Malaka Gharib

Malaka Gharib is deputy editor and digital strategist of Goats and Soda, NPR's global health and development blog. She reports on topics such as the humanitarian aid sector, gender equality, and innovation in the developing world.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, Gharib was the digital content manager at Malala Fund, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's global education charity, and social media and blog editor for ONE, a global anti-poverty advocacy group founded by Bono. Gharib graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and marketing.

It's not easy giving money to people in need.

In some countries, poor people may not have a bank account where a charity can transfer funds for financial aid. They may not have the ID — say, a birth certificate — required to cash a check at a bank.

And in an emergency situation — say, the aftermath of an earthquake — banks may not even be operating.

Could a single global digital currency — one that can be transferred through mobile phones — be a solution?

Stroll down the menstrual products aisle of your neighborhood drugstore, and you'll see a dizzying array of disposable pads and tampons in dozens of brands, shapes, colors and sizes.

Tucked away on one of the shelves, you might see a lesser-known option: the reusable menstrual cup.

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In June, an unusual email arrived in the inbox of an NPR global health correspondent.

It's a brand new ranking.

Called the Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index, it gives 129 countries a score for progress on achieving gender equality by 2030.

Here's the quick summary: Things are "good" in much of Europe and North America.

And "very poor" in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

In fact, that's the way it looks in many international rankings, which tackle everything from the worst places to be a child to the most corrupt countries to world happiness.

It's a cotton T-shirt. It costs $395. It's from Balenciaga, the luxury brand. And it bears the logo of the World Food Programme, the U.N. agency that provides food aid to disaster zones.

The shirt is part of a line of WFP-emblazoned streetwear, with some of the proceeds going to the charity. The collection, which also includes a $790 sweatshirt and $850 fanny pack, launched last year, and people in the aid community are debating: Is this a good way for a charity to promote itself?

May 23 is Red Nose Day in the United States.

March 15 was Red Nose Day in the United Kingdom.

Both are charity events involving red foam noses sold as part of fundraising campaigns to fight child poverty around the world.

The Colonial Roots Of Pimiento Cheese

May 19, 2019

Trinidad Escobar

Selamawit Lake Fenta, a midwife from Ethiopia, would like to change a lot of things about her profession — including its name in her country.

And she has made an impact in another crusade: fair pay.

This week, Fenta was one of five midwife champions selected by the International Confederation of Midwives for the International Day of the Midwife on May 5. The group picked the five from nominations submitted by members from 122 countries. The goal was to honor midwives who've made an impact in their community.

This month, one of the big news stories is about parents who bribed and cheated to get their kids into prestigious universities.

And then there's the college admissions story of John Awiel Chol Diing.

Diing, 25, is a former refugee from South Sudan and grew up in U.N.-supported camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. His family couldn't even afford high school fees, let alone college tuition.

But today, thanks to an unlikely series of events, he is a student at Earth University in Costa Rica, finishing up his fourth year studying agricultural science.

A hashtag called #ThisIsMyHustle started trending in Nigeria in mid-March after Sadiq Abubakar, 30, a small-business owner from Abuja, organized a Twitter chat for his entrepreneur friends.

"I said, 'Let's do a hashtag and let the world know what we do,' " he says. "Young Nigerians are very determined to succeed. What we hear about young Nigerian people is that we are lazy. But we are hardworking. We want to make it."

Earlier this year, millions of women lined up to form a human "wall" of protest to call for gender equality in India. The story is one of many from our blog that we're highlighting for International Women's Day — dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal.

To highlight the March 8 commemoration, here are some of the remarkable women and women's movements we've covered over the past year.

In recent weeks, thousands of women and young people in Afghanistan as well as Afghans living abroad have been protesting and speaking out against peace talks taking place between the U.S. and the Taliban.

Activists say that the views of the Taliban — whose harsh rule from 1996 to 2001 was notorious for repression of women — do not reflect the views and needs of Afghan people. They fear a Taliban return to power will undermine the progress that the country has worked to build since the regime fell nearly two decades ago.

We all need symbols to navigate the world.

Some of them are very clear, like a stop sign or a green light.

Some are not quite as apparent — like these hilariously confusing toilet signs.

And people who work in specialized fields also benefit when there are efficient icons that tell them what's going on.

When Mashiyat Rahman, 22, texts her friends about her period, she sends them the "crying" emoji to describe her mood, the "knife" emoji to describe painful cramps and the "sweat" emoji — which looks like water droplets — to illustrate a heavy flow.

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