Archive for the ‘girls’ Category

Afghanistan: Taliban Attacks School Girls With Acid

November 14, 2008
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Nov. 14) – No students showed up at Mirwais Mena girls’ school in the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace the morning after it happened.
.
A day earlier, men on motorcycles attacked 15 girls and teachers with acid.

Associated Press

The men squirted the acid from water bottles onto three groups of students and teachers walking to school Wednesday, principal Mehmood Qaderi said. Some of the girls have burns only on their school uniforms but others will have scars on their faces.
.
One teenager still cannot open her eyes after being hit in the face with acid.
.
“Today the school is open, but there are no girls,” Qaderi said Thursday. “Yesterday, all of the classes were full.” His school has 1,500 students.

Afghan teenager Shamsia rests on a hospital bed in Kabul after ... 
Afghan teenager Shamsia rests on a hospital bed in Kabul after Islamic extremists sprayed her with acid in Kandahar on November 12. Shamsia — whose face was burned in an acid attack — has vowed to continue going to school even if it put her life in danger.(AFP/Shah Marai)

.
Afghanistan’s government condemned the attack as “un-Islamic” and blamed it on the “country’s enemies,” a typical reference to Taliban militants. Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, denied the insurgents were involved.
.
Girls were banned from schools under the rule of the Taliban, the hard-line Islamist regime that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Women were only allowed to leave the house wearing a body-hiding burqa and accompanied by a male family member.

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/article/acid-attacks-scar-afghan-
schoolgirls/248141?icid=100214839x1212958094x1200818333

Advertisements

Making math uncool is hurting America, report says

October 10, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans may like to make fun of girls who are good at math, but this attitude is robbing the country of some of its best talent, researchers reported on Friday.

They found that while girls can be just as talented as boys at mathematics, some are driven from the field because they are teased, ostracized or simply neglected.

“The U.S. culture that is discouraging girls is also discouraging boys,” Janet Mertz, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who led the study said in a statement.

“The situation is becoming urgent. The data show that a majority of the top young mathematicians in this country were not born here.”

Writing in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Mertz and colleagues described their analysis of data from international math competitions going back to 1974. They also looked at surveys of U.S. students.

“It is deemed uncool within the social context of USA middle and high schools to do mathematics for fun; doing so can lead to social ostracism. Consequently, gifted girls, even more so than boys, usually camouflage their mathematical talent to fit in well with their peers,” they wrote.

FAIRLY EVEN DISTRIBUTION

They also challenged the widespread belief….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081010/lf_nm_life/us_
math_usa;_ylt=Ap.1F4OMJ0niv2LDU4Nq4Kas0NUE

Study finds 1 in 4 US teens has a STD

March 11, 2008
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO – At least one in four teenage American girls has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a first-of-its-kind federal study that startled some adolescent-health experts.

Some doctors said the numbers might be a reflection of both abstinence-only sex education and teens’ own sense of invulnerabilty. Because some sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility and cancer, U.S. health officials called for better screening, vaccination and prevention.

Only about half of the girls in the study acknowledged having sex. Some teens define sex as only intercourse, yet other types of intimate behavior including oral sex can spread some diseases.
Among those who admitted having sex, the rate was even more disturbing — 40 percent had an STD.

“This is pretty shocking,” said Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in New York.

“To talk about abstinence is not a bad thing,” but teen girls — and boys too — need to be informed about how to protect themselves if they do have sex, Alderman said.

The overall STD rate among the 838 girls in the study was 26 percent, which translates to more than 3 million girls nationwide, researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. They released the results Tuesday at an STD prevention conference in Chicago.

“Those numbers are certainly alarming,” said sex education expert Nora Gelperin, who works with a teen-written Web site called sexetc.org. She said they reflect “the sad state of sex education in our country.”

“Sexuality is still a very taboo subject in our society,” she said. “Teens tell us that they can’t make decisions in the dark and that adults aren’t properly preparing them to make responsible decisions.”

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the study shows that “the national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure, and teenage girls are paying the real price.”

Similar claims were made last year when the government announced the teen birth rate rose between 2005 and 2006, the first increase in 15 years.

The new study by CDC researcher Dr. Sara Forhan relied on slightly older data. It is an analysis of nationally representative records on girls ages 14 to 19 who participated in a 2003-04 government health survey.

The teens were tested for four infections: human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer and affected 18 percent of girls studied; chlamydia, which affected 4 percent; trichomoniasis, 2.5 percent; and genital herpes, 2 percent.

Dr. John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, said the results are the first to examine the combined national prevalence of common sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent girls. He said the data, now a few years old, likely reflect current prevalence rates.

Disease rates were significantly higher among black girls — nearly half had at least one STD, versus 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-Americans.

HPV, the cancer-causing virus, can also cause genital warts but often has no symptoms. A vaccine targeting several HPV strains recently became available, but Douglas said it probably hasn’t yet had much impact on HPV prevalence rates in teen girls.

The CDC recommends the three-dose HPV vaccine for girls ages 11-12 and catch-up shots for ages 13-26.

Chlamydia, which often has no symptoms but can lead to infertility, can be treated with antibiotics. The CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women under age 25. Trichomoniasis, also treatable with antibiotics, can cause abnormal discharge and painful urination. Genital herpes can cause blisters but often has no symptoms. It’s not curable but medicine can help.

The CDC’s Dr. Kevin Fenton said given the dangers of some STDs, “screening, vaccination and other prevention strategies for sexually active women are among our highest public health priorities.”

Douglas said screening tests are underused in part because many teens don’t think they’re at risk, but also, some doctors mistakenly think: “Sexually transmitted diseases don’t happen to the kinds of patients I see.”

Teens need to hear the dual message that STDs can be prevented by abstinence and condoms, said Dr. Ellen Kruger, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.

“You’ve got to hammer at them,” with appropriate information at each stage of teen development to make sure it sinks in, she said.

She said there are a lot of myths out there, too — many sexually active teens think the withdrawal method will protect them, or that douching with Coca-Cola will kill STD germs.

Dr. Margaret Blythe, an adolescent medicine specialist at Indiana University School of Medicine, said some doctors hesitate to discuss STDs with teen patients or offer screening because of confidentiality concerns, knowing parents would have to be told of the results.

Blythe, who heads an American Academy of Pediatrics committee on adolescence, noted that the academy supports confidential teen screening.

Sex slaves, human trafficking… in America?

December 3, 2007

By Grace Kahng
The TODAY Show.com contributor

In spring of 2004, Katya (not her real name), like thousands of other foreign exchange university students, was looking forward to the summer job placement that she and a friend had received in Virginia Beach, Virginia. When she and her friend Lena arrived at Dulles Airport after a long flight from Ukraine, they were relieved to be met by fellow countrymen who spoke Russian.

The two men, Alex Maksimenko and Michael Aronov, were holding signs with the girls’ names and greeted them by taking their bags and luggage. Charming and reassuring, Aronov informed the girls that they had been reassigned to a job in Detroit where they would waitress and perfect their English language skills.

The men drove Katya and Lena to the Greyhound bus station and gave them tickets to Detroit. Confused and exhausted, the girls had no reason to question the change of plans.

“When we got to the hotel in Detroit, everything changed,” says Katya. “They closed the door and sat us down on the couch, took our passports and papers and said, you owe us big money for bringing you here. They gave us strip clothes and told us that we were going to be working at a strip club called ‘Cheetahs.’”

Shocked and scared, the two women were subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse  over the next year as they were forced to work 12-hour shifts stripping for local Detroit men’s clubs. According to immigration customs agent Angus Lowe, the men controlled the women through intimidation with guns and threats to hurt family members back home.

Katya and her friend are two of the estimated 17,000 young women and girls annually who are forced to work in the sex industry in the U.S. by organized criminals. “Chicago, Houston, St. Paul, Minnesota, these crimes are happening in every community in America big and small,” says Marcie Forman, Director of Investigations for ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement.)   “We’re talking about money here. Millions of dollars and these people don’t think about these women as human beings. They think of them as dollars and cents,” Forman says.

In February 2005, after months of planning and finally confiding in a customer from the strip club, the two girls escaped and were brought to the FBI and ICE. Their escape resulted in the arrest of Alex Maksimenko and Michael Aronov, both of whom pleaded guilty and are serving time in federal prison for their crimes.

Even though her captors are in prison, Katya says she will never live without fear. Maksimenko’s father — who was also convicted of forced labor and illegal trafficking — continues to live openly in Ukraine as a fugitive from authorities. 

Tune in: NBC’s Meredith Vieira goes inside the human trafficking and underground prostitution scene in the United States in “MSNBC Undercover: Sex Slaves in America,” which premieres Monday, December 3 at 11 PM ET/PT on MSNBC.

Vietnam: “Missing Daughters” A Problem

November 2, 2007

by Frank Zeller

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam‘s birth ratio has become skewed toward boys, a trend that population experts are blaming on a traditional preference for male offspring and the availability of abortion and ultrasound fetal scans.

The international ratio at birth is about 105 boys for every 100 girls, but in Vietnam — in an echoe of trends in China and India — the imbalance has grown to 110-100 and is as high as 120-100 in some provinces.

The “missing daughters” phenomenon, experts fear, may worsen in the current lunar Year of the Golden Pig, deemed a very auspicious time to have a son in Vietnam, a traditionally Confucian country.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071101/wl_asia_afp/
vietnamsocietysexratio_071101181050