Tag Archives: Women Warriors

Why women have to work harder to do startups | VentureBeat

This article by Julia Hu is spot on the money. It takes money to succeed, not talents that women have proven they have. More women run successful small businesses, but anything that requires asking for funding is harder for women.

It isn’t about changing women any more. It’s about changing what is effectively a boys club for funding into something more flexible. Something that can see why women are underfunded, undervalued and RIPE FOR ACQUISITION.

Creating Passionate Users: Code like a girl

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The full text of Kathy Sierra’s seminal piece “Code like a girl” is central to gender art technology discussions.

Online campaign gathers support for Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

You can not be human and not fight for Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom. Maybe I’m setting the bar too high, based on the evidence of her imprisonment. But I refuse to believe that.

NY TIMES Book Review – This Child Will Be Great, by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Madame President

Published: May 15, 2009
In November 2005, Liberian women strapped their babies on their backs and flocked to voting tables all across their war-racked country to elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Africa’s first female president. It was a seminal moment in the political history of not just Liberia but the entire continent, where patriarchal rule has long dominated, leaving African women on the sidelines to fetch water, carry logs, tend farms, sell market wares and bear the children of their rapists, while their menfolk launched one pointless war after another.



Times Topics: Liberia


Now comes “This Child Will Be Great,” a memoir by Johnson Sirleaf, the heiress to this line of long-suffering yet rock-strong women. Her father was a lawyer, a member of the Gola tribe who — as part of a common practice in Liberia — had been reared by one of the elite families descended from the freed American slaves who settled the country in the early 19th century. Her mother was the mixed-race daughter of a German trader who abandoned his Liberian wife and child, and was never heard from again.

In the complex spaghetti of Liberian society, Johnson Sirleaf was considered by outsiders to be from the elite class. She attended one of the country’s best private schools, moved freely within the upper echelons of its social strata, reported religiously to church on Sundays and traveled to America for college. But her native Liberian parentage meant that she also knew the other side of life, the side where a vast majority of Liberians lived for the 150 years before the 1980 military coup that violently splintered the country, ending the rule of the American-Liberian class, and eventually led to 13 years of civil war.

Johnson Sirleaf tells the story of an old man who, within days of her birth, came to visit to pay his respects. The man looked at the baby and turned to her mother “with a strange expression,” telling her, “This child shall be great.” Johnson Sirleaf refers to the anecdote elsewhere in the book, usually with irony; her family would wryly remind her of it when, for instance, she was trapped in a physically abusive marriage, or when she fell into the latrine, or when she was locked up in prison by one of the various madmen who ran Liberia, with no idea whether she would be executed, raped or released.

This is the incredible story of a woman who spent her life talking tough to the lunatics surrounding her. It is an accessible walk through contemporary Liberian history, told by someone who was somehow always in the center of the political storm; during the 1980 coup, Johnson Sirleaf, as the country’s minister of finance, was spared, while 13 colleagues were executed on the beach. After another coup attempt — this one aimed at the military strongman Samuel Doe — Johnson Sirleaf was taken prisoner and threatened with execution by the paranoid Doe. When Charles Taylor invaded Liberia in 1989, Johnson Sirleaf met in the bush with this wide-eyed guerrilla, determining for herself, she says, that he was “not at all grounded in the very real consequences of the path upon which he had embarked.”

“This Child Will Be Great” will most likely not appeal to every­one. Johnson Sirleaf, whom I have interviewed, refrains from the sort of emotional detail that might allow her life’s story to resonate with readers uninterested in the “who’s up, who’s down” scales of Liberian political parties. She throws a lot of abbreviations out there, and even Liberians may have trouble with some of them.

But Johnson Sirleaf admirably conveys the hopelessness of the everyday Liberian who still worships — futilely, it turns out — the United States, waiting for the day when America sweeps in to rescue a country founded by Americans. That day never comes, as “This Child Will Be Great” demonstrates again and again. But perhaps, in electing this no-nonsense, practical technocrat as the first woman to be their president, Liberians are finally ready to make a stab at trying to rescue themselves.

Helene Cooper, the White House correspondent for The Times, is the author of “The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood.”  via nytimes.com

This goes in the must read must post Woman Warrior collection!


Ailing Suu Kyi taken to prison: reports – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Burma’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has reportedly been taken from her home in Rangoon to the notorious Insein prison.

A court will be convened at the jail to hear charges against her relating to a secret visitor to her home.

A spokesman for Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party says the pro-democracy leader will be charged over an incident last week where an American man swam across a lake and reportedly spent two days in her home.

The authorities caught him when he was swimming back.

Security measures have been been beefed up around her home as a result.

Ms Suu Kyi has been under house detention for 13 of the past 19 years since she won national elections in 1990.

Her latest home detention order is due to lapse in less than two weeks.
She has been suffering poor health in recent days.

Go Grace Hopper!

Go Grace Hopper! Yes, I know she’s dead. Like Ada Lovelace. But can you name a woman philosopher? Without googling it. Let’s get the names of great women in technology out there! Frequently. This sounds fantastic. Wish I was there.

Ada Lovelace Day – For My Daughters

I’m glad I tidied my feed reader in time to catch the post from Ideologically Impure that alerted me to Ada Lovelace Day from Suw Charman-Anderson who writes on Blogiculum Vitae amongst other places.

So, it’s already March 24th and I’m unprepared to blog about women and technology. There are some amazing women, from Hypatia onwards. Choose my tech heroine? I’ve decided to #ALD09post about… myself.

Yesterday was the first Newtown Kids Science Club day for 2009. We did robotics. Organised by myself. Many parents at the school say to me… “but you’re a science teacher… scientist… I couldn’t do that!”

No, I’m not and yes I can.

It’s time to put aside the barriers. Women in science. Women in sport. Same issue. This is for my daughters. They aren’t all sporty. Some like pink. They don’t all think that Ripley is a role model like I do. I have 4 children, 1 boy and 3 girls. They are all different.

I’ve done my share of gender neutral parenting. I’m sick of fixing my children. They are not broke or boys (bar one). It’s time to fix their society. Daughter 1 was brought up on Punky Brewster and is now an adult and into burlesque. Daughter 2 was very Barbie, so we got her a pink laptop, a pink screwdriver and sparkly pink soccer balls. She’s more like Sailor Moon now. Daughter 3 is a Dora girl, though where is Dora heading now?

I started coaching football (soccer) because I got mad that girls were expected to put up with being the only girl on the team. Never talked to. Never passed the ball. Trial by ordeal. Then IF they played better than the boys… “She’s not a bad little player. She fits in well. She’s like one of the boys.”

No parent of a boy would put up with that! So rather than watch my not so sporty daughters drop out I started coaching. I have sparkly footballs and coach a 50/50 mixed team. No one minds a bit of bling mixed in with their blood sports. Just ask Beckham! Or any other gold boot wearing boy.

I also run the school science club. “But you’re a scientist!” No.

I just want my girls to think that science and technology is something they can do, too.

We had a great day programming robots yesterday. My daughters had friends doing the same thing as they were. My son was in a class with girls. Win win situation.
… naturally enough, I’m now looking at the long list of wonderful women being posted about on the Ada Lovelace Day #ALD09 blogroll and “myself” (on page 16) sticks out like dog’s balls. That’s the point though. Let us all be empowered to be women in technology heroines – for our daughters!