Friday November 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.

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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)

Next Story

Here’s Why Women Should Not Dine After 6 PM

Women who dine late in the evening are likely to develop heart diseases

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Women should not consume higher proportionate of calories late in the evening. Pixabay

Women who consume a higher proportion of their daily calories late in the evening are more likely to be at risk of cardiovascular disease than women who do not, researchers have warned.

For the study, the research team assessed the cardiovascular health of 112 women using the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 measures at the beginning of the study and one year later.

Life’s Simple 7 represents the risk factors that people can improve through lifestyle changes to help achieve ideal cardiovascular health and include not smoking, being physically active, eating healthy foods and controlling body weight, along with measuring cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

A heart health score based on meeting the Life’s Simple 7 was computed.

“The preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behaviour that can help lower heart disease risk,” said study lead author Nour Makarem from Columbia University in the US.

During the study, participants of the study kept electronic food diaries by computer or cell phone to report what, how much and when they ate for one week at the beginning of the study and for one week 12 months later.

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Women should consume less calories in the evening for a healthy heart. Pixabay

Data from the food diary completed by each woman was used to determine the relationship between heart health and the timing of when they ate.

Researchers found that, after 6 p.m. with every one per cent calories consumed heart health declined, especially for women.

These women were found more likely to have higher blood pressure, higher body mass index and poorer long-term control of blood sugar.

Similar findings occurred with every one per cent increase in calories consumed after 8 p.m.

Also Read- Study Associates Air Pollution With Heart Attack

“It is never too early to start thinking about your heart health whether you’re 20 or 30 or 40 or moving into the 60s and 70s. If you’re healthy now or if you have heart disease, you can always do more. That goes along with being heart smart and heart healthy,” said study researcher Kristin Newby, Professor at Duke University.

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 from November 16-18 in Philadelphia, US. (IANS)