Friday March 22, 2019
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Kyrgyzstan’s First Satellite Built By Young Women

Nearly one in 10 girls in Kyrgyzstan is married off before age 18, according to global charity Girls Not Brides, even though bride kidnapping was outlawed in 2013.

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Young women in Kyrgyzstan participate in a project run by Kloop Media, a local media group, to build the country's first satellite in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. VOA

Reaching for the stars will no longer be impossible for girls and young women in Kyrgyzstan, who aim to build and launch the country’s first satellite before 2020.

A dozen budding female scientists have been tinkering with computers, 3-D printers and soldering irons since March to build a CubeSat, which U.S. space agency NASA describes as being the smallest and cheapest satellite used for space exploration.

“I feel very proud that it’s going to be the first satellite of the country. I’m doing this program because I want to empower other girls,” student Kyzzhibek Batyrkanova, 23, said during a Skype interview from the capital, Bishkek. “Your gender doesn’t have to determine what you have to do in this life.”

It is a rare path for any Kyrgyz, let alone a woman, given that nearly two-thirds of the people in the mountainous Central Asian country live in rural areas, and the economy relies on farming, according to the United Nations.

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Narendra Modi reaches Kyrgystan

Women make up less than 10 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s graduates in science, technology, engineering, math, construction and manufacturing graduates, the U.N. Development Program says.

‘Not very common’

“Some girls don’t have the courage to pursue such studies because it’s not very common in our country, and the majority of parents discourage their daughters from pursuing this,” said Alina Anisimova, 19, who is leading the satellite project.

“I wish that in the future, people will not consider it so surprising to see young women who do welding or who are involved in engineering,” said the computer programmer.

She is one of the young women, aged 17 to 24, working on the project, which was started by Kloop Media, a local media group, after a chance meeting with senior NASA staff Alexander MacDonald, who suggested the ambitious idea.

According to Kloop’s crowdfunding page for the project, the construction and launch of Kyrgyzstan’s first CubeSat will cost up to $150,000. The final stages of the build will be made in partnership with a Lithuanian company.

kyrgyzstan women, satellite
Kyrgyz woman from Alay mountains, Kyrgyzstan. Flickr

“[Building a satellite] can serve as a powerful social and political signal,” MacDonald told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He said it could send important messages about “who is able to participate and build the future.”

Even though the number of women in STEM has increased in recent years, they still account for only about 30 percent of the world’s researchers, the U.N cultural agency UNESCO says.

Marriage expected

Aidana Aidarbekova, a 19-year-old student participating in the project, said girls and women in her country are expected to marry instead of pursuing careers.

“There are a lot of people who don’t believe that girls are capable of doing anything else but cleaning and cooking and giving birth to children,” said Aidarbekova.

Also Read: New Galaxy Has A Smiley Like Structure: NASA

Nearly one in 10 girls in Kyrgyzstan is married off before age 18, according to global charity Girls Not Brides, even though bride kidnapping was outlawed in 2013.

Aidarbekova said she hopes the space project will inspire girls in her country and beyond.

“We are doing this program because we want to prove that girls can actually do it,” she said. “ … Maybe our project will give hope to girls all around the world.” (VOA)

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Sweetened Beverages May Increase Risk of Early Death: Study

Sugar-sweetened beverages intake is also on the rise in developing countries, spurred by urbanisation and beverage marketing

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The "soft drinks" were defined as caffeinated colas, caffeine-free colas and other carbonated beverages (such as diet ginger ale). Pixabay

Women who drink sugar sweetened beverages are at an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, researchers have warned.

The study, led by Harvard University researchers, found that drinking 1-4 sugary drinks per month was linked with a one per cent increased risk of death and 2-6 drinks per week with a six per cent increase.

The increased early death risk linked with sugar-sweetened beverages consumption was more pronounced among women than among men, the findings, published in the journal Circulation, showed.

“Our results provide further support to limit intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity,” said lead author Vasanti Malik.

However, drinking one artificially-sweetened beverage per day instead of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks lowered the risk of premature death.

One should go for healthier alternatives of cold drinks. Wikimedia Commons
One should go for healthier alternatives of cold drinks. Wikimedia Commons

For the study, the team analysed data from 80,647 women and 37,716 men.

The study supports policies to limit marketing of sugary beverages to children and adolescents and for implementing soda taxes.

Also Read- Strength Training Can Help in Reducing Fatty Liver Disease, Says Study

Sugar-sweetened beverages should be no more than 10 per cent of daily calories from added sugars.

Sugar-sweetened beverages intake is also on the rise in developing countries, spurred by urbanisation and beverage marketing, said the team. (IANS)

One response to “Sweetened Beverages May Increase Risk of Early Death: Study”

  1. Soft drinks, like all the beverages made by our industry, are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet. The sugar used in our beverages is the same as sugar used in other food products. We don’t think anyone should overconsume sugar, that’s why we’re working to reduce the sugar people consume from beverages across the country. Additionally, low- and no-calorie sweeteners have been repeatedly confirmed as safe by regulatory bodies around the world.