International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

“On this International Day, I pledge the full support of the UN system to cooperate with indigenous peoples, including their media, to promote the full implementation of the Declaration.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

2012 Theme: “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices.” Here are some voices from Nigerian teenagers on their ethnic groups!

“What I love about my ethnic group is the unity among us, rich cultural heritage, their tradition, and social beliefs.” – Sharon Iyere

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“An ethnic group is a group of humans, individuals who share a common,  unique self identity. An ethnic group is also called a ”people” or a ”people group.”

Some words used to refer to a group as a seperate ethnic group are: tribe, nation, lineage, family, society, community and heritage.

What I love must about my ethnic group is our tradition and also our dressing. Our tradition and dressing is so unique!

Tradition, by the way, is the transmission of customs or belief from generation to generation. Things that were done in the times of our forefathers are still existing, like the festival that is organised annually for both adults, youth and children.

Our dressing is a very unique one that would make everybody love to be part of the group. I am so interested in the dressing, because people do not wear it everyday. It is worn occassionally by both the youth, adult nd children. The dress code is two wrapper, a blouse, big headtie and beads in both hand and neck.

What I mostly love about my ethnic group is the tradition and dressing, especially the dressing because when we come out with our dressing among other people, it looks so unique and attractive on them!” – Angela Edekin

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I’m from Edo State, my ethnic group is Edo. What i love most is their festival and masquerades;

The Edos have a very rich tradition of festival and masquerades through which the people either appease their various gods and goddesses, initiate men and women into age grades or just as a traditional get together.

The Igue Festival takes preeminence among other festivals which are celebrated in edo state. It is celebrated every December by the Oba of Benin to usher in the new year and as a thanksgiving for the outgoing one. – Omo Omoregbe

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Edo is the name of a place, people and language of an ethnic group, and it happens to be my ethnic group.

Edo speaking ethnic groups include the Esan, Afemai, Isoko and Urhobo.

WHAT I LOVE MOST is our music. Edo State is blessed with a large coterie of nationally and internationally renowned performers e.g Sunny Okosun, Peter King, Felix Duke and many others who have flown the flag of Edo State creditably.

In Edo state, there is no dance or song without satirical connotation or bearing. – Ehis Omoregbe Continue reading

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GPI Asaba awarded grant by Delta State

Tygerberg Community Outreach was one of the or...

GPI Asaba on the 14th of April 2012 was awarded a grant of N50,000 (+/- $317) by Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development.

The grant was presented during an interactive session with the heads and secretaries of Delta State community development associations organised by the ministry in Asaba. Participants included the Honorable Commissioners for Women Affairs,and Information, Chief of Staff (Government House) Dr Festus Okugbor, Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Women Affairs) Mr Mathew Ukey and other directors from the ministry. NGOs and various Local Government communities were also represented.

The programme aimed at appreciating and encouraging NGOs and Local Government communities in their efforts towards promoting societal development.

Joy in Africa, Best Sister Sisters, Master Care, International Centre for Women and Child Development are some of the other NGOs awarded the grant. Continue reading

Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 20. · Innovations in all fields (science and technology, civil society, arts and culture, sports, etc.) will be considered by the Prize Committee.

After School Peer Mentoring Project

The Anzisha Prize seeks to award young innovators who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to challenges facing their communities. The Anzisha Prize is the premier award for African leaders aged 15-20 who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to challenges facing their communities.

The Prize recognizes young people whose passion for Africa drives them to design and develop projects that transform their communities and the continent. Fifteen finalists from across Africa will win an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa to be a part of a week-long entrepreneurship workshop and conference at the African Leadership Academy campus on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The grand prize winners, selected from these finalists, will share prizes worth $75,000 USD.

The Anzisha Prize is an initiative of the African Leadership Academy in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. “The Anzisha Prize Tour”. We will hold information summits in a number of African countries to…

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Eligibility:
You must be between the ages of 18-29 years;
Videos must be a maximum of two minutes in length;
Videos which are not in one of the three official languages of the ILO (English, French or Spanish), must include subtitles in one of the ILO’s official languages. Videos without narrations (silent videos) are also accepted.
You must send the link of your video via email toyouth@ilo.org and provide your name, age and nationality;
Deadline for submission is 10 April 2012 at 23:59 (GMT).

After School Peer Mentoring Project

The ILO has launched a video contest for young people (from 18-29 years) on how the global jobs crisis is affecting them and their communities. Three winners will be offered an all expenses paid trip to Geneva, Switzerland to present their videos at the ‘Youth Employment Forum’ which takes place at the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 23-25 May 2012.

Here’s an opportunity to share with the world and with other young people like YOU, just how the global employment crisis has affected you, your friends, your family or community.

Your ideas, your story, your views

Use creativity and originality to describe (by video) how the youth employment crisis has affected you or your community. Are you having trouble transitioning into the job market? Have you lost your job or are you struggling to find one? Do you work under poor conditions? Share your thoughts and suggest an innovative idea…

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Call for Volunteers The project seeks to recruit and train volunteers (4 for Yaba, 3 each for Eti-Osa and Lekki) who will work in close cooperation with CCDI and the project consultant. Selected volunteers will receive training that will introduce them to CCDI’s project on climate change and local response initiatives, the importance of Social Media for transparency and accountability, the role of volunteers as watchdogs, and detailed expectations of their contributions.

After School Peer Mentoring Project

Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI), a partner organisation of Heinrich Böll Foundation, has been working with local government officials and community members in three local governments (Yaba, Eti-Osa and Lekki) to raise awareness on causes and consequences of climate change within their local communities and build capacity for identifying/formulating action plans to respond to the most urgent needs.

The recent weather disasters in Lagos have indicated that the new rainy season might cause more havoc to life and property than ever before. To prevent the worst scenarios or to alleviate the suffering of affected people, quick and decisive action from the part of the responsible government officials would be necessary. Meanwhile, the experiences of the project have shown that local governments have difficulties in taking swift actions because of bureaucratic and financial bottlenecks.. In order to hold the local governments more accountable and to ensure the implementation of the…

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HOW WE AS A CULTURE AND AS MEMBERS OF THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY CAN INVOLVE, EDUCATE AND INSPIRE GIRLS IN POSITIVE WAYS

This article is by GPI girl Ewanose Ikede as part of the Blog for International Women’s Day programme.

Girls need safe, structured places to learn and link to basic services that, if absent, can prevent them from learning and functioning within our society. Thus, people’s culture and the global community at large need to positively involve, educate, and inspire them with a view to bringing out the best in them, for the benefit of the society.

Everyone (especially women) needs to inspire today’s girl child by positively influencing her all round development. One of the basic roles of the society in doing this lies in the area of cultural practices. The structure and practice of the African society for instance, limits the scope of the girl in almost in all ramifications. Females in general, are basically limited to domestic functions. They are not given the chance to fairly compete with the male folks, whether politically, religiously or otherwise. The saddest aspect is that of  the few women who have been able to break into the mainstream of the society, a greater percentage of them have refused, neglected and/or failed to inspire our today’s girls either by their actions or inactions.

Some of the ways to positively inspire, involve and educate our today’s girls is for everyone to provide safe, conducive and effective environment for our girls to get inspired and educated and thus, get them involved in the general development of our society. To achieve this, girls need the following:

Physical and Psychological Safety: Safe and health-promoting facilities, practices that increase safe peer group interaction among our girls and decrease unsafe or confrontational peer interactions need to be in place.

Supportive Relationships: Warmth, closeness, connectedness, good communication, caring, support, guidance, secure attachment, and responsiveness should be provided for our girls. Thus, helping to get them inspired to exploit their potentials.

Opportunities to Belong: Opportunities for meaningful inclusion, regardless of one’s gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disabilities; social inclusion, social engagement and integration; opportunities for socio-cultural identity formation; support for cultural and bicultural competence must be given to our today’s girls.

Positive Social Norms: Rules of behavior, expectations, injunctions, ways of doing things, values and morals, obligations for service should be equitably applied notwithstanding the gender.

Support for Efficacy: Girl-based empowerment practices that support autonomy, making a real difference in one’s community, and being taken seriously. Practices that includes enabling, responsibility granting, meaningful challenge. Practices that focus on improvement also ways to educate and inspire our today’s girls.

Opportunities for Skill Building: Another way to educate and inspire our today’s girls include opportunities to learn physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional, social skills; exposure to intentional learning experiences; opportunities to learn cultural literacy, media literacy, communication skills, and good habits of mind; preparation for adult employment; opportunities to develop social and cultural capital.

Conclusively, support, opportunity, social competence and physical competence, are some the ways to positively involve, educate and inspire girls today. By way of advice,  females need to unite and work collectively for the benefit of our girls. According to an Ethiopian Proverb, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion”.

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Effects of sexual abuse last for decades, study finds

(Joan Raymond, msnbc.com) Young girls who are the victims of sexual abuse experience physical, biological and behavioral problems that can persist for decades after, a new study shows.

Researchers, who tracked a group of girls ranging in age from 6 to 16 at the start of the study in 1987 for the next 23 years, found that they had higher rates of depression and obesity, as well as problems with regulation of brain chemicals, among other issues, compared to a control group of girls who were not abused.

The study, published in the Cambridge University Press journal Development and Psychopathology, was conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Those in the study were assessed by researchers six times at varying ages and developmental stages. Researchers hope to continue the study looking at the women, who are now in their 30s, as well as their children.

The racially-diverse group of 80 girls, who lived in the Washington, D.C., area, were victims of incest, broadly defined as suffering sexual abuse by a male living within the home. On average, the girls were abused for about two years prior to the abuse coming to the attention of child protective services. Some girls were abused when they were as young as age 2.

Compared to a non-abused control group, the researchers found the study participants, all of whom were provided three therapy sessions on average in group and individual settings, suffered severe effects during different stages of their lives, which affected their sexual and cognitive development, mental and physical health, as well as their brain chemical profile. Study participants were more likely to be sexually active at younger ages, have lower educational status, and have more mental health problems.

As children, they had higher levels of cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone,” which is released in high levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response. But by about age 15, testing showed that cortisol levels were below normal, compared to the control group. Lower levels of cortisol have been linked to a decrease in the body’s ability to deal with stress, as well as problems with depression and obesity. Lower levels of the hormone have also been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The cortisol levels (of some study participants) wound up looking like Vietnam vets,” says study co-author Dr. Frank Putnam, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “That tells us they are in a chronic state of stress, and never feel safe.”

During the last assessment, when study participants were in their 20s, their cortisol levels remained lower than the control group, on average. “That tells us their stress response system is burned out,” says Putman, which could explain why some are doing so poorly in life.”

The long-term effects of the abuse “were absolutely profound,” says lead author and child psychologist Penelope Trickett, USC professor of Social Work. “It’s just not mental health issues. Some of these women are suffering from a lot of problems today like sleep issues, poor health utilization, and have a lot of risky behaviors. It’s very disturbing.”

Trickett says some women who have been sexually abused themselves have told her the findings validated their realities. “A woman came up to me once at a talk and identified herself as a childhood victim of sexual abuse and thanked me for these findings and for trying to shed light on this issue.”

She also noted that not all of the 80 women in the study are extremely disabled from their experience. In the abused group, some 40 percent are obese as adults, compared to 20 percent in the control group. “But that still means that almost 60 percent of the abused group are not obese,” says Trickett. “The groups are statistically different, and that’s important. But both groups have variability. The abused group just has more variability within the group.”

Trickett also says the findings don’t mean that once someone is abused they are destined to a lifetime of struggle.

“These women are more likely to have problems in mental health and physical health than those who haven’t been abused,” she said. “But it really varies to what degree they are disabled by these challenges. Some are managing their lives pretty well, considering what they went through.”

Though the study participants received some psychological counseling there was no specific treatment for childhood trauma and sexual abuse in the late 1980s. “Three or four sessions isn’t a lot of treatment; it’s some, but it’s little compared to today,” says Trickett. According to Putnam, evidence-based treatments, such as trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, came about in the 1990s.

“But the big question is does treatment prevent these things from happening or reverse what has happened,” says Putnam. “And the answer is we don’t know.”

The researchers hope that study data are used to develop more comprehensive treatment programs. “What is clear here is that abuse is not something that’s a one-time fix,” says Trickett.

Prevention and getting kids into treatment early is “the first step,” says Carolyn Landis, a clinical psychologist with Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. “To see how these girls suffer into adulthood is extremely troubling,” she says.

“From my perspective, this data, especially regarding cortisol levels, can help professionals identify kids who may be at risk much earlier. We need to sensitize people and then find ways to help kids be safe.”

Find the full article:

The impact of sexual abuse on female development: Lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study.
Penelope K. Trickett,Jennie G. Noll and Frank W. Putnam (2011).
Development and Psychopathology,
Volume 23, Issue 02, May 2011 pp 453-476

The Social Life of Health: A Pew research

(Pew Internet) “I don’t know, but I can try to find out” is the default setting for people with health questions.
The internet has changed people’s relationships with information. Our data consistently show that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals continue to be the first choice for most people with health concerns, but online resources, including advice from peers, are a significant source of health information in the U.S.

These findings are based on a national telephone survey conducted by Pew Research Center in August and September 2010 among 3,001 adults in the U.S. The complete methodology and results can be found at Pew Internet.

The survey finds that, of the 74% of adults who use the internet:

80% of internet users have looked online for information about any of 15 health topics such as a specific disease or treatment. This translates to 59% of all adults.
34% of internet users, or 25% of adults, have read someone else’s commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website, or blog.

25% of internet users, or 19% of adults, have watched an online video about health or medical issues.
24% of internet users, or 18% of adults, have consulted online reviews of particular drugs or medical treatments.
18% of internet users, or 13% of adults, have gone online to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs.
16% of internet users, or 12% of adults, have consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers.
15% of internet users, or 11% of adults, have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals or other medical facilities.
Of those who use social network sites (62% of adult internet users, or 46% of all adults):

23% of social network site users, or 11% of adults, have followed their friends’ personal health experiences or updates on the site.
17% of social network site users, or 8% of adults, have used social networking sites to remember or memorialize other people who suffered from a certain health condition.
15% of social network site users, or 7% of adults, have gotten any health information on the sites.


“I know, and I want to share my knowledge” is the leading edge of health care.
As broadband and mobile access spreads, more people have the ability – and increasingly, the habit – of sharing what they are doing or thinking. In health care this translates to people tracking their workout routines, posting reviews of their medical treatments, and raising awareness about certain health conditions.

These are not yet mainstream activities, but there are pockets of highly-engaged patients and caregivers who are taking an active role in tracking and sharing what they have learned.

Of adults who use the internet:

27% of internet users, or 20% of adults, have tracked their weight, diet, exercise routine or some other health indicators or symptoms online.
6% of internet users, or 4% of adults, have posted comments, questions or information about health or medical issues on a website of any kind, such as a health site or news site that allows comments and discussion.
4% of internet users, or 3% of adults, have posted their experiences with a particular drug or medical treatment.
4% of internet users, or 3% of adults, have posted a review online of a doctor.
3% of internet users, or 2% of adults, have posted a review online of a hospital.
Of adults who use social network sites:

14% of social network site users, or 6% of adults, have raised money for or drawn attention to a health-related issue or cause.
11% of social network site users, or 5% of adults, have posted comments, queries, or information about health or medical matters.
9% of social network site users, or 4% of adults, have started or joined a health-related group on a social networking site.
The social life of health information is robust. The online conversation about health is being driven forward by two forces: 1) the availability of social tools and 2) the motivation, especially among people living with chronic conditions, to connect with each other.


This report is the result of collaboration between the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Project is nonpartisan and takes no position on policy issues. Support is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The California HealthCare Foundation is an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California.
All quantitative, numerical data is based on a September 2010 national telephone survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI).
PSRAI is an independent firm dedicated to high-quality research providing reliable, valid results for clients in the United States and around the world.


Social network sites are popular, but used only sparingly for health updates and queries.
As of September 2010, 62% of adult internet users report using a social network site like MySpace or Facebook. Of that group:

23% of social networking site users have followed their friends’ personal health experiences or updates on the site. This translates to 11% of all adults.
17% have used social network sites to remember or memorialize other people who suffered from a certain health condition.
15% have gotten any health information on the sites.
14% have raised money for or drawn attention to a health-related issue or cause.
11% have posted comments, queries, or information about health or medical matters.
9% have started or joined a health-related group on a social networking site.
People caring for loved ones are more likely than other adults to use social network sites to gather and share health information and support.
More than a quarter of adults in the U.S. provide unpaid care to a loved one. Twenty-seven percent of adults care for an adult relative or friend; 5% of adults care for a child with a health condition or disability.

Caregivers are one group that is significantly more likely than others to use social network sites for health-related pursuits: 28% of caregivers who use social networks sites say they follow friends’ health updates, compared with 21% of other social network site users. Twenty percent of caregivers who use social network sites say they have gathered health information on such a site, compared with 12% of other users.

Social network sites are not a significant source of health information for most people, but they can be a source of encouragement and care. In a book about social support, Consequential Strangers, authors Melinda Blau and Karen Fingerman write about how people in our wide circles of acquaintance “offer practical assistance, firsthand information, and a special brand of no-strings emotional comfort.”

On a practical level, the vast majority of people living with chronic conditions never attend traditional, in-person support group meetings, although studies show they could benefit from such groups. Instead, people often mobilize their “social convoy” of family members, friends, colleagues, fellow patients, and fellow caregivers – many of whom are now connected online via email, social network sites, or by other means. As Blau and Fingerman describe it:

A natural network provides a safety net and puts the patient in charge—a good balance in any situation. Think of it as customizing your convoy. If people who are already on board don’t have the information, experience, or empathy you need, you enlist others who do.

In a pattern that matches this observation, people living with one or more chronic conditions and those living with disability are significantly more likely than other social network site users to gather health information on these sites. Twenty percent of social network site users living with chronic conditions do so, compared with 12% of social network site users who report no chronic conditions. Twenty-three percent of social network site users living with disability get health information on these sites, compared with 13% of those who report no disability.


Relatively few use hospital ranking and doctor review sites.
Hospital and doctor review sites have not yet become health care decision-making tools for most consumers. One national survey found that only 6% of American adults are aware of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s Hospital Compare tool. Our current survey finds a similarly low usage of such sites among adult internet users, matching trends we first reported in 2009.

16% of internet users have consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers.
15% of internet users have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals or other medical facilities.
4% of internet users have posted a review online of a doctor.
3% of internet users have posted a review online of a hospital.
Again, caregivers are more likely than other groups to engage in these activities. For example, 21% of online caregivers consult online doctor reviews, compared with 13% of internet users not currently caring for a loved one. Twenty percent of online caregivers consult online hospital reviews, compared with 12% of other internet users.

Eighteen percent of internet users living with one or more chronic conditions have looked online for doctor rankings or reviews, compared with 14% of internet users who report no conditions. Six percent of internet users living with chronic disease have posted such a review, compared with 3% of those who report no conditions. Both of those differences are statistically significant, but more importantly, they are significant because of the context of who is most likely to be a frequent health care consumer: someone living with a chronic condition.

Internet users living with disability do not report a higher or lower likelihood to consult hospital rankings and doctor reviews. However, they are more likely than other internet users to post reviews of doctors and other health professionals online: 8% do so, compared with 4% of those who report no disability.


One in four adult internet users have consulted online reviews of drugs or treatments.
In November 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a public hearing on how companies use the internet, particularly social media, to promote prescription drugs, medical devices, and other regulated products. No regulations have been issued to date. But because of this heightened interest in how consumers gather and share information about drugs, we added a new category of online reviews to the current survey and find:

24% of internet users have consulted online reviews of particular drugs or medical treatments.
4% of internet users have posted their experiences with a particular drug or medical treatment.
Fully 38% of online caregivers have consulted online drug reviews, compared with 18% of internet users who do not take care of a loved one. Seven percent of online caregivers have posted such a review, compared with just 2% of other internet users.

Thirty-one percent of internet users living with one or more chronic conditions have looked at online drug reviews, compared with 20% of internet users reporting no conditions. Six percent of internet users living with chronic disease have posted an online review of a drug or treatment, compared with 2% of those with no conditions.

Internet users living with disability are just as likely as other people to look up drug reviews, but they are more likely than other people to say they have posted their own treatment experiences online. Nine percent of internet users living with disability say they have posted a review of a drug or treatment, compared with 2% of those who report no disability.

In a separate question we find that 24% of internet users say they go online to look for information about drug safety or recalls.


One in four adult internet users track their own health data online.
Carol Torgan, a health science strategist, points out that anyone who makes note of their blood pressure, weight, or menstrual cycle could be categorized as a “self-tracker.” Add an online component, and you have the ingredients for a social health application or an electronic health record. Our survey finds that 15% of internet users have tracked their weight, diet, or exercise routine online. In addition, 17% of internet users have tracked any other health indicators or symptoms online. Fully 27% of adult internet users say yes to either question.

Wireless users are more likely than other internet users to track health data online. Eighteen percent of wireless users have tracked their weight, diet, or exercise routine online, compared with 9% of internet users who do not have a wireless-enabled laptop or other device. Nineteen percent of wireless users have tracked any other health indicators or symptoms online, compared with 11% of non-wireless internet users.

Separately, looking just at the 85% of adults who own a cell phone, 9% say they have software applications or “apps” on their phones that help them track or manage their health.


More people report being helped, rather than harmed, by online health information.
One in three adults in the U.S. (30%) say they or someone they know has been helped by following medical advice or health information found online.

Fully 44% of caregivers report that online health resources have been helpful. Adults who went through a recent personal health change – gaining or losing a lot of weight, becoming pregnant, or quitting smoking – are also especially likely to report being helped by online resources: 40% do so, compared with 28% of other adults.

Ten percent of adults living with two or more chronic conditions – unfortunately a large and growing slice of the population in the U.S. – say they or someone they know has received major help from online health information, compared with 5% of adults who report no conditions.

Just 3% of adults say they or someone they know has been harmed.

One in five adult internet users have gone online to find others with health concerns similar to their own.
The internet connects people who share interests of all kinds and health is no exception. Eighteen percent of internet users have gone online to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs. Twenty-three percent of internet users living with at least one of five chronic conditions named in the survey have looked online for someone with similar health concerns, compared with 15% of those who report no conditions.

Internet users who have experienced a recent medical emergency, their own or someone else’s, are also more likely than other internet users to go online to try to find someone who shares their situation: 23%, compared with 16%. This fits the pattern observed in Pew Internet’s other research that people going through a medical crisis are voracious information consumers: 85% say they look online for health information, compared with 77% of internet users who have not had that experience in the past year.

Internet users who have experienced a significant change in their physical health, such as weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or quitting smoking are also more likely than other internet users to have looked online for someone like them.

Health professionals, friends, family members, and fellow patients are all part of the mix.
Even with the proliferation of mobile and online opportunities, however, most adults’ search for health information remains anchored in the offline world. Most people turn to a health professional, friend, or family member when they have a health question; the internet plays a growing but still supplemental role – and mobile connectivity has not changed that.

Again, when asked about the last time they had a health issue, 70% of adults in the U.S. say they received information, care, or support from a health professional. Fifty-four percent of adults say they turned to friends and family. Twenty percent of adults say they turned to others who have the same health condition.

The majority of these interactions happen offline: just 5% of adults say they received online information, care, or support from a health professional, 13% say they had online contact with friends and family, and 5% say they interacted online with fellow patients.

People turn to different sources for different kinds of information.
All adults were asked which group is more helpful when they need certain types of information or support: health professionals like doctors and nurses or peers like fellow patients, friends, and family.

The pattern of responses was pretty clear: When the item involved technical issues related to a health issue, professionals held sway. When the item involved more personal issues of how to cope with a health issue or get quick relief, then non-professionals were preferred by most patients.

Many people find the internet to be a valuable tool, whether they are using it to search for a quick answer or gain a deeper understanding of a new treatment option or prescription. The internet is also, as this study shows, a way to tap into our instincts to gather together, help other people, and be helped ourselves.

If Paid Equally, American Women Could Afford 1.7 Years of Food, Rent for 13 Months

(National Partnership) New research shows that the nation’s gender-based wage gap is punishing American families. On average, full-time working women in the United States are paid $10,622 less than their male counterparts, and the gap costs families billions of dollars annually. If the gap were eliminated, Alaskan women could buy 1.7 years’ worth of food. Connecticut’s working women could afford 15 more months of rent. Women in Michigan could make 10 more months of mortgage and utility payments. Californian women could buy 2,100 more gallons of gas.


The research was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, in conjunction with the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The reports span all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The full set is available at www.nationalpartnership.org/epd

“This new data illustrate the very real harm unequal wages are doing to America’s working families,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “It is long past time to close the gender-based wage gap. With women playing an increasingly important role as family breadwinners, there is no time to waste.”


The majority of working mothers in the U.S. now bring in at least a quarter of their families’ earnings, and nearly 14.5 million households nationwide are headed by women. Yet nationally, women working full-time are still paid an average of only 77 cents for every dollar paid to full-time working men. The gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a cent per year since the passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. At that pace, working women won’t come close to being paid the same amount as men until 2058 — when the high school students of today will be preparing for retirement.

“This research proves that the gender pay gap is not simply a numbers issue or a women’s issue,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman, CAE. “It’s a bread and butter issue. It’s an everyday issue for people who are trying to support their families and provide for their futures. No more lip service, it’s time to act.”

“Unless lawmakers and employers make eliminating the wage gap a priority once and for all, generations of women and their families are going to continue to suffer due to unfair pay and discrimination,” Ness explained. “That’s why the re-introduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress today is so important. This legislation is critically important to efforts to end wage discrimination and ensuring that working women are paid fairly.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and establish stronger workplace protections for women, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in the last Congress but fell two votes short of moving forward in the Senate last year. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will re-introduce it today in recognition of Equal Pay Day — the day that marks how far into the new year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid the year before.

For example, these are figures from New York


New York: Working Women and the State’s Wage Gap







In New York, on average, a woman working full time is paid $40,584 per year, while a man working full time is paid $49,174 per year. This creates a wage gap of $8,590 between full-time working men and women in the state.

What does the wage gap mean for working women in New York?


As a group, full-time working women in New York lose approximately $22,340,027,689 each year due to the wage gap.ii If the wage gap were eliminated, New York’s working women and their families would have enough money for:

• 64 more weeks of food (1.2 years’ worth);

• 4.4 more months of mortgage and utilities payments;

• 9 more months of rent;

• 3 more years of family health insurance premiums;

• More than 2,000 additional gallons of gas.

The women of New York are increasingly responsible for the economic security of their families and cannot afford to face discrimination and lower wages.

• More than 63 percent of working mothers in New York bring in more than a quarter of their
families’ income,viii and 1,050,106 households in New York are headed by women.

• More than 26 percent of women-headed households in New York live below the poverty level.
Eliminating the wage gap would provide critical income to 279,328 families living in poverty.

More about Post-Menopausal Hormone Treatment from Women’s Health Initiative

Q. Can you summarize the results of the estrogen-plus-progestin and estrogen-alone studies?
A. Summaries of the findings are given below. However, be aware that the findings for the two studies should not be compared directly because of differences in the women’s characteristics at the time of their enrollment in the studies. For example, those in the estrogen-alone study had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those in the estrogen-plus-progestin study. Women in the estrogen-alone study were more likely to have such heart disease risk factors as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
Compared with the placebo, estrogen plus progestin resulted in:
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of blood clots
  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Reduced risk of colorectal cancer
  • Fewer fractures
  • No protection against mild cognitive impairment and increased risk of dementia (study included only women 65 and older)
Compared with the placebo, estrogen alone resulted in:
  • No difference in risk for heart attack
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of blood clots
  • Uncertain effect for breast cancer
  • No difference in risk for colorectal cancer
  • Reduced risk of fracture
  • (Findings about memory and cognitive function are not yet available.)

Q. What advice can you give to women about taking estrogen-alone and estrogen-plus-progestin therapy?
A. We recommend that women follow the FDA advice on hormone (estrogen-alone or estrogen-plus-progestin) therapy. It states that hormone therapy should not be taken to prevent heart disease. These products are approved therapies for relief from moderate to severe hot flashes and symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy. Although hormone therapy is effective for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, it should only be considered for women at significant risk of osteoporosis who cannot take non-estrogen medications. The FDA recommends that hormone therapy be used at the lowest doses for the shortest duration needed to achieve treatment goals. Postmenopausal women who use or are considering using hormone therapy should discuss the possible benefits and risks to them with their physicians.

Q. Are there alternatives for postmenopausal hormone therapy?

A. Alternatives exist for treating heart disease, osteoporosis, and the symptoms of menopause. Here’s a quick rundown:
  • With increasing age, a woman’s risk for heart disease begins to rise. Risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, overweight/obesity, and diabetes. It’s important to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle–this means not smoking, eating a variety of foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat, limiting salt and alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active. Sometimes, drugs also are needed to control high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or diabetes. For those who already have heart disease, the same lifestyle measures can help keep the condition from worsening. In addition, drugs also may be needed to treat heart disease.

  • The risk of osteoporosis increases as women get older. To help prevent osteoporosis, one key step is to follow an eating plan that’s rich in calcium and vitamin D. Further, moderate exposure to sunlight helps the body make vitamin D. Another key step is to engage in regular weight-bearing exercises. It’s also important not to smoke and to limit alcohol–smoking causes the body to make less estrogen, which protects bones, and too many alcoholic beverages can increase the risk for falls. Osteoporosis is treated by stopping bone loss through lifestyle changes and medication. The drugs used include bisphosphonates, such as alendronate (Fosamax) or risedronate (Actonel), and selective estrogen receptor modulators such as raloxifene (Evista).

  • Alternatives to hormone therapy exist for treating menopausal symptoms. For hot flashes, these include botanical products that contain or act like estrogens. Examples of botanicals are soy and herbs, such as black cohosh. However, limited research has yielded conflicting results on the safety and effectiveness of botanical products. Some antidepressants also are used for relief of hot flashes. They have not been approved for this use, but clinical trials have shown them to be a moderately effective treatment. Lifestyle changes can offer some relief from hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, especially those that are mildly to moderately bad. For instance, dress to avoid being too warm; reduce stress; avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine; get enough sleep; and be physically active. 

Q. How can women learn more about WHI and hormone therapy?

A. There are various sources of information, including online materials. Women can check out the following resources: