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from The Great Debate UK:

Sarah Brown on Ada Lovelace Day

- Sarah Brown is the wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a charity campaigner and Twitter enthusiast.  Follow her on Twitter @SarahBrown10.  The opinions expressed are her own. -

On the 8th of March, the web lit up with blogs and tweets and facebook messages to mark International Women’s Day. I joined thousands of women on London’s Millennium Bridge as part of a global effort to unite women to serve the causes of peace and development and was very pleased to discuss our shared aspirations for women with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama in a web exclusive for Number 10.

But somehow one day doesn’t seem enough to reflect on what women have achieved, and on how far we still have to travel along the road to equality. So we have extended International Women’s Day to a whole month of focus on gender at Downing Street and today I’m blogging for Reuters in honour of Ada Lovelace Day.

You might not have heard of Ada – but you wouldn’t be reading this without her. Everybody knows about the fathers of computing – people like Charles Babbage and Alan Turing – but it’s time to celebrate the mothers too.

Ada Lovelace was one of the first ever computer programmers and Ada Lovelace Day (tagged as #ALD10 on Twitter) is our chance to draw attention both to what she achieved, and to the women who stand on her shoulders today.

from The Great Debate UK:

UN resolution on women, peace and security: anniversary worth celebrating?

Donald Steinberg- Donald Steinberg, Deputy President for Policy of International Crisis Group, is a board member of the Women’s Refugee Commission and served on the UNIFEM executive director’s advisory council. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Preparations are now starting for the 10th anniversary of the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This groundbreaking resolution was passed unanimously in October 2000 to address abuses against women during armed conflict, including sexual violence and displacement, and to bring women more fully into conflict prevention and peacemaking.

Resolution 1325 was properly hailed as a road map to promote, among other steps, women’s full engagement in peace negotiations, gender balance in post-conflict governments, properly trained peacekeepers and local security forces, protection for displaced women and accountability for sexual violence. It urged the Secretary-General to bring a gender perspective to all peacekeeping operations and other UN programs, and called for greater funding for measures to protect women during armed conflict and rebuild institutions that matter to women.

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