Happy Tuesday, dear friends. I woke to a beautiful, sunny day here on Paumanok, and I had a lovely drive through brilliant fall leaves taking my daughter back to college. Now I am back home, and ready to share the news with you all, so please get comfortable and let’s begin.
Today we ask you to shine your love and light into some dark places related to gender violence. The more we bring light to these issues and share them with the world, the more rapidly compassion and love will bring healing. We then hop around the world for a few other topics.
Nigeria is deeply affected by gender violence and religious extremism.
Nigeria continues to reel from militant attacks by a group called Boko Harem, which means, “Western Education is Forbidden,” that began military activities within the country in 2009 to establish an Islamic state. The group has captured many local women and children, the majority of which are girls, since declaring a “caliphate.” While most main stream media focuses on other international areas that seem to have more political and financial impact, let us send our light to these areas, where women and children are being used as pawns in a circle that draws a nation back into the past.
I also wanted to share this open letter from a young Nigerian as he calls to his fellow young people for a national reawakening in light of the disruption within his country. His words speak against the patriarchy and old school way of doing things, in a country where 60% of the population are considered youths. The fresh voice of responsibility and change, among a group that could conceivably alter views in one generation, is intensely courageous and forward thinking. Let’s hope that all young people realize their power to invoke vast change in their world, simply by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on a world that works for everyone.
Two very different outcomes for women in the continuing quest to end gender violence.
A 10 year old Afghan girl stood before the court in Kabul over the weekend, and gave testimony against a local cleric who bound and raped her. The case was tried, using the Elimination of Violence against Women law, passed in Afghanistan in 2009. The judge convicted the cleric, who said the sex was consensual, to the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and 30,000 in fines. Amnesty International says this case is rare, as many in the country do not know about the law, and few wish to shame their families, by coming forward and reporting such crimes. This brave young woman received justice, and as her father stated after the trial was concluded, hopefully this will dissuade others from perpetrating such crimes in the future.
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, who was employed by the Iranian Ministry of Security and Intelligence. She stabbed him to defend herself from a sexual attack. Jabbari was executed this weekend in Iran, even as an international outcry called for amnesty in the case. Many believe her trial was flawed, and much of her testimony was made under extreme duress. The UN special Rapporteur on Human Rights, said these types of actions in Iran do not build confidence or trust in the international community, and the country should put a moratorium on all executions. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that the death penalty has no place in the 21st century, and should be abolished world-wide.
The UK asks citizens to help shape its future priorities related to gender equality.
Twenty years ago, the UK adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, drawn up at the 4th World Conference on Women. In conjunction with a new campaign supported by UN Women, ‘Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!’, the National Equality Office is asking UK citizens to give their thoughts on how the lives of women and girls have changed in the country over the last five years. They are trying to determine how UK policy related to gender equality and improving the lives of women should be molded in the future. The survey is open to all citizens, and I think it is a marvelous beginning to a more open dialogue related to gender equality. I hope our UK readers will take the survey, and continue to support gender equality within their nation.
Static electricity helps new robots to be more attractive.
Most robots on the assembly line use a lot of energy to move objects from one location to another. Their robot hands are also not very dexterous, and cannot handle delicate objects. A new robot start up company, called GrabIt, is using electrostatic attraction to create highly sensitive robot hands that can handle objects such as fruit and glass with a much lower energy cost, and a higher ability to handle fragile materials. While the implementation of such robots is a few years away, I found the videos of the prototypes in action to be very interesting. I also feel that more research into electrostatic attraction, may yield some new developments in the energy industry overall.
A dead heart gives life to a new body.
Heart transplants have always used organs from an individual who has experienced brain death, but who is still technically alive. This limits the number of hearts available, for those waiting for the life-saving surgery. Now, doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia have successfully transplanted a dead heart into a living human, using a special “heart-in-a-box” procedure. Michelle Gribilas, 57, who was suffering from congenital heart failure, received the first heart under this new experimental protocol, and she says she feels ten years younger. The technique was also successfully performed on two other patients, and the team feels this breakthrough will help many others who have had to wait for suitable donors using the older surgery protocol. They believe this will increase the number of patients having transplant surgery by 30%. What a beautiful new heart centered procedure!
That’s the news for today! Have a day filled with little miracles, and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!