My top 10 news and articles for May 31st-June 6th

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Here are my top 10 news and articles I found in the week of May 31st-June 6th, as the 5th entry for the project of posting my top 10 articles weekly. The purpose of my Top 10 Article project is to share articles that I believe contain essential information for parents, potential parents, children, or anyone who care about the next generation. I ranked the articles subjectively. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!

10. No to mandatory high heel wearing at work

As a Japanese woman, I support the #KuToo movement initiated by a young Japanese lady. The movement aims to end dress codes that require women to wear high heels in the workplace. Wearing high heels for longer hours at work is hurtful and could cause potentially long-lasting and severe problems of feet, knee, and back. In Japan, where labor is in shortage, female staff more often have to engage in physical work such as carrying heavy suitcases in hotels, airports, etc.

Japanese Labor Minister stated that high heels at work is necessary, to which I don’t agree at all. Companies should not make profit or create their brand image by forcing female employee to wear high heels.  

(Source: BBC)

9. Silicon Valley parents banning technology for their young children

It’s well known that Gill Gates and Steve Jobs, among other tech executives, did not give smartphones to their children until the children reached mid-teen. In this video, more voices support their views. Two Silicon Valley fathers, creators of the apps and technology, are having their young children staying away from screens and apps. One of the fathers says that human capacities are developed not by staying in front of screen but by actually creating things using their sense. Young children need to feed their brain by going through first-hand experiences. Those Silicon Valley fathers have decided to wait until their children reach to the age when they are capable of handling technology.

(Source: BBC)

8. Tackling the Underrepresentation of Women in Media

This article sheds light on how media (television, radio, and print news) has been dominated by men, and how BBC successfully raised women’s representation in its institution. In 2015, women globally made up a mere 19% of experts featured in news stories and 37% of reporters telling stories, according to the article. The author argues that this gender-imbalanced picture of society can reinforce and perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes.

BBC has been tackling the gender representation problems over the last two years, aiming to achieve 50:50 gender representation. Their attempts have been largely successful, with 74% of BBC’s English-language programs that are involved 50%+ female contributors as of April 2019.

(Source: Harvard Business Review)

7. Teenage girls are more anxious than boys

More girls are feeling tense or nervous than boys, confirmed by research. Modern teenagers are worried about bullying, addicting, alcohol, and sexual harassment. In addition, girls are prone to overthinking a situation or incident, and the pressure can feel relentless for young girls.

So what parents can do to their daughter? Be aware that stress and anxiety are byproducts of stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Thus, instead of parents’ bailing her out by avoiding stress causes, teach her how to face stressful situation and help her to build resilience. Also, guide her to form long-lasting habit of empowering her.

(Source: Psychology Today)

6. Eid celebration and black Muslims in USA

Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr holidays on the last Tuesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This article talks about African American Muslims, among which the most famous black American Muslim is the late Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time. While black Muslims account for a fifth of all American Muslims estimated to be over three millions, black Muslims are often invisible in customary representations of the Muslim community. The author is a black Muslim American, and reveals the challenges that she and her peers are facing.

(Source: Aljazeera)

5. Where your food really comes from

A very interesting video showcasing much demanded use of digital technology for enhancing safety and transparency of food. One out of ten people eat contaminated food every day, which causes severe health impacts on those, according to World Health Organization. With growing obesity all over the world and concerns over food contamination, today’s consumers want more transparency and credibility for what they eat. This podcast talks about how digital technology made it possible to reveal food supply chain: where and when the food was produced, who produced it, and how it was transported to the final destination. For example, a company in Netherlands use digital block chain technology for their orange juice, informing consumers that the orange was produced in Brazil, delivered by truck to the harbor, and transported to Netherlands by ship. Consumers can even send online messages to the farmers in Brazil if they have any questions to ask.

(Source: BBC)

4. What parents can do so that children thrive with 21st century skills

This podcast discusses how to teach children 21st century skills and academic competences that they need to thrive. 21st century skills include creativity and problem solving skills learnt through play and project learning rather than through traditional teaching style or mere memorization. Unfortunately, many children in developing countries and some in advanced countries fail to acquire such skills. In this context, parents are playing essential roles because they are influential to their children and they are voters participating in decision making of key education policy. Given that most parents have not experienced learning those skills, today’s parents would be better off being aware of the importance of 21st century skills before their children go to grade schools, because most parents make their decision on their children’s schooling by then.

(Source: Brookings Institute)

3. Meeting Climate Targets Would Prevent Thousands of U.S. Deaths

Limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5-2 ˚C, which is in line with the Paris Agreement, would reduce death during future heat wave, according to new research. There is a growing concern over dangers that extreme heat poses to human health. Last year, dozens of deaths were attributed to heat from Europe to Japan.

Also, many lives may be saved by local government’s appropriately defining heat wave and issuing warnings, says researchers. Currently there is no single definition for heat wave, and significant number of heat-related death may occur at a time not recognized by local governments.

(Source: Scientific American)

2. Making globalization work for Africa

Globalization has not been inclusive so far. Africa has not fully received the benefit of globalization, while some emerging economies notably in Asia have caught up with advanced economies by expanding global trade since 1990s.

What should Africa do to avoid being further marginalized? One solution the article suggests is to improve its digital infrastructure and technology-related skills. Education and training programs should therefore focus more on developing digital know-how, as well as on soft skills such as critical thinking and cognitive and socio-behavioral capabilities, according to the authors.

(Source: Brookings Institute)

1.  How we can feed the world population of 10 billion in 2050

This article provides comprehensive analyses on how we can feed the growing population using technological advancements. The world population is predicted to reach to 10 billion by 2050, and we only have 30 seasons before that. Good news is that the much-needed transformation – of not just agriculture but our whole food supply chain – is already under way, says the article. First, robots are making very effective farmers, as they can spray water, control crops, and plant seeds with a greater accuracy. Robots are replacing heavy farming tractors that have destroyed the quality of soil, as robot, smaller and lighter than those tractors, can do jobs without causing troubles. Third, as a third of all food produced are estimated to end up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, technology can solve those food waste problems in many ways.

(Source: BBC)

(photo by Johann Siemens on Unsplash)