November 29th was the International
Women Human Rights Defenders Day. This means keeping
one day, every year, in recognition and remembrance of individuals
who have committed their lives to defending the rights of
women as human beings.
Take Back The Tech! is partly in recognition
of the same. In the field of information and communications
technology (ICTs), as part of science and technology in
general, women and grrls who have contributed meaningfully
to the field are rarely valued or named.
For example, Ada
Lovelace who played a significant role in developing
the potential of the Difference Engine and the Analytical
Machine (early predecessor of the computer) is obscured
by Charles Babage, who is credited with being the 'father'
of modern computers.
Hopper, who invented the first computer language composed
of words (FLOW-MATIC), has also until fairly recently, been
Even in supposedly 'progressive' ICTs spaces,
like the Free/Libre and Open Source Software (F/LOSS) movements,
women and grrls got a little fed up with the ever-present
culture of masculinities and carved their own spaces,
like Linux Chix.
There must be millions of unnamed sheroes
that we have encountered in the course of our lives. Think
of sheroes - from ordinary grrls to sacred cows - that have
made a difference in your life. Call her the shero that
she is for making an impact in how you experience life,
technology, and/or understand violence against women.
your own shero here. Send an SMS to 15 people,
telling them about your shero, and ask them for theirs.
Spray her name on walls and over the internet.
her. Honor her. Party in her name.
Some examples of Sheroes initiaves popping
up in different spaces :)