Tag Archives: 22YearOld

How a 22-year-old woman helped bring down the Tokyo Olympics chief

When a 22-year-old Japanese college student launched an online campaign against the powerful Tokyo Olympics chief and the sexist remarks he made, she was not sure it would go very far.

But in less than two weeks, Momoko Nojo’s #DontBeSilent campaign organized with other activists and gathered more than 150,000 signatures, galvanizing global outrage against Yoshiro Mori, the president of Tokyo 2020.

He quit last week and has been replaced by Seiko Hashimoto, a woman who has competed in seven Olympic Games.

The hashtag was coined in response to remarks by Mori, an octogenarian former prime minister, that women talk too much. Nojo used it on Twitter and other social media platforms to gather support for a petition calling for action against him.

“Few petitions have got 150,000 signatures before. I thought it was really great. People take this personally too, not seeing this as only Mori’s problem,” said a smiling Nojo in a Zoom interview.

Her activism, born from a year studying in Denmark, is the latest example of women outside mainstream politics in Japan taking to keyboards to bring social change in the world’s third-largest economy, where gender discrimination, pay gaps and stereotyping are rampant.

Japan’s Olympic Minister, Seiko Hashimoto, right, talks with Yoshiro Mori at a meeting in December. Hashimoto has been named Mori’s replacement as president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee. (Associated Press)

‘Good opportunity to push for gender equality in Japan’

“It made me realize that this is a good opportunity to push for gender equality in Japan,” said Nojo, a fourth-year economics student at Keio University in Tokyo.

She said her activism was motivated by questions she has often heard from male peers like, “You’re a girl, so you have to go to a high school that has pretty school uniforms, don’t you?” or “Even if you don’t have a job after graduating from college, you can be a housewife, no?”

Nojo started her nonprofit “NO YOUTH NO JAPAN” in 2019, while she was in Denmark, where she saw how the country chose Mette Frederiksen, a woman in her early forties, as prime minister.

The time in Denmark, she said, made her realize how much Japanese politics was dominated by older men.

Keiko Ikeda, a professor of education at Hokkaido University, said it was important for young, worldly people to raise their voice in Japan, where decisions tend to be made by a uniform group of like-minded people. But change will come agonizingly slowly, she said.

“If you have a homogeneous group, it’s impossibly difficult to move the compass because the people in it don’t realize it when their decision is off-centre,” Ikeda said.

Proposal dismissed as PR stunt

Nojo dismissed a proposal this week by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party to allow more women in meetings, but only as silent observers, as a poorly-executed PR stunt.

“I’m not sure if they have the willingness to fundamentally improve the gender issue,” she said, adding that the party needed to have more women in key posts, rather than having them as observers.

In reality, Nojo’s win is only a small step in a long fight.

Japan is ranked 121st out of 153 countries on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index — the worst ranking among advanced countries — scoring poorly on women’s economic participation and political empowerment.

Activists and many ordinary women say drastic change is needed in the workplace, and in politics.

“In Japan, when there’s an issue related to gender equality, not many voices are heard, and even if there are some voices to improve the situation, they run out of steam and nothing changes,” Nojo said.

“I don’t want our next generation to spend their time over this issue.” 

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22-year-old P.E.I. woman having hysterectomy in hopes of ending endometriosis pain

Rebecca McCourt says she’s been in pain nearly every day, since she was 12 years old. 

When she was 14, McCourt had surgery for what her family and her doctors suspected was appendicitis. 

Doctors removed her appendix, but the surgery did not end her pain and not long after, in 2011, she was diagnosed with endometriosis. 

“At this point, I’m ready to move on with my life,” McCourt says. 

Endometriosis is a disease where endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, is found in other parts of the body, said Dr. Christina Williams, with the B.C. Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis. She specializes in pelvic ultrasounds and surgical management of gynecological conditions.

I feel like I was really … robbed of my teen and young adult years.— Rebecca McCourt

If the endometrial tissue is found outside of the uterus it’s most commonly found within the pelvic area, but in some cases it has been found in other areas of the body, Williams said. 

The symptoms can include severe pain with periods, chronic pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and pain with bowel movements — especially during periods, she said.

Since 2011, McCourt said she has undergone eight laparoscopy procedures, during which doctors have burned off the painful, errant tissue from her pelvic area to offer her temporary relief. However, the tissue, McCourt said, always seems to come back. 

To recover from these procedures, McCourt has often been forced to take time off from school. 

That’s in addition to about a week per month that she’s been forced to take off to cope with pain and fatigue. 

“I feel like I was really … robbed of my teen and young adult years,” she said. 


In addition to the growth of endometrial tissue in her pelvic area, McCourt said, another symptom is ovarian cysts.

Each year, McCourt said she can expect between three and four cyst ruptures. These are sharp, painful episodes where cysts, which present on one or both ovaries, rupture and often result in hospital visits and pain medication. 

Now, McCourt and her doctors are taking the next step in trying to find her relief. The 22-year-old is scheduled to have a hysterectomy on Sept. 4. McCourt is also having both her fallopian tubes and one ovary removed.

“A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterine body,” Williams said.  

McCourt says she’s endured eight surgeries related to her endometriosis since she was 14 years old. (Submitted by Rebecca McCourt)

When a hysterectomy is considered for endometriosis pain the uterus and the endometriosis found outside the uterus should be removed together according to SOGC recommendations, she said. 

Hysterectomies as a stand-alone treatment are not guaranteed to relieve patients of pain caused by endometriosis, according to Williams. 

McCourt said the decision to have a hysterectomy was made over a long time, with years of ongoing discussion between her and her doctor.

I don’t think the general population has even a general understanding of the disease and what it does.— Rebecca McCourt

During that time, McCourt also went through several hormone treatments including oral contraceptives and hormone injections. 

When it comes to treating endometriosis, Williams said, hysterectomies are not the first line of treatment. 

“Most gynecologists agree that hormones should be used first because they’re reversible. And that’s the recommendation from the SOGC.” 

McCourt wants people to know her story, to understand how difficult it’s been. 

“It’s important to have these conversations because I don’t think the general population has even a general understanding of the disease and what it does,” McCourt said. 

In the future, she said she’d like to see increased research, education, and awareness of endometriosis. 

No cure 

Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis and it is not considered to be a life-threatening condition, said Philippa Bridge-Cook, of the Endometriosis Network of Canada. 

The organization has been providing support and education for people living with endometriosis across the country since 2012.

“There was a real need for it because nobody was doing that sort of thing in Canada,” she said. 

About one in 10 females has endometriosis, but it can also occur in the transgender community and in extremely rare cases, even men, Bridge-Cook and Williams agreed. 

A lot of women, at first, don’t realize that what they’re experiencing is abnormal— Philippa Bridge-Cook

Most women with endometriosis can expect to see several doctors over many years before a diagnosis is made, Bridge-Cook said. 

“It’s not that there’s a complete lack of research in Canada or around the world, but if you look at the cost of endometriosis in terms of health-care costs, lost work productivity and all of the costs all together it’s comparable to other chronic diseases,” Bridge-Cook said.

This diagram illustrates endometrial tissue (the purple spots), found outside the uterus. (Submitted by Christina Williams)

‘Women’s pain being dismissed’

“Pain with periods is a major symptom of endometriosis. A lot of women don’t know what pain is normal for a period … and there isn’t a lot of education,” she said. 

“There’s a lot of studies about women’s pain being dismissed.”

I am happy that I’m getting it done. But at the same time it’s almost like a grieving process.— Rebecca McCourt

Williams said she’s noticed a positive shift in research around the disease.

“So I believe there is room for improvement. But at least in the last 10 years, we’ve seen a definite increase in interest in learning where the pain is coming from,” Williams said. 

‘Urgent for me’

“It’s not [considered] urgent. It feels like it’s urgent for me but it’s not seen that way,” McCourt said. 

While McCourt is looking forward to the prospect of pain relief with her upcoming surgery, she said the decision has been “bittersweet.”

By undergoing the procedure McCourt will not be able to have her own biological children.

“I am happy that I’m getting it done. But at the same time it’s almost like a grieving process,” she said. “But it’s worth it, if it’s going to help.”

More P.E.I. news

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CBC | Health News

‘I want to keep my daughter at home,’ says mother of 22-year-old with epilepsy

The mother of a 22-year-old woman with severe epilepsy, who has been fighting to keep her daughter living at home, fears she may have to send her to an institution or a stranger’s home.

Renee Marlatt, 42, says she’s at the end of her rope trying to get funding from the Fraser Health Authority to provide care for her daughter Tavia Marlatt at their Langley home.

Tavia Marlatt’s condition means she can’t live on her own. She can have dozens of seizures each day, sometimes up to 50. As well, she has borderline personality disorder and cognitive deficits.

The young woman doesn’t work and needs supervision.

“I feel frustrated with myself that I can’t get her the help,” says Renee Marlatt, who works with children with complex needs in the Surrey School District. “It breaks my heart.”

Marlatt says Fraser Health has turned down funding for her family to organize in-home care for her daughter, telling her instead that the authority would fund care and housing for Tavia either in someone else’s home, or at a government-run facility.

Marlatt wants to look after Tavia Marlatt herself. Her daughter wants this too.

Tavia Marlatt has a seizure while in conversation with the CBC’s Eric Rankin.

 Tavia Marlatt suffers a seizure when asked about dealing with severe epilepsy. 1:04

In a statement, Fraser Health told CBC: “In cases where clients have specialized needs that cannot be optimally met with assistance from a community support worker, require additional supervision or are unable to live independently, a Community Support Home is offered as an option, as many of these caregivers are highly trained to deal with complex care needs.

“Should a client decline Community Support Home services, they can continue to receive support through the Acquired Brain Injury program, which can include rehabilitation support and respite for caregivers.”

‘Just put her in care’

Marlatt said she feels pressure to put her daughter in an institution.

“I constantly get told ‘Just put her in care. If you did that you wouldn’t have to go through any of this,'” says Marlatt.

Tavia Marlatt can be difficult to deal with, her mother said, combative and non-compliant.

Her seizures range in severity from partial to major and can last several minutes. She has had many serious falls and injuries requiring hospitalization. She recently broke her her jaw in four places in a fall. 

Tavia Marlatt says she often doesn’t remember when she’s had a seizure, and when she comes out of one, can start a fight.

‘I don’t feel 22’

Tavia Marlatt fills out seizure diary. Her seizures range in severity from partial to major. She’s had many serious falls. (Eric Rankin/CBC)

“My mum is the only one that can get through to me,” she said. “She’s able to talk me through…I don’t think a stranger would do that.”

Tavia Marlatt says the epilepsy has put stress on her brain and caused it to deteriorate. That, combined with her mental illness makes her feel she is a burden.

“Over the years, the more seizures I have, the less and less I’ll be able to take care of myself, which is scary,” Tavia Marlatt said.

“I don’t feel 22, I feel a lot older, because I have no memory, basically.”

‘Pennies to the dollar’

Kim Davidson, the executive director of the B.C. Epilepsy Society, said the family is falling through the cracks.

Davidson said the society, which advocates for 40,000 people in B.C. with epilepsy, supports Marlatt’s quest for support.

 “If an adult child can remain in the home, and the family can provide that care, that’s where we need it,” Davidson said.

Kim Davidson of the B.C. Epilepsy Society says it would be cheaper for the government to finance care for Tavia Marlatt in her family home than at a government-run institution or a home shared with strangers. (Nicolas Amaya/CBC)

Keeping Tavia Marlatt at home is also a cheaper option, she said.

“Under the care of her mother, it is pennies to the dollar, [compared] with if they took her into the system, into an institution where she’s going to be cared for by strangers,” she said.

Davidson says that if Tavia Marlatt were diagnosed with autism there is no question her family would get funding to support her at home, noting 30 per cent of people with autism suffer epilepsy. 

Last week, Marlatt asked the B.C. Office of the Ombudperson’s office to look into the problem. She is planning to file a complaint under B.C.’s human rights legislation, alleging discrimination based on mental and physical disabilities.

With files from the CBC’s Eric Rankin


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NASA Makes New Discovery With 22-Year-Old Galileo Data From Ganymede

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Jupiter has a whopping 69 moons, and you don’t hear a lot about the largest of them. It may not have the icy sheets of Europa or the geysers of Enceladus, but Ganymede is remarkable in its own right. In fact, it may be even more interesting than we thought. NASA researchers have gone over telemetry from a 1996 Ganymede flyby in order to analyze some data that sat ignored all these years.

Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter, but if it were orbiting the sun, we’d undoubtedly label it as a planet (no Pluto uncertainty here). It’s the ninth largest object in the solar system if you count the sun — even bigger than the planet Mercury. Astronomers also think Ganymede has a subsurface ocean that could contain more water than all of Earth’s oceans. An object this large in orbit of Jupiter is bound to have some unusual properties, and now we’re finding out just how unusual.

On June 26, 1996, the Galileo spacecraft made its first of six flybys of Ganymede. This probe checked out several moons, as well as Jupiter itself. It confirmed that Ganymede has a magnetic field, which was a surprise to the scientific community 22 years ago. No one expected that a moon in orbit of a planet like Jupiter could have its own magnetosphere. On Earth, our magnetic field protects the surface from harsh solar radiation, and it’s unlikely life would exist on Earth without it. On Ganymede, the magnetic field is likely a result of the moon’s shifting liquid iron core.

Galileo includes an instrument called the Plasma Subsystem (PLS), which it used to measure the density, flow, and temperature of plasma in the Jovian system. Somehow, no one took a close look at the PLS data from Ganymede all these years, but now it’s published thanks to a study led by NASA’s Glyn Collinson. The nature of plasma (charged particles) around Ganymede can actually tell us a great deal about its magnetic field. 

Whereas the solar wind controls the shape and intensity of Earth’s magnetosphere, Ganymede is tucked away inside Jupiter’s magnetic field. Thus, the flow of plasma around Jupiter bends Ganymede’s field into an unusual shape. The study describes Ganymede’s magnetosphere as a flattened horn shape pointing in the direction of its orbit. The waves of plasma could also explain unusually bright auroras seen in Ganymede’s polar regions. These particles rain down at the poles, causing charged water molecules to shoot back up.

Scientists also suspect that Ganymede’s subsurface ocean could play a role in the generation of its magnetic field. That force may also interact with Jupiter’s magnetosphere in unknown ways. There’s still more analysis to do with the PLS data, but we should have much more information on Ganymede in a few years. The ESA plans to launch a mission called JUICE to explore Jupiter’s moons in 2022.

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