Month: February 2015

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Women Inspire: Dr. Priscilla Joseph

This post is the fourth in a series of interviews from women and girls at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, Guyana. I’m here in Georgetown, Guyana to conduct interviews with inspiring women and girls and to listen to their stories. Recently, I met Dr. Priscilla Joseph, 30, in the GPHC emergency department. A role model for girls around the world, Priscilla filled me in on why she wanted to become a doctor and who inspires her. What made you interested in becoming a doctor? A: I wanted to be a doctor because I love helping people. My parents were also a great influence in my life because they recognized my interest and wholeheartedly supported and emphasized the importance of education in life – but particularly in order to become a nurse. What is your favorite part about being a doctor? A: In my opinion, seeing the successful health outcomes and seeing patients survive traumatic accidents and illness is the greatest part about being a doctor. Who inspires you and why? A: When …

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Increasing Women’s Access to Investment Capital

Worldwide, women make enormous contributions to the economies around them. However, these contributions often go unseen, unrewarded, or stifled, because of the unequal opportunities that exist between men and women. If given access to the financial resources and services necessary to flourish as successful entrepreneurs, together, women could lift themselves out of poverty, support their families, and help their communities to thrive. Studies have consistently shown that when women are economically independent and engaged in income-generating activities, they can provide more opportunities for their children—such as a chance to get an education and receive proper healthcare, as well as being in a better position to take on more of a decision-making role in the family. By securing economic autonomy, women can also prevent some of the interconnected challenges such as such a gender-based violence, early pregnancy, and exposure to STIs and HIV. Investing in women is investing in an entire community, and one of the ways to achieve this is to provide them with tangible means to economically empower themselves. Girl Up Initiative Uganda recognizes …

Child Marriage Post

Making Strides to End Child Marriage

More than 700 million women alive today were married before their 18th birthday. More than one in three (about 250 million) entered into marriage before the age 15. Ending child marriage is not just a priority for the world, but a necessity that will enable girls and women to participate more fully in society. Girls and women are at the heart of global development, and when given the opportunity, education, and tools, can go onto raise healthier and smaller families of their own that will, in turn, contribute to their communities and society. We have seen an increase into the awareness of child marriage, thanks to organizations like UNICEF, Girls Not Brides, Save the Children, and Breakthrough. Just this month, Let Girls Lead (LGL), based at the Public Health Institute, celebrated the Malawian Parliament voting to pass the National Marriage Law, which raised the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18 years. After over five years of advocacy by LGL partners and other key organizations, the victory guarantees a Malawian girl’s right to be a girl for the first time in …

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Women Inspire: Romalia Black

This post is the third in a series of interviews from women and girls at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, Guyana. I’m here in Georgetown, Guyana to conduct interviews with inspiring women and girls and to listen to their stories. Recently, I met Nurse Romalia Black in the GPHC emergency department. She graciously shared with me her story, her ideas, and her passions. What made you interested in becoming a nurse? A: When I was 7 years old, my grandfather suffered a stroke and I helped care for him alongside my family. I discovered I really enjoyed caring for him and making him feel better. A few years later, my friend fell ill with a serious infection. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to be a nurse so I could help care for people my entire life. What is your favorite part about being a nurse? A: I love to see people get well and being able to help and care for them. Who inspires you and why? A: …

Sign outside GPHC's maternity ward; Image c/o Elisabeth Epstein

Women Inspire: Nozema Pul

This post is the second in a series of interviews from women and girls at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, Guyana. I’m here in Georgetown, Guyana to conduct interviews with inspiring women and girls and to listen to their stories. I recently met Nozema Pul, 41, in the GPHC maternity ward. Nozema was days, or possibly hours, away from giving birth. But being the shero that she is, she agreed to share with me her thoughts on motherhood, her dreams for her children, and advice for young girls. What does being a mother mean to you? A: Happiness. It means happiness. How has your mother influenced your life? A: My mother was a loving, caring and thoughtful mom. She taught me all about the good things in life. She raised me the right way, as a mother should. She gave me everything that she could afford in order to make me happy. What do you wish for your children? A: I wish for lots of happiness. I wish that they follow Christ …

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Women Inspire: Kennesia Pellew

This post is the first in a series of interviews from women and girls at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, Guyana. I’m here in Georgetown, Guyana to conduct interviews with inspiring women and girls and to listen to their stories. Last week, I met Kennesia Pellew, a 21-year-old nursing student, while she was working in the emergency department at GPHC. From just the few minutes I spoke with her, I could tell Kennesia was extremely passionate about her work, her dreams, and her passions. What made you interested in becoming a nurse? A: I wanted to make a difference in a person’s quality of health on an everyday basis. What is your favorite part about being a nurse? A: I love being around children. Before I went to nursing school, I was a teacher for two years. I love helping children feel better, particularly in critical cases. Now, I am able to help and have the skills and ability to make kids feel better. Who inspires you and why? “I don’t like …

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Innovation saves lives: Unveiling of the new Ebola suit by Jhpiego at NY Fashion Week

Jhpiego showcased its new, groundbreaking Ebola suit, produced in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design as a result of a hackathon, at the New York Fashion Week. It may not be the kind of a garment that normally gets the spotlight at Fashion Week, but it most likely is the only one with potential to save lives. Baltimore-based wedding dress designer Jill Andrews from Jill Andrews Gowns advised o the design of the suit. I had the pleasure to attend a New York Fashion Week Pop-Up Event organized by Jhpiego, GE Foundation and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to  showcase an innovative protective suit for healthcare workers who treat Ebola patients. The suit was designed and created as a result of a hackathon organized by Jhpiego and Johns Hopkins University, and is currently being developed by Jhpiego and the Johns Hopkins’ Center for BioEngineering Innovation & Design (CBID). Wedding designer Jill Andrews also advised on the suit design. This new suit has been developed based largely on direct feedback from health workers …

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Girls in Myanmar’s War: Where are their portrayals?

Moving around Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital, I come across a handful of new billboards with a daunting cartoon image of a young teenage boy against a backdrop of military equipment. The signs are a part of a new public awareness campaign aimed at ending recruitment of boys into both the armed forces. Though there are continuing reports of the recruitment of child soldiers, the billboard campaign is a step that at least in some part of the military there is a desire to professionalize the force. Having worked with girls for a decade and coming up to the fifth anniversary of the founding of Girl Determined, a girls’ leadership program in Myanmar, I wonder why there is not a public campaign to root out the use of girls in the war zones as well. I keep asking myself, “what do girl victims of war look like?” And the answer, “much the same as other girls.” Seeing a small boy with a machine gun strapped around his chest is an image that cannot easily be forgotten. …

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The Story of My Daughter’s Birth

Originally published on Huffington Post It felt like I was in a movie — one of those scenes where the woman in labor screams in pain and squirms as each contraction kicks in. Never had I imagined that giving birth would feel like a thin line between life and death — both for me and my baby. My pregnancy was a good one. Besides the first trimester’s spells of nausea, I had a great summer, with the possibility to both work, travel and enjoy life to the fullest. As my due date came and went, I tried to stay active, sleep a lot and prepare for the storm ahead. Twelve days passed, and I didn’t have the slightest notion that my baby wanted to enter the “real” world — yet that evening around dinnertime, I felt the first sign of labor. My contractions came quickly. In the comfort of my home, I tackled the first hour without a problem — but after those 60 minutes, I already had one-minute-long contractions every five minutes. I contacted …

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An Interview with Nadia Hashimi, Author and Girl Advocate

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a book signing where author Nadia Hashimi spoke about her newest novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell. Pearl tells the story of a young Afghan girl (Rahima) and her great-great-grandmother (Shekiba) who both dress as boys to overcome incredible gender inequities. I read the novel a few weeks prior and absolutely fell in love with the story and its cast of strong female characters. Nadia proudly supports women’s and girls’ empowerment and was excited to share more about her book and her life with Girls’ Globe. You can find the entire the interview below. How did your background and/or personal life influence the story of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell? My parents came over to the United States from Afghanistan in the early 1970s.  They initially had the intention of returning to their homeland after a few years, but then the Soviet invasion happened and Afghanistan went into a downward spiral and it wasn’t safe for them to return.  It was because of these events …