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International Day of the Girl Aims to End Sad Stats of Girls, Globally

October 11 is the International Day of the Girl, a campaign launched by the United Nations dedicated to highlighting barriers and empowering girls to reach their full potential.

It is a movement meant to bring attention to advocacy projects and initiatives around the world to promote the education, safety and security of young girls globally.

Specifically, the mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” 

On this day, activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.

It’s also a national day of action to elevate awareness of  gender justice and youth rights.

In 2015 when leaders signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals – the Global Goals – they made a promise – to empower all girls.

Although there has been progress, the Global Goals campaign call for keeping the pressure on world leaders deliver and every girl grows up healthy, safe, empowered and able to fulfill her dreams.

Also to coincide with the day, the Save the Children nonprofit released a study which revealed that  biased views on the value of girls and their roles within the classroom and society begin to show as early as fourth grade. The global humanitarian organization surveyed boys and girls in the United States and the West African nations of Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire and  found that a striking number of young boys – and even many girls – believe fathers rule the household, boys are smarter than girls and girls need less school than boys.

“Girls are worth far more than what the world tells them,” Carolyn Miles, president & CEO of Save the Children of the data which found, among other things, that  17 percent of American fourth graders believing a man would make a better boss than a woman.   “Globally, we know that girls are more likely than boys to miss out on school, experience violence and live in poverty. That is why we need to invest in their education and do everything possible to delay early marriage and motherhood. By providing children equal opportunities and access to learning, every girl can realize what she’s truly worth.”

In 2017, girls around the world are still frequently marginalized in their families, communities and societies because of who they are or where they were born. They face discrimination, lack equal opportunities and earn less money – their lives and futures aren’t given the value they deserve. Save the Children’s analysis revealed that a girl under 15 is married every seven seconds.

Also, to commemorate this annual day, 30-year old Oxford University graduate, director MJ Delaney teamed up with Project Everyone in partnership with UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates, to create a new video to raise awareness of the #FreedomForGirls campaign which has been created to support Inernational Day of the Girl

The video features girls from all walks of life and different nations around the globe dancing and lip-syncing to Beyonce’s song, “Freedom’”. The Group also  calls for action on some of the biggest challenges girls face like access to education, child marriage and the threat of violence”.

Last year, the group asked people to share #WhatIReallyReallyWant for girls and women – this year it wants everyone to raise their voice for freedom.

WATCH THE CAMPAIGN’s VIDEO

Fans Have Put Katy Perry on Official Bump Watch

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Are fans getting ahead of themselves reading too much into Orlando Bloom‘s affection toward’s girlfriend Katy Perry during a brief appearance at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in NYC this week?

Perry made an appearance at the event which also featured former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  While at the podium, Clinton mentioned Perry who was set to receive the night’s prestigious Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award.

The camera capturing the event panned to Bloom and Perry standing and applauding in the audience and shows the moment Bloom rubs Perry’s tummy in a circular fashion, thanks to Jezebel. hmmmmm. Curious!

That was enough to set the Internet sleuths off and running! Watch!



We could be getting punked or just overly eager to see a baby Katy again just like last year when Perry posted a close up of herself wearing a mom necklace….no baby materialized out of that showing but we never know.

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Time will tell.

h/t Page Six

Photo: Getty

Post-Ebola Teen Girls in Sierra Leone subjected to Invasive Pregnancy Tests, Stigmatized



After the Ebola epidemic this year, the Sierra Leone government formalized an informal ban that has existed for ten years that prevent pregnant girls from attending school.

Amnesty International released a report yesterday, Friday, November 6, stating that thousands of schoolgirls in Sierra Leone have been forced to undergo humiliating and degrading public pregnancy tests since the government banned pregnant girls from attending mainstream schools and taking exams.

Teachers and nurses have examined girls’ breasts and stomachs in front of their peers and forced the girls to take urine tests, the report “Shamed and blamed: Pregnant girls’ rights at risk in Sierra Leone” stated.

The invasive exams are discouraging many girls from going to school, whether they are pregnant or not, the rights group state.

 “This humiliating and degrading treatment has led to girls taking health risks to sit exams, such as strapping down their stomachs and breasts,” Amnesty International West Africa researcher Sabrina Mahtani told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Pregnant girls are being blamed and shamed… as Sierra Leone moves forward from the devastating Ebola crisis, it is vital that these girls are not left behind.”

While schools were closed for a year, many girls were subjected to sexual violence, abusive relationships were rife in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak, and fueled a spike in teenage pregnancies, Amnesty said in its report “Shamed and blamed: Pregnant girls’ rights at risk in Sierra Leone”.

The epidemic hindered access to services including abortion, emergency contraception and post-rape counseling, while the closure of schools for almost a year left many girls particularly vulnerable to violence, the rights group said.

“It is not right. During Ebola, their parents did not have money so many girls had to go to men,” one girl told Amnesty.

The other unfortunate thing about it all is that Sierra Leone already had one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the even before Ebola broke out in December 2013.

One in four girls between the ages of 15 and 19 had children or were pregnant, a 2013 government health survey found.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates preliminary that the number of teenage girls who became pregnant in Sierra Leone at the height of the Ebola outbreak at more than 14,300.

After the ban was imposed earlier this year, The Ministry of Education stated that having pregnant girls to go to school would undermine their ability to concentrate and participate in class, expose them to ridicule and encourage others to become pregnant.

No word on the boys and what the fact they are fathers would do. Nope. Just the girls. le sigh

The government announced in May an alternative “bridging” education system allowing pregnant girls to go school, but at different premises and times to their peers.



The isolation could lead to further stigmatization and marginalization of the girls, Amnesty said in its report.

Only six in 10 girls between the ages of 15 and 24 in Sierra Leone are literate, compared with three-quarters of boys in that age range, figures from the 2013 government health survey show.

“Education is a right and not something for governments to arbitrarily take away as a punishment,” Mahtani said.

“Pregnant girls are being denied key chances to move forward with their lives, and to ensure early pregnancy does not become the event that determines the rest of their lives.”

Several organizations including UNICEF, the UK Department for International Development and UNFPA are helping girls to continue their education after giving birth, and give counseling and access to maternal and neonatal health services.

The World Health Organization says that even though maternal death rates in Sierra Leone has been halved  between 1990 and 2013, it still has one of the highest rates in the world with more than 1 in 100 women dies in childbirth.

DWTS Alum, Model Elisabetta Canalis is having a Fabulously Fit Pregnancy (EXCLUSIVE INTVW)

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When you last saw the leggy Italian beauty Elisabetta Canalis she was probably doing a pirouette with her dance partner on Season 13 of Dancing with the Stars. Too bad she didn’t make it too far in the competition, which included currently preggers Kristin Cavallari. Some have joked women were jealous that she had once dated George Clooney for a couple of years.

In any event, the actress and working model has moved up and on and these days can be seen looking fabulously preggers. She and her orthopedic surgeon husband Brian Perri are expecting their first child together.

Bellyitch nabbed an exclusive chat with the brand new Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Italy to check in on her before she gives birth in a few weeks.

So far, she and hubby have not yet picked a baby a name and will do the unconventional thing and wait until they see her to decide.

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Canalis and husband Dr. Ben Perri – Instagram

“We have changed the name so many times” Canalis states. “My husband and I have different taste so we will decide  after looking  at her little face!”

Sounds like a plan and fortunately, from scanning her Instagram pics where she shares pregnancy with fans and followers, she looks like she is managing weight gain despite the fact she is craving “carbs and sugar.”

No one ever is lucky enough to crave something healthy like carrots and wheat grass, but Canalis is managing the cravings pretty well.

“I accept my cravings but I make compromises. If I eat cookies, tarts, cakes or pizza I cannot eat other carbs. For me, personally, I am happy this way. If you crave more pasta than other stuff, don’t eat sugar. Drink water!” she advises.

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Staying healthy and fit on the Reformer in a Pilates Studio – Instagram

It may not matter anyway because Canalis stayed quite active during her first pregnancy and that’s usually a guaranteed way to drop baby weight. In IG pics she’s seen rowing and being pretty consistent and religious with Reformer Pilates, a machine we here love at Bellyitch.

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Canalis stays fit on a reformer, a pilates exercise equipment, keeping fit – Instagram

She also tells us she goes to the gym twice a week, hikes, drinks plenty of fruit and veggie juicesto stay healthy, adding “I found that reducing the salt gives great benefits too!”

On handling unsolicited advice, Canalis says she takes it all in but will adhere to only certain ones, depending on the source.

” I get so much advice and I am happy to have friends who can tell me what is the best thing to do in any case,” she says. “For sure I will take the advice from friends whose children are raised to the way I want to raise mine. I had the chance to see  accomplishments and mistakes that many of my friends made  with their kids and I will use their examples.”

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Showing off her baby bump with her mom. – Instagram

Friends’ stories can also pile onto existing fears and to avoid stressing over the horror stories Canalis recommends you stay away from YouTube.

She did watch “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and recommends at least one baby book though you’d have to understand Italian (or get a translated copy).

“There is a book I am reading that has been a blessing for some friends of mine, it is about understanding the difficulties that newborns generally have falling asleep and what the parents shouldn’t do! The names of the writers are Eduard Estivill and Sylvia de Bejar (Italian title Fate la nanna).”

It’s very common for children of celebrities to follow in their footsteps.  Canalis says won’t discourage her soon-to-be born daughter (who we know will be gorgeous) from going into the entertainment field.

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Looking great while chilling at Manhattan Bridge in New York -Instagram

“She will have to study first then she can try to do whatever she likes,” Canalis says then jokes, “she will have 2 kinds of examples at home, mine, working in the entertainment business, and her dad’s example of doing a serious job “.

She must not be serious because, although fabulous, the life of an actress and model can be taxing.

She has no time to chill and has to get back into shape soon after giving birth.

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Posing an an awesome shirt earlier in her pregnancy – Instagram

“I will start to work out and eat properly as soon as I’m be able to. I have to shoot a fashion campaign 2 months after I  deliver so…I won’t have that much time!”

Canalis has a very healthy attitude about sharing her pregnancy with her fans and followers on social media, she tell us:

Sometimes I just don’t want to bother people or my fans by saying how I don’t feel great during these 9 months for this and that…. Talking about back pain, carpal tunnel or about all the bad sides of pregnancy makes this moment only harder and…. there is always someone who feels worse than you.  I don’t even like the idea of taking sexy provocative pictures right now…But this is only about me. Demi More was stunning when she posed naked for a magazine cover during her pregnancy…. I would only look goofy trying to be like that!

Bravo! Bellissimo!

 

Shakira announced 2nd ‘World Baby Shower’ for charity

photo: Jaume Laiguana

Colombian pop superstar Shakira and her beau Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique announced their second annual “World Baby Shower” to benefit poor mothers and children globally.

The multi-Grammy award-winning artist is the Goodwill Ambassador for the UNICEF Education Fund and wrote that she wishes to use “the blessing of her child’s imminent birth to save the lives of other, less fortunate children around the world,”adding that “if every expectant mother having a baby shower decided to include among her gift registry some of these ‘inspired gifts’ that UNICEF offers, we could collectively save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children all over the globe.”

Donors can contribute to the purchase of midwifery kits, medical equipment, vaccinations, blankets, books and a soccer ball.

The couple also challenged others.

“With the explosion of social media, celebrities aren’t the only ones who have platforms that can reach mass audiences, and we want this movement to keep going long after our baby shower has ended, so we want to invite them to host their own baby showers with UNICEF as well.”
Nice! Shakira announced her second pregnancy last July. 



h/t http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/pregnant-shakira-gerard-pique-celebrate-baby-shower-with-milan-pics-2015191#ixzz3PQdYBSZu