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Tech, NFTs, & Science: Celebrating International Day of the Girl



What do you get when you pair the digital generation with International day of the Girl? Girl Power of course!

“Digital generation, our generation”, the messaging behind this year’s International Day of the Girl

October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl (IDG) with digital inclusion and literacy among the themes celebrated in this year’s United Nations (UN) event.

An observance day declared by the United Nations, IDG recognises girl’s rights while empowering young females to pursue in global opportunities.

Each year the honorary day supports a theme – typically an area that girl’s lack access to or a divide is experienced.

This year’s theme is “digital generation, our generation”, where UN Women, agencies and civil society are working to promote equal access to the internet and digital devices for young women.

Independent, non-profit organisation UN Women says digital literacy and inclusion opens up new learning and working opportunities for girls.

COVID-19 has also reinforced the need for skills in technology as more services move to the digital space.

“The pandemic has deepened the gender divide around connectivity and online safety, with girls facing economic and social barriers to internet and device access,” the UN Women organisation said in a blog post.


Many have taken to social media globally to support the movement advocating for equal access and inclusion to digital technology and innovation.

This includes a number of female-empowerment advocates and People of Colour leaders including US Vice Preside Kamala Harris.

“On this International Day of the Girl, I want to say this to our girls: dream with ambition and know that there are no limits to what you can be.”

Kamala Harris

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and Former US First Lady Michelle Obama also took to twitter.

The pair promoted their charities Malala Fund and Girls Opportunity Alliance which both support girl’s and women’s rights.

UN Women are calling all girls and women to join the cause, suggesting a number of international hashtags that social media users can peg on their posts.

This includes #DayoftheGirl and #GenerationEquality in English, #DíaDeLaNiña and #GeneraciónIgualdad in Spanish and #JournéeDeLaFille and #GénérationÉgalité in French.

An NFT in the name of Girls

International Day of the Girl is also a reflection of the efforts and sacrifices many hardworking women are making to help drive change.

Maliha Abidi, a 25-year-old Pakistan-born artist and neuroscience student, is one of these women.

She’s about to launch NFT Women Rise, a collection of 10,000 non-fungible tokens stored on blockchain which represents the work of female activists, artists, coders and scientists.

Yet, while society is progressing and becoming more inclusive of females, there’s still a considerable amount of room for improvement.

No to gender quotas – but yes to women in science

As we celebrate International Day of the Girl, the head of the academy that awards the Nobel Prizes in Science says gender quotas will not be introduced.

“[We want people to win] because they made the most important discovery…not because of gender or ethnicity,” Goran Hansson, head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, says.

Since the award’s introduction in 1901, only 59 recipients of the Nobel Prize were women.

This year, Maria Ressa was the only woman to receive an award, sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with journalist Dmitry Muratov. for their efforts to “safeguard freedom of expression”.

Mr Hansson says it’s sad that there are so few women Nobel laureates.

“It reflects the unfair conditions in society, particularly in years past, but still existing,” Mr Hansson told the AFP news agency.

“And there’s so much more to do,”

However he argues that implementing gender quotas would not be “in line with the spirit of Alfred Nobel’s last will”.

Only 10 percent of the professors in natural sciences in Western Europe or North America are women, another factors which resonates with the low number of female nominees.

Mr Hansson says he will continue his efforts to invite and include more female scientists in the awards, but calls on society to help encourage more women to pursue a future in science.

“We need different attitudes to women going into sciences… so that they get a chance to make these discoveries that are being awarded.”

Here’s how you can get involved

While there may still be a long way to go in supporting girl’s and their future, UN Women say there’s still a lot society can do to spread the word about gender equality.

“Share stories / blogs / videos of inspiring adolescent girls who are tech trailblazers while collectively amplifying our call to action to expand these pathways for every girl, everywhere,” UN Women says.

They’re calling on everyone to amplify their commitments in overriding the gender divide while helping girls develop their technological skills.

“We must take a strong generational gender lens to the digital divide if we are to achieve meaningful and sustainable change for a digital revolution by, with and for all.”

Written by Rebecca Borg


Queen Elizabeth not attending COP26 climate event



Buckingham Palace says the Queen is accepting doctor’s advice to rest

Following a health scare just last week… Queen Elizabeth will not be attending the upcoming COP-26 climate event in Glasgow.

This comes as doctors advise the royal to rest and comes just hours after she carried out her first official engagements since being admitted to hospital.

On Tuesday, Elizabeth met virtually with the ambassador of Korea and Switzerland.

Last week, Buckingham Palace revealed the monarch spent a night in hospital for “preliminary investigations”… but returned home in “good spirits”.

Meanwhile, the Queen was due to attend an evening reception in Glasgow on Monday but will deliver a video message instead.

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Jeff Bezos unveils plans for commercial space station



Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company, Blue Origin, has announced plans to launch a space station in Earth’s orbit.

The station will be named “Orbital Reef,” and is projected to be built and operational by the end of the decade.

The company says the station will be serve as a “mixed-use business park” in space and will host up to 10 people.

Promotional material released by the company revealed the 32-thousand square foot station will provide customers with an ideal location for “filmmaking in microgravity”, or “conducting cutting-edge research”.

It’s also speculated that the space station will include a “space hotel”.

The company will partner with Sierra Space and Boeing to build the outpost.

The announcement comes amid NASA efforts to find a proposal to replace the International Space Station (ISS), which is now more than 20 years old and in desperate need of repair.

This will include $400m in private contracts to space companies to help the agency replace the ageing outpost.

There is likely to be stiff competition for the funding, and Blue Origin is the latest firm to unveil their space station concept, joining space firms Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, who have teamed up to launch a station into low orbit by 2027.

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Facebook, YouTube remove Bolsonaro video with false vaccine claim



Facebook and YouTube have both removed videos from their platforms featuring Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, in which the leader makes a false claim that COVID-19 vaccines are linked to developing AIDS.

Both sites said the video violated their policies.

“We removed a video from Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for violating our medical disinformation policy regarding COVID-19 for alleging that vaccines don’t reduce the risk of contracting the disease and that they cause other infectious diseases, and that they cause other infectious diseases,” YouTube said in a statement.

Last month, YouTube moved to remove vaccine misinformation of all kinds from its platform, and has removed more than 1 million videos related to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation since the pandemic began.

Earlier this year, YouTube removed videos from Bolsonaro’s official channel where he recommended using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin against COVID-19, two drugs that are proven to be ineffective in the treatment of the disease.

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