A Message From The Creator

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Queen Rania Women in Politics: Meet 7 Inspiring Women Fighting for Change

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Jordan

Queen of Jordan, Founder of Madrasati, Co-Founder and Global Co-Chair for 1GOAL

Issue: Girls’ education and empowerment
How she delivers for women
: Jordan’s influential, tech-savvy Queen has leveraged her role in the international spotlight to make a passionate, no-nonsense case for girls’ education worldwide. Her organization, Madrasati, has helped reinvigorate Jordan’s schools, and she co-chairs 1Goal, which campaigns for educational opportunities for children worldwide. Above all, she has been a fierce and articulate champion of girls’ potential, arguing that educating and empowering girls – and preventing early marriage and premature motherhood – creates a positive cascade through societies, in the form of economic growth, political stability, and improved health for everyone.


Women In The News

Women: Making a Difference in Nuclear Science in Africa

Despite Challenges, More Women Succeed in Science

They are successful, intelligent and determined. And for many, Sarah Nafuna and Jane Mubanga Chinkusu are the role models and the source of inspiration for women pursuing a career in science.

Sarah is a chemical engineer from Uganda and Jane is a chemist from Zambia. Both women serve as their countries’ National Liaison Officers (NLOs) to the IAEA’s Department of Technical Cooperation. An NLO is the primary contact between the Agency and a Member State on all issues related to the planning, formulation and implementation of technical cooperation programmes within the country.

As NLO’s, Sarah and Jane occupy leading positions with considerable responsibilities in the governments of their respective countries, and both have built successful careers as scientists in their respective fields. They embody the proof that women in developing countries can succeed in the field of science, and the examples they set are helping pave the way for the increased role of women in promoting change and development in this field.

Hurdling Challenges

The NLO’s from Uganda and Zambia agree on one thing: For a woman, pursuing a career in science is difficult and full of challenges.

Sarah Nafuna talks about the problems she faced as a woman in science.

“People naturally believe that science is not for women,” she said. “Sometimes, as a woman in this field you are not accepted, and you are not given a chance to talk.”

Jane Mubanga Chinkusu recalls the challenge she faced convincing her family to allow her to pursue a career in science, as well as the burdens she had to face in university.

“It was a bit hard at the beginning. You can imagine, in terms of analytical subjects sometimes you can have problems,” she added.

Not only do women have to carve their place in a field mostly dominated by men, but they also have to combine their family life with their careers. For Sarah, it was very hard to leave her family at home for a year to study nuclear law at the University of Dundee in Scotland. However, with the support of her family, she successfully obtained her Masters degree.

“Being a woman means that you will have children sometime in your life. You have to find a solution that will work,” she explains.

Jane Mubanga Chinkusu believes that most girls are put off by science because they think that the courses are very hard. “I would strongly encourage them to enter science because, if they put their heads to it, it is possible to achieve whatever they want,” she said.

Confidence, Hard Work and Perseverance

Sarah and Jane credit hard work and perseverance for helping them manage to break the odds at the start of their careers.

“When I learned that there are many other women in nuclear, I got the confidence to go out there and contribute. My family also supported me to go out and study,” explained Sarah.

Jane Mubanga Chinkusu said that loving what you do is one of the most important factors to a successful career.

“I love nature and wanted to do something that would help me keep discovering new things,” Jane said. “So, for me, being a scientist is something I really dreamt about becoming.”

At the same time, science – particularly nuclear science – is still a new field in Africa and there are many opportunities available for aspiring scientists. “The opportunities are enormous,” Jane said. “I’ve seen many women proceed on to work as nuclear scientists in other countries and for international organizations, like the IAEA.”

A Woman’s Touch

Both Sarah and Jane agreed that girls could succeed in science if they work hard. There are many training opportunities available for scientists in developing countries, and women have better chances of being chosen since there are less of them (as compared to men) working in scientific fields.

“There are a lot new things to discover in nuclear science and this field is something that every woman should aspire to be in,” said Jane.

Most women work with perseverance and passion and this can work to their advantage, according to Sarah Nafuna.

“As women we don’t only use our heads, but we use our hearts, and whatever a woman does, she does it with perfection,” Sarah concluded.

“If a woman touches something, she changes it for good. And this is what we need. We need more women in nuclear to change this world and develop this world. Especially in Africa.”

— By Iulia Iliut, IAEA Division of Public Information


Inspiration Of A Miracle Mom

By Linda Carroll

Miracle Mom Survives Massive Blood Loss To Deliver Healthy Baby

From the very first prenatal visit it was clear there was something wrong with Gina Walker’s pregnancy.
“They  couldn’t find a heartbeat,” she told TODAY’s Ann Curry. “And they told me that I most likely had miscarried.” She hadn’t – but the complications continued. “Every week there was a new diagnosis. Every week it was something new. I had blood clots, hemorrhages.”
Walker eventually gave birth to a healthy baby girl, but she nearly lost her life in the process. It took almost 35 gallons of blood and seven days in an induced coma to save the San Antonio woman who is now being called the “miracle mom.”
For months doctors were bewildered by the perplexing array of complications. Then, at 20 weeks, Walker’s physicians figured out what was plaguing her pregnancy: a rare, potentially life-threatening condition called placenta percreta.
“It’s a condition where the placenta can implant into the lower portion of the uterus and can invade the bladder,” said Dr. Jason Parker, one of Walker’s doctors and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio.
Walker was then told the scary statistic:  One in seven women with placenta percreta doesn’t make it.
“There’s not a lot you can research on the condition, so when you hear statistics like that it’s very scary,” she told Curry. “I prayed a lot.”
On February 15 of this year, Gina Walker went in to the hospital to deliver her baby by C-section.
The delivery went fine, but afterwards things started to quickly go wrong. Although Parker and his team knew that the condition could cause hemorrhaging, they were stunned by how much blood Walker was losing. She eventually went through 35 gallons of blood — the average woman’s body contains just over one gallon of blood.
“When we had delivered the baby, we encountered bleeding that was more than we had expected,” he told TODAY. “Going into surgery, our anesthesia doctors were informed of this and began immediately transfusing the blood products we had available.”
Sitting in the waiting room, Walker’s husband, Dustin, watched as the blood began to arrive.
“I started noticing cooler after cooler of blood that had my wife’s name on it,” he told TODAY. “You know, up and down the hallways, constantly. That’s when I started to get worried.”
The whole hospital was working to save Walker. “We knew that we had an OB patient up there,” said Sherrie Walker, transfusion medicine manager at University Hospital. “We knew there was a baby involved. … Everybody was working so hard and so fast to get this done.”
Knowing that Gina might need transfusions, Dustin had reached out to friends before she went in to the hospital to ask them to donate blood. The response was overwhelming.
“A lot of our friends took the idea of donating blood and passed it along to all their friends,” he told Curry. “Around the country, they go the word out. And we had several blood drives.”
Even people as far away as Canada offered to donate blood.
Gina was amazed that so many people were willing to help her.
“I don’t know how many people [donated blood],” she told Curry. “I really couldn’t tell you. I just know that it spread quickly and there were people from everywhere.”
Gina’s response to the outpouring of help?
“Thank you,” she said. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
“It was truly a blessing that everyone went out and did that. And I thank God that there are good people out there that will take the time to go do that because it saves lives.”
Because of that support, Dustin Walker has a beautiful little girl and healthy wife with barely a sign of the traumatic delivery that could have led to brain injury, paralysis or even death.
The episode has changed the way Gina looks at life.
“I don’t take anything for granted anymore, whatsoever,” she told TODAY. “Small stuff, I don’t sweat it. Because any day – it can be your last. It was a miracle. It truly was.”
Linda Carroll is a regular contributor to msnbc.com and TODAY.com. She is co-author of the new book “The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic”
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