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Britain’s Princess Beatrice Speaks Out About Online Bullying

Beatrice said mobile technology should be a force for good for girls in developed and developing countries

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Princess Beatrice
Britain's Princess Beatrice is pictured at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. VOA

Bullied herself online, Britain’s Princess Beatrice is determined to ensure other girls are equipped to deal with internet abuse and get the best from the digital world.

Beatrice — who as the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and his former wife, the Duchess of York, is eighth in line to the British throne — said her bullying, about her weight and her appearance, were very public and could not be ignored.

But she said other girls faced this in private and needed to be encouraged to speak out and to know where to get support, which prompted her to get involved in campaigns against cyber bullying.

A recent study by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center found about 60 percent of U.S. teens had been bullied or harassed online, with girls more likely to be the targets of online rumor-spreading or nonconsensual explicit messages.

cyberbullying, beatrice
One in two parents in the current survey reported knowing a child in their community who had been cyberbullied, up from 45 per cent in 2011. Pixabay

“You’d like to say don’t pay attention to it … but the best advice is to talk about it,” Beatrice, 30, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during an interview on Wednesday at the Web Summit, Europe’s largest annual technology conference.

“Being a young girl, but now being 30 and a woman working full time in technology, I feel very grateful for those experiences. But at that time it was very challenging.”

Beatrice, who works at the U.S.-based software company Afiniti, co-founded the Big Change Charitable Trust with a group of friends, including two of Richard Branson’s children, in 2010 to support young people who also grew up in the public eye.

Campaign

She also last year joined the anti-bullying campaign “Be Cool Be Nice” along with other celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne, which included a book.

princess beatrice
One of the most public attacks on the princess was at the 2011 wedding of her cousin Prince William when her fascinator sparked a barrage of media attention.

“There are lots of people who are ready to help and I want to make sure young people feel they have the places to go to talk about it,” said Beatrice, adding that teachers and parents also had a role to play.

Beatrice said her bullying was so public that she could not hide from it, but her mother, Sarah Ferguson, was a great source of support.

One of the most public attacks on the princess was at the 2011 wedding of her cousin Prince William when her fascinator sparked a barrage of media attention. A month later she auctioned the hat for charity for 81,000 pounds ($106,500).

Her mother, who divorced Prince Andrew in 1996, had to get used to unrelenting ribbing by Britain’s royal-obsessed media.

“She has been through a lot,” said Beatrice, whose younger sister, Eugenie, married at Windsor Castle last month.

Princess Eugenie, beatrice
Princess Eugenie wedding. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding.

“When you see role models who are continually put in very challenging situations and can support you … [then] some of the tools that I have had from her I would like to share.”

Beatrice said mobile technology should be a force for good for girls in developed and developing countries, presenting new opportunities in terms of education, careers and health.

Also Read: Google Launches New Cyber Security Unit For Play Store

“Social media and the pressures that these young people now face is a new phenomenon … and if I can do more to give young people the tools [to cope], that is my mission,” she said.

“I would say to young girls: You are not alone. Keep going.” (VOA)

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The First All-Women Spacewalk is Set to Take Place This Week: NASA

According to NASA, The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours

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Spacewalk
The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA. Pixabay

The first all-woman spacewalk is set to take place this week itself as NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are scheduled to venture outside the International Space Station (ISS) on October 17 or October 18.

The spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA.

“@Space_Station update: our first all-female spacewalk with @Astro_Christina and @Astro_Jessica will be Thursday or Friday to replace a faulty battery charge-discharge unit,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Tuesday.

Station managers decided to postpone previously planned spacewalks that had been set to install new batteries this week and next in order to replace the faulty power unit, called a Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU).

The BCDU failed to activate following the October 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s truss.

Spacewalk
The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA. Pixabay

NASA said that the BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory, many in preparation for future human missions to the Moon and Mars.

However, the failed power unit does prevent a new lithium-ion battery installed earlier this month from providing additional station power.

An all-woman spacewalk, involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, was originally scheduled for March.

But that spacewalk was scuttled because properly fitted spacesuits could not be readied in time for both astronauts, Space.com reported.

Spacewalk
An all-woman Spacewalk, involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, was originally scheduled for March. Pixabay

So far, the 15 women who have conducted a spacewalk did so with a male companion. So when Koch and Meir venture out of the space station this week, they will make some long-overdue history.

ALSO READ: How to Extend Your Business Abroad

This will be Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first. (IANS)