Women In Tech
As a Las Vegas tech expert, I have seen the roles women have started to play in tech locally, nationally, and internationally. As the dad of a daughter, it has been amazing to see all the innovations women have brought to the “Tech Table.” This has been especially true in the Middle East, most notably Afghanistan; Afghanistan had been heavily ruled and affected by the Taliban regime up until the early 2000’s. In the end of 2020, girls and women in Afghanistan were heavily involved in tech; in fact, the Afghani girls’ robotics team showcased a prototype ventilator on December 22nd. “Prior to that, in November 2020, Faruqi, the team leader, was chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of the year — globally.” (https://www.unicef.org/rosa/stories/afghanistans-girls-robotic-team-breaks-new-paths) As a Las Vegas tech expert, I was excited to see women in university classes, working outside the home, etc. But all that seems to be changing, where the Taliban regime took advantage of the US withdrawal of forces to take back control of Kabul yesterday.
Prior to US Occupation
Until the early 2000’s, Taliban raged war on women. They weren’t allowed to continue school past age 8, work from home, leave the house alone to take a sick child to the doctor, be seen through a window, or even have their fingers showing while shopping. (https://2001-2009.state.gov/g/drl/rls/6185.htm) Being a Las Vegas tech expert I often keep up on news on the internet and I remember reading how women, particularly married women, who even casually talked to those of the opposite sex, could be severely beaten for interactions with others. Women also died from poor healthcare for that reason.
Post US Occupation
Women created opportunities to expand tech literacy for girls and women, created coding schools for women, and STEM non-profits that helped women become more educated. (https://www.cfr.org/event/who-run-world-girls-powering-afghanistans-digital-future, https://www.codetoinspire.org/, https://www.educationandcareernews.com/stem-education/how-afghan-women-are-building-up-communities-with-coding/#) Women in Afghanistan started to experience some of the freedoms that Western women experience, and they were creating tech innovations not previously seen in the country, which for a Las Vegas tech expert that was exciting to see. Women also experienced more equitable healthcare, mortality rate decreased, and maternal physical and mental health improved. Women were also able to more effectively teach their children.
Kimberley Motley is calling on the Canadian government to help get the girls’ robotics team out of Afghanistan to safety, so that they continue to learn and flourish. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyeyzuc50sk) Malala, who survived an assassination attempt for advocating for women’s education, is pleading with countries to open their borders to Afghan refugees, particularly women, to keep them safe. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-refugees-taliban-open-borders-malala-yousafzai/) As a Las Vegas tech expert who has loved seeing what women have come up with in regards to A.I. in Afghanistan, I hope that women can continue to enjoy the rights they gained with the Taliban regime toppling nearly 20 years ago…but it seems unlikely that will happen as girls are being forced into being child brides. I am not sure what the solution is to the fall of Kabul, but it is a very scary situation for women there—particularly regarding women’s educational rights.
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