Greeting-cards for miscarriages #IHadaMiscarriage on Twitter was created by Dr. Jessica Zucker to provide a space for people to talk about losing a pregnancy. She now offers a line of greeting cards for those who wish to extend their support. The card line also includes a "baby loss/stillbirth" announcement for those who want to send the news themselves.
"This collection of cards aims to normalize the cultural conversation surrounding pregnancy loss even further," Dr. Zucker says. "My hope is that these cards provide the antidote to 'I just didn't know what to say.'"
Compiled by Andrea Plaid
Can panties change the world? UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 African teen girls will miss school because of their period and eventually drop out. Menstruation, often referred to as the "week of shame" in developing countries keeps girls from school and women from working much of every month because they don't have access to pads, can't afford them or don't have water to wash.
Designer Diana Sierra created period panties in response to this problem. Using a quick-drying material, the underwear has a sewn-in pad with a pocket where the girls can insert materials that they already have, such as cotton or toilet paper. The girls who tested the product named it BeGirl because it made them "proud to be a girl."
Source: Fast Company, http://borgenproject.org/developing-world-period-panties
Female astronauts respond to sexism Female Russian astronauts are conducting a mock take-off in a spacecraft to test human endurance in space in November, 2015. All are experts in medicine, biophysics and psychology, but their press conference focused on hairstyles and how they would get along.
Anna Kussmaul responds, "Those who will take part in an experiment are not concerned there won't be any men in their crew. We are here to do our job and we don't have time to think about men." And her space-traveling co-worker Darya Komissarova says, "We are very beautiful without makeup."
Source: The Verge
Nail polish worth it? Using nail polish can be harmful to your health. A new study by the Environmental Working Group and Duke University found that TPHP, added to polish to make it more flexible and chip resistant, got into the bodies of all 26 women in the study and showed up in their urine in half a day. The chemical can cause early development of puberty, neurodevelopmental problems and obesity. The nail industry estimates that nine of ten girls between the ages of 12 and 14 use nail polish. Other recent research shows that nail salon workers face health risks that can include liver disease, reproductive loss and cancer from chemicals in glues, polishes and removers.
Source: Environmental Working Group, MS Magazine, www.osha.gov/SLTC/nailsalons/
International notes: Nepal elected its first female president in October 2015. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who is a leader in the Communist Party of Nepal, says that she'll champion the rights for women and other marginalized people. And she already enacted her platform before she became president: women make up one-third of the country's parliament.
Britain's new Women's Equality Party, started in March, 2015, in London, with 45,000 members and a platform of to achieve "equality in politics, business, education, pay, parenting and the media, as well as an end to violence against women," according to the Guardian. Their goals include criminalizing those who patronize prostitutes, free childcare from when a baby is nine months old, fully equal parental leave and baby-changing areas available equally to men and women.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports a five-fold increase in women seeking asylum in the United States from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico due to domestic violence and criminal gangs who rape, murder and recruit children for extortion payments.
Sources: Women's e-News, The Guardian, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees