ABCnews, March 15, 2002

Wired Women's Top 10

Columnist Dianne Lynch Presents Her Pick of Top Wired Women of 2002
Special to

Mar. 15 In 1999, wunderkind Jeff Bezos was redefining business success, the world was full of 10-minute millionaires, and venture capitalists the heroes of the hour belonged to an insiders' club that was almost exclusively male.

Today, just three years later, all that has changed. Investors expect profitability, the dot-com bust is behind us, and women are major players in every high-tech sector, including venture capital.

From industry, e-commerce, academia, and public service, to the arts, the media, and social activism, women are making decisions that are shaping our lives, our understandings, and our future. While they're still not present in equal numbers, they're as much a part of the high-tech landscape as those T-shirted dot-com geeks ever were.

They're making a difference. And it's about time these women got some acknowledgement. Wired Women salutes those who created the technologies, the business innovations, the learning environments, the artistic and media messages, and the opportunities for public access and public service that make our technology-driven world the amazing place it has become.

The Top 10 Wired Women for 2002

Zoe Baird, Char Davies, Carly Fiorina, Founders of Studio XX, The Oxygen Team, Nora Paul, Mehmooda Shikeba, Ellen Spertus, Sherry Turkle, Meg Whitman

Mehmooda Shikeba, Communications Director for RAWA

Mehmooda Shikeba is one of about 2,000 members of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, a grassroots pro-democracy group whose work includes providing education, health care and economic opportunity to Afghanistan's most oppressed citizens: its women. Throughout the Soviet invasion of 1979 and the ensuing civil war, throughout the six harsh years of Taliban rule, and throughout the U.S. coalition's attacks on terrorism, RAWA has continued to provide education and health care to Afghan women and children.

It has established schools and orphanages in Pakistani refugee camps, and home-based schools in Afghanistan. Its mobile health teams have treated women and girls who could not receive care from Afghan physicians. It has helped Afghan widows find ways to feed their children. And, in 1997, it began to use the Web to share its story with a global audience. "I hope you understand the hard conditions of our struggle against brutal fundamentalists," she wrote in a recent e-mail. "I have deemed it necessary to work for the cause of Afghan women because I was witness to their unbelievable miseries." And now, thanks to RAWA and Mehmooda Shikeba, so, too is the world.


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