over 40 back into the workforce, the gender pay gap will not be eliminated.

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“We made practical, evidence-based recommendations to address these issues. They were widely supported by a range of stakeholders including businesses, academics and unions. It is deeply disappointing that our recommendations have not been taken on board by government.”

Women earn 18% less than men on average, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The gap is closest among 20- to 30-year-olds, but balloons after women have children as mothers miss out on pay rises and promotions.

Responding to the committee’s comments, Frances O’Grady – general secretary of trade union umbrella body the TUC, said: “The government needs to up its game and tackle the root causes of the gender pay gap – not ignore them.

“This means removing the barriers that stop women getting better-paid jobs, and helping parents to share out caring responsibilities more equally. Ministers need to stop dragging their heels and challenge workplace discrimination full on.”

According to a study by consultancy PwC, published on Tuesday, Britain has a higher proportion of working women than most countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ranking of rich nations.

But the UK has failed to close the pay gap at the same pace as the average for the OECD and has only a small proportion in full-time work, leaving it in 13th place behind the Nordic countries, Poland and Canada. However, it is ahead of France, Germany, the US, Japan and Italy.

The report, based on data from 2015, concluded that Germany was acting more slowly than the UK to close the gender pay gap and may take more than a century at the current pace. Britain is on track to take 41 years to close its gap.

Moves to match Sweden’s female work participation rate would boost GDP by £170bn, the report said. Top of the list of gender pay offenders was the financial services industry, which has a 34% pay gap, followed by the energy, utilities and manufacturing industries – where few women rise to senior positions.

A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to tackling the gender pay gap and our policies, which aim to balance the needs of employees and businesses while addressing this gap, are working.

“We now have the lowest gender pay gap on record, around 60,000 people a year are taking advantage of flexible working arrangements and the introduction of shared parental leave gives parents extra flexibility and we will continue to evaluate this as it beds in. We’re also supporting women over 40 in the workplace through the National Careers Service.

“But we know there’s more to do. That’s why we are requiring employers to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap for the first time from April and we are giving working parents of three- and four-year-olds up to 30 hours of free childcare from September.”

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange has appointed a woman to the position of chairperson for the first time in the kingdom’s history, sparking hopes that the country is progressing—albeit slowly—towards gender equality.

Sarah Al Suhaimi, who became the first female chief executive of a Saudi investment bank when she took the role at NBC Capital in 2014, accepted the offer to chair Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, the largest bourse in the Middle East, replacing Khalid Al Rabiah, the organisation said in a statement last week.

The announcement was followed by Monday’s appointment of Rania Mahmoud Nashar to the position of chief executive of Samba Financial Group, one of the country’s largest national banks.

Ms Nashar has nearly two decades of experience in the financial sector and previously held several jobs at within Samba, according to Bloomberg.

The appointment of women at top financial jobs is an important step for the Saudi Arabia, where about a third of the female population is unemployed and women are still not allowed to drive. Women are also subject to a male guardianship system which in many cases restricts their opportunities to work.

“Social change is intrinsic to the National Transformation Plan,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC told Bloomberg, referring to the kingdom’s list of policies unveiled last year that are designed to wean the economy off its dependence on oil.

Source: Independent

 

Infertility is a condition that affects approximately 1 out of every 6 couples. An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple that has been unsuccessful in efforts to conceive over the course of one full year. When the cause of infertility exists within the female partner, it is referred to as female infertility. Female infertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and female infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases.

The most common causes of female infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility naturally tends to decrease.

Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:

    A hormone imbalance

    A tumor or cyst

    Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia

    Alcohol or drug use

    Thyroid gland problems

    Excess weight

    Stress

    Intense exercise that causes a significant loss of body fat

    Extremely brief menstrual cycles

 

Damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:

    Pelvic inflammatory disease

    A previous infection

    Polyps in the uterus

    Endometriosis or fibroids

    Scar tissue or adhesions

    Chronic medical illness

    A previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy

    A birth defect

    DES syndrome (The medication DES, given to women to prevent miscarriage or premature birth can result in fertility problems for their children.)

Abnormal cervical mucus can also cause infertility. Abnormal cervical mucus can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.

Potential female infertility is assessed as part of a thorough physical exam. The exam will include a medical history regarding potential factors that could contribute to infertility.

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Healthcare providers may use one or more of the following tests/exams to evaluate fertility:

   – A urine or blood test to check for infections or a hormone problem, including thyroid function

   – Pelvic exam and breast exam

   -A sample of cervical mucus and tissue to determine if ovulation is occurring

   -Laparoscope inserted into the abdomen to view the condition of organs and to look for blockage, adhesions or scar tissue.

   -HSG, which is an x-ray used in conjunction with a colored liquid inserted into the fallopian tubes making it easier for the technician to check for blockage.

   -Hysteroscopy uses a tiny telescope with a fiber light to look for uterine abnormalities.

   -Ultrasound to look at the uterus and ovaries. This may be done vaginally or abdominally.

   -Sonohystogram combines an ultrasound and saline injected into the uterus to look for abnormalities or problems.

Tracking your ovulation through fertility awareness will also help your healthcare provider assess your fertility status.

Female infertility is most often treated by one or more of the following methods:

    -Taking hormones to address a hormone imbalance, endometriosis, or a short menstrual cycle

    -Taking medications to stimulate ovulation

   – Using supplements to enhance fertility – shop supplements

   -Taking antibiotics to remove an infection

   -Having minor surgery to remove blockage or scar tissues from the fallopian tubes, uterus, or pelvic area.

There is usually nothing that can be done to prevent female infertility caused by genetic problems or illness. However, there are several things that women can do to decrease the possibility of infertility:

  • Take steps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
  • Avoid illicit drugs
  • Avoid heavy or frequent alcohol use
  • Adopt good personal hygiene and health practices
  • Have annual checkups with your GYN once you are sexually active

It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during intercourse
  • Soreness or itching in the vaginal area

Other Fertility Treatments for Females

Once a woman is diagnosed with infertility, the overall likelihood for successful treatment is 50%.1

Whether a treatment is successful depends on the:

    Underlying cause of the problem

    Woman’s age

    History of previous pregnancies

    How long she has had infertility issues

Fertility treatments are most likely to benefit women whose infertility is due to problems with ovulation. Treatment is least likely to benefit infertility caused by damage to the fallopian tubes or severe endometriosis.

The first step of treating infertility in many cases is to treat the underlying cause of infertility. For example, in cases where thyroid disease causes hormone imbalances, medication for thyroid disease may be able to restore fertility.

Fertility treatments for women fall into the following categories:

    Medication Treatments for Female Infertility

    Surgical Treatments for Female Infertility

    Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

Medication Treatments for Female Infertility

The most common medications used to treat infertility help stimulate ovulation. Examples of these types of medications include2:

    Clomiphene or Clomiphene Citrate

    Gonadotropins or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

    Bromocriptine or cabergoline

Clomiphene or Clomiphene Citrate

Clomiphene is a medication patients take by mouth (orally). It causes the body to make more of the hormones that cause the eggs to mature in the ovaries.2 If a woman does not become pregnant after taking clomiphene for six menstrual cycles, a health care provider may prescribe other fertility treatments. Patients take clomiphene on days 3 to 5 of the menstrual cycle.

Clomiphene causes ovulation to occur in 80% of women treated. About half of those who ovulate are able to achieve a pregnancy or live birth.

Use of clomiphene increases the risk of having a multiple pregnancy. There is a 10% chance of twins, but having triplets or more is rare—less than 1% of cases.

Gonadotropins and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

Gonadotropins are hormones that are injected in a woman to directly stimulate eggs to grow in the ovaries, leading to ovulation. Health care providers normally prescribe gonadotropins when a woman does not respond to clomiphene or to stimulate follicle growth for ART.

Gonadotropins are injected starting on day 2 or day 3 of the menstrual cycle for 7 to 12 days.

While a woman is treated with gonadotropins, a health care provider uses transvaginal ultrasound to monitor the size of the developing eggs, which grow inside tiny sacs called follicles (pronounced FOL-i-kuhls). The health care providers also draw blood frequently to check the ovarian production of estrogen.

The chance of a multiple birth is higher with gonadotropins than with clomiphene, and 30% of women who conceive a pregnancy with this medication have multiple births. About two-thirds of multiple births are twins. Triplets or larger multiple births account for the remaining third.

hCG is a hormone similar to leutenizing hormone that can be used to trigger release of the egg after the follicles have developed.

Bromocriptine or Cabergoline

Bromocriptine and cabergoline are pills taken orally to treat abnormally high levels of the hormone prolactin, which can stop ovulation. Certain medications, kidney disease, and thyroid disease can cause high levels of prolactin.

Bromocriptine or cabergoline allow 90% of women to have normal prolactin levels.

Once prolactin levels become normal, 85% of women using bromocriptine or cabergoline ovulate.

Surgical Treatments for Female Infertility

If disease of the fallopian tubes is the cause of infertility, surgery can repair the tubes or remove blockages in the tubes. Success rates of these types of surgery, however, are low. These surgeries involving the fallopian tubes also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are also called “tubal pregnancies” because they most often occur in a fallopian tube.

Surgery to remove patches of endometriosis has been found to double the chances for pregnancy. Surgery can also remove uterine fibroids, polyps, or scarring, which can affect fertility.

Source: americanpregnancy.org/National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Ory Okolloh Mwangi is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, and blogger. She is Director of Investments at Omidyar Network. She was formerly the Policy Manager for Africa with Google.

In 2006 she co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: “Patriot”). The site sought to increase government accountability by systematically recording bills, speeches, MPs, standing orders, etc.

When Kenya was engulfed in violence following a disputed presidential election in 2007, Okolloh helped create Ushahidi (Swahili: “Witness”), a website that collected and recorded eyewitness reports of violence using text messages and Google Maps. The technology has since been adapted for other purposes (including monitoring elections and tracking pharmaceutical availability) and used in a number of other countries.

Okolloh has a personal blog, Kenyan Pundit, which was featured on Global Voices Online.

She has worked as a legal consultant for NGOs and has worked at Covington and Burling, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, and the World Bank.

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Okolloh was appointed on the Board of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, the body that acts as a guardian of the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles in May 2015.

Born into a relatively poor family, she had said that her parents sent her to a private elementary school that they could barely afford, which set the foundation for what ended up being her career.  She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2005. Okolloh lives in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband and three children.

According to WHO statistics, about half the number of mothers and newborns in developing countries do not receive skilled care during and immediately after childbirth. Nearly 41% child deaths under-five, are among newborn infants, i.e. Babies in their first 28 days of life or the neonatal period

Statistics have it that there are 8 million low-birth weight babies born in India every year, and these babies suffer from issues like hypothermia and infection which cause poor growth and often death. 

Hypothermia basically refers to when the body’s core temperature falls below 36.5ºC (97.7ºF). The word ‘hypo’ means ‘below’, and the word ‘thermia’ means ‘heat’. Newborns are unable to regulate their body temperature, and low temperatures can lead to life-debilitating illnesses.

For this purpose, regular monitoring of the infants body temperature is the most reasonable way to ascertain and prevent these issues; however, in areas where there are very few skilled nurses and even more uneducated parents, constant monitoring may seem impractical at such low-resource settings.

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In order to deal with the issue of regular monitoring of the infants body temperature, Ratul Narain, the founder of BEMPU, a social enterprise developed an affordable medical device called ‘BEMPU’ for newborns in India. Ratul is a graduate from Stanford University and an Echoing Green Fellow. He is an American, and currently resides in Bangalore, India. His mission is to radically improve maternal and child health outcomes in developing countries by developing and commercializing life-saving health technologies. 

The BEMPU Hypothermia Monitoring Device (BEMPU Bracelet) is the first such technology in the BEMPU portfolio; an easy to use device, usually fastened around the wrist of the infant. BEMPU is a novel bracelet for hypothermia which empowers a mother to better manage her newborn’s health, and prevent such death and illness.

In the event of neonatal hypothermia through an intuitive audio-visual alarm, the device alerts the carer or the mother, to take action well before any life-threatening issues occur.

The device is easy to use, affordable, robust and accurate, and is now commercially available around India. It is made from 100% medical grade silicon rubber, BEMPU is radiation-free, and is designed to ISO certified standards.

This unique innovation has been saving lives of infants in India, by summer of 2016, the BEMPU Bracelet has protected over 1000+ babies in approximately 150 centers across India.