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Conakry Hairdressers Dispense Cut-and-Dried Contraceptive Advice to Women
Ruth Maclean | The Guardian
“At first, it is the usual hairdresser chatter. What rain we’ve been having, eh? Where are you from? What are you up to this weekend? This is the 20-year-old accountancy student’s second visit to the salon in Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
Soon Kamara’s questions become more personal. Does Bah have a husband? A boyfriend? Then she goes in for the kill. Does she know there are ways of avoiding getting pregnant?
With every manicure, pedicure and hairdo at the Miskaa Salon, clients receive a free treatment: a great deal of contraceptive advice.”
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The Complex Process of Demolishing Belfast's ‘Peace Walls’
Feargus O’Sullivan | CityLab
“While Catholic neighborhoods are typically more densely populated, Protestant ones possess a higher proportion of vacant properties, as younger, socially mobile people who grew up in these areas move to the city fringe. Catholics are more likely to be on the waiting list for public housing but cannot at present be housed on the wrong side of a peace wall. Demolishing these walls would indeed likely mean the spreading of Catholic residency across the former lines of demarcation.
Reducing such sharp divisions is—if violence is avoided—only going to improve the viability and cohesion of Belfast as a whole. It would, after all, only mean returning the city to the degree of inter-communal mixing it experienced before the Troubles erupted, and greatly reduce costs for a system obliged to maintain separate communal facilities.”
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Biking Toward Freedom With the Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team
Deni Ellis Bechard | Pacific Standard
“In Afghanistan, the bicycle has long been taboo for women. Many men believe women lack the strength and intelligence to ride, that they shouldn’t leave the home, and that the bike seat threatens their hymens (and hence their marriageability). But as Galpin explains, ‘Freedom of movement is at the heart of cycling’s controversy.’ For many Afghans, women’s biking —especially those without a male chaperone —conjures fears of promiscuity, and even more open-minded men recognize the danger of venturing out on such a provocative mode of transportation. According to Human Rights Watch, Afghans perceive women’s cycling as worse than driving and only a step above morality crimes like adultery, for which they can be jailed.”
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China’s Toad-Like 90-Year-Old Former President Has Become an Unlikely Idol for the Country’s Millennials
Zheping Huang | Quartz
“While it all sounds like fun and games, there’s more serious political yearning behind it. Jiang’s unscripted goofiness makes him seem much more human than current president Xi Jinping, his young fans say. One 22-year-old college graduate from Beijing, who asked to be called Abner, said these videos have affected his generation, where future Chinese leaders will come from. Regardless of whether those future leaders are currently toad fans, he said, they will likely be closer to the people because of Jiang’s videos.”