International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD event was run in 1911 so 2011 sees the Global Centenary.
International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events. 1911 also saw women's 'Bread & Roses' campaign.
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity.
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for "bread and peace" in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women's strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.
1918 - 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.
2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers. The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatre performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its
logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'. Globally there are many very large scale highly organized IWD events.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding. The International Women's Day website at www.internationalwomensday.com is a global hub for sharing International Women's Day news, events and resources. It provides a free service to women and organisations around the world wanting to share and promote their IWD activity, videos, opinions and ideas. Please feel free to submit gender-related items for the site that you consider relevant and useful.
2011 IWD Global Centenary Year
2011 is the global centenary year for International Women’s Day – 100 years since the first International Women's Day event was run. More than one million women and men attended rallies in 1911.
What about weight-for-height tables?
Measuring a person's body fat percentage can be difficult, therefore, other methods are relied on to diagnose obesity. Two widely used methods are weight-for-height tables and body mass index (BMI). While both measurements have their limitations, they are reasonable indicators that someone may have a weight problem. The calculations are easy, and no special equipment is required.
Most people are familiar with weight-for-height tables. Doctors and nurses (and many others) have used these tables for decades to determine if someone is overweight. The tables usually have a range of acceptable weights for a person of a given height.
One small problem with using weight-for-height tables is that doctors disagree over which is the best table to use. Several versions are available. Many have different weight ranges, and some tables account for a person's frame size, age and sex, while other tables do not.
A grave limitation of all weight-for-height tables is that they do not distinguish between excess fat and muscle. A very muscular person may appear obese, according to the tables, when he or she in fact is not.
The body mass index (BMI) is a new term to most people. However, it is now the measurement of choice for many physicians and researchers studying obesity.
The BMI uses a mathematical formula that accounts for both a person's weight and height. The BMI equals a person's weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (BMI=kg/m2).
The BMI measurement however, poses some of the same problems as the weight-for-height tables. Not everyone agrees on the cutoff points for "healthy" versus "unhealthy" BMI ranges. BMI also does not provide information on a person's percentage of body fat. However, like the weight-for-height table, BMI is a useful general guideline and is a good estimator of body fat for most adults between the ages of 19 and 70 years of age. However, it may not be an accurate measurement of body fat for body builders, certain athletes, and pregnant women.
It is important to understand what "healthy weight" means. Healthy weight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 19 and less than 25 among all people aged 20 or over. Generally, obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30, which approximates 30 pounds of excess weight. Excess weight also places people at risk of developing serious health problems.The table below has already done the math and metric conversions. To use the table, find the appropriate height in the left-hand column. Move across the row to the given weight. The number at the top of the column is the BMI for that height and weight.
Body weight in pounds according to height and body mass index.
Below is a table identifying the risk of associated disease according to BMI and waist size.
|BMI||Category||Waist less than or equal to 40 in. (men) or 35 in. (women)||Waist greater than 40 in. (men) or 35 in. (women)|
|18.5 or less||Underweight||N/A||N/A|
|18.5 - 24.9||Normal||N/A||N/A|
|25.0 - 29.9||Overweight||Increased Risk||High Risk|
|30.0 - 34.9||Obese||High Risk||Very High Risk|
|35.0 - 39.9||Obese||Very High Risk||Very High Risk|
|40 or greater||Extremely Obese||Extremely High Risk||Extremely High Risk|
Table Courtesy of the National Institutes of Health
source: medicine net .com
Body fat is good for you. It protects internal organs, isolate the organism thermically and softens blows.
However, obesity is harmful and excessive weight can provoke serious disorders and obese people have from double to triple the probability of dying prematurely, compared to people with normal weight.A person is called obese when the Body Mass Index greater than 30. When the BMI is greater than 40 we speak about grave obesity, which implies a serious risk for the person’s health.
An obese person has a weight that exceeds by far the ideal one estimated from a health point of view (and also from an insurance point of view).
An obese person runs the risk of a range of diseases that are linked to obesity and are more probable when the obesity level is higher.
These diseases are: diabetes, bilary calculosis, respiratory insufficiency, nocturnal apnoea, cardiovascular diseases, arterial hypertension, arthrosis of backbone and of lower limbs, fertility anomalies, cancer.
The obesity state is also a specific risk factor for anaesthetic accidents, if you need a general anaesthesia to undergo a surgical operation.
It has been proved that these risks can be greatly reduced by keeping some parameters under control. Paradoxically, among them weight will be less influential. Recent research has demonstrated that a 10% initial weight loss is enough. It is an easy goal to reach and to maintain and in time it is a sufficient factor to decrease mortality caused by obesity by 20%, decrease by 40% mortality linked to the cancer risk, and decrease by 30% mortality linked to diabetes.
So a little weight loss can bring great benefits to health. But how can we define the risk index more accurately? How can we know when it is opportune to lose weight?
After having calculated your BMI, you also need to measure the waist, as it measures the abdominal obesity level, because abdominal obesity level is another factor directly linked to the health risk of obesity.
However, waist measurement is a useful figure only when the BMI value is under 35%, because if it is greater it means that the risk index is too high. To decrease the pathological risk index linked to obesity, waist measurements should be kept below 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men.
Weight loss is therefore highly advisable when:
- BMI is greater than 30
- BMI is between 25/30 but waist measurement is greater than 88 cm for women and 102 for men
- There are pathological conditions linked to obesity (respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetes, etc) that are already in progress.
In all these cases, following a weight control program nowadays available in many hospital centres, it is possible to significantly decrease pathological risks linked to the obesity condition, even without submitting to an exhausting and inadequate diet.
source: web 4 health .info
If a woman didn't jog before she became pregnant, she shouldn't start now. The risk of injury increases. If a pregnant woman is a jogger, she shouldn't run more than two miles a day. Pay special attention to terrain and running surfaces because of connective tissue changes associated with pregnancy. And be sure to wear running shoes with suitable support.
Even if you feel yourself unable to jog you could engage in a rapid walking program. This could include a four-to-six-mile walk, depending on terrain and climactic conditions. Avoid exercise during times of high temperatures and humidity.
When selecting aerobics classes specifically for pregnant women, make sure the class is led by a qualified exercise leader who is aware of the basic physiology of pregnancy and has formal training in physical education. And as far as aerobics is a weight-bearing exercise, the risk increases for potential joint and ligament injuries and unrecognized fetal distress. Avoid exercises that involve overextension or anything performed while lying on your back.
Exercising on a stationary bike (with a fan) is non-weight-bearing and can be started during pregnancy. It is preferred to standard bicycling because of weight and balance changes. Bicycling should be avoided outdoors during high temperatures and high pollution levels.
Swimming is the most adequate aerobic exercise for pregnant women. Lap swimming, water calisthenics and wading programs are all non-weight-bearing. Women should avoid water that is too cold or too hot and should stay away from a Jacuzzi if the temperature exceeds 38.5 degrees Celsius.
Strength Training (Weight Lifting).
Training with light weights can be carefully continued through pregnancy. Proper breathing techniques are important. Most doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid weight training and sit-ups after the first trimester, especially women who are at risk for preterm labor. Lifting reduces the blood flow to the kidneys and uterus, and exercises done on your back (including sit-ups and leg lifts) cause your heart rate to drop, also decreasing the flow of oxygenated blood to your body and the baby. It's better to tone your abdominal muscles while on all fours, by relaxing and then tightening your muscles as you exhale.
These precautions can help assure that your exercise program is safe for mother and baby:
* Avoid activities with a high risk of falling, such as gymnastics, horseback riding, downhill skiing and vigorous racquet sports.
* Avoid overheating, especially in the first trimester. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise. Wear layers of "breathable" clothing and do not exercise on hot, humid days.
* Avoid contact sports and any activities that can cause even mild trauma to the abdomen, such as ice hockey, kickboxing, soccer and basketball.
* Avoid scuba diving throughout pregnancy. This activity puts the baby at increased risk of decompression sickness and may contribute to miscarriage, birth defects, poor fetal growth and preterm labor.
* Avoid exercising on your back after the first trimester. Also avoid prolonged periods of motionless standing. Both can reduce blood flow to the uterus.
* Avoid jerky, bouncing or high-impact movements that may strain joints and cause injuries.
* Avoid exercising at high altitudes (more than 6,000 feet) because it can lead to reduced amounts of oxygen reaching the baby.
* Eat an adequate diet to gain 25 to 35 pounds (or the amount of weight recommended by health care provider) over the nine months. Most pregnant women require approximately 300 additional calories a day. Those who exercise regularly may require more. Diets should include plenty of carbohydrates, as pregnant women who exercise use this fuel source more quickly during exercise than nonpregnant women.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it's also a good idea to avoid any activities that include: Bouncing, jarring (anything that would cause a lot of up and down movement), leaping, a sudden change of direction, a risk of abdominal injury. Typical limitations include contact sports, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and horseback riding because of the risk of injury they pose. If you do choose to do aerobics, just make sure to avoid becoming extremely winded or exercising to the point of exhaustion.
Source: baby art .org
- Start watching what you eat. Load up on your fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains (such as whole-wheat breads or crackers).
- Get 400 micrograms (or 0.4 mg) of folic acid daily from foods fortified with folic acid, or a vitamin, or folic acid pill before you get pregnant and in the first three months while you¿re pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you smoke or use alcohol or drugs. Quitting is hard, but you can do it. Ask your doctor for help.
- Get enough sleep (try to get seven to nine hours every night).
- If you can, control the stress in your life.
- Move your body. Once you get pregnant, you cannot increase your exercise routine by much.
- Get any health problems under control.
- Ask your mother, aunts, grandmother and sisters about their pregnancies. Did they have morning sickness? Problems with labor? How did they cope with them?
- Find out what health problems run in your family. Tell these to your doctor. You can get tested before getting pregnant for some health problems that run in families (genetic testing).
- Make sure you have had all of your immunizations (shots), especially for Rubella (German measles). If you haven't had chickenpox or rubella, get the shots at least three months before getting pregnant.
- Get checked for hepatitis (hep-uh-tie-tus) B and C, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and HIV since these can harm both you and your baby. Tell your doctor if you or your sex partners have ever had an STD or HIV.
- Go over all of the medicines you take (prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines you buy without prescriptions, and herbals) with your doctor and ask if they are safe to take while you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant.
Source: National Women's Health Information Center
Eat a healthy diet - Keep your diet balanced and include fresh fruit and vegetables. Watch your intake of saturated fats. Be sure to include low fat or non-fat dairy products to supply calcium. If your diet is lacking in some areas, consider a good womens' multivitamin to fill in gaps.<.p>
Watch your weight - Overweight and obese women have greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Increase activity - More than one-half of women do not get enough exercise. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week will provide significant health benefits. Be certain to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program especially if you are currently sedentary.
Don't Smoke - Smoking can lead to lung disease, cancer, early menopause, infertility, and complications with pregnancy. If you smoke right now, quit as soon as possible. Noticeable improvements in health will occur quickly.
Get routine screenings and tests - Early detection is important for successful treatment. Routine screenings should be completed for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and cancer of the skin, cervix, breast, and colon.
Control stress- Uncontrolled stress can lead to a myriad of health problems. It can also affect relationships both at home and work. Learn what triggers stress in your life and avoid it or develop coping mechanisms.
Taking care of your health does not have to be complicated. Natural supplements may also support a healthy lifestyle. Women's multivitamins can supply nutrients lacking in the diet or lost through the monthly cycle. Herbs like black cohosh, dong quai, evening primrose oil and wild yam may be helpful in reducing symptoms of PMS or menopause. Borage oil and fish oils provide Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Folic acid is a necessity for women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.
Source: nutra sanus .com