Talibanism in Technology by Deepa Kandaswamy


The article examines the global phenomenon of “technological talibanism” and seven reasons why women in science and technology have remained invisible through out the ages.

Seven reasons why women in technology remain invisible…

Most of us have heard of the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the
modern world. We also know it was built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
But how many of us know of her aunt, Nor Mahal? She invented the
device to perform attar distillation from flowers to make perfumes.
Despite 4,000 years of contribution, we do not know about most
pioneering women in technology—like Empress Shi Dun, who invented
paper, Penthesilea, who invented the battle axe, and Catherine Green,
who invented the cotton gin (though Eli Whitney holds the patent).
Florence Nightingale, the famous nurse, was also a brilliant
mathematician, and her contribution as the inventor of the pie chart that
businesses, technologists, researchers and governments throughout the
world use today, is virtually unknown.

This continues even in this ‘Information Age’ where we boast of living in
knowledge-based societies. How many of us know of Helen Greiner, a
scientist and the only woman to run a robot company in the world or of
Vanitha Rangaraju who is the only Indian woman to win an Oscar for her
technical work for the movie Shrek?
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