Articles in Category: Profiles & Bios

Helen Suzman Never Gave Up

helen_suzman.jpgAppearances deceived where Helen Suzman was concerned.

The petite and elegant figure, clad in two-pieces or nicely pressed slacks, her hair Thatcher-perfect, was clearly a denizen of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, where discreet black domestics clipped the acacias and golf was played at weekends.

Houghton, rich and Jewish, was indeed her constituency, and privilege was her life. But there the comfortable impression ended. Among the solid and overwhelmingly male Afrikaners in Parliament, “baying like hounds at a meet”, she was noisy, rude, contemptuous, “thoroughly nasty when I get going”.

“A vicious little cat”, said P.W. Botha, South Africa’s prime minister, who often felt her claws in him.

“The honourable member does not like me,” he observed once in Parliament. “Like you? I can’t stand you,” came the spitting reply. Verwoerd, an earlier prime minister, a man she admitted she was “scared stiff” of, fared no better. “I have written you off,” he told her. “The whole world has written you off,” she retorted.

Jan 8th 2009
The Economist

Commander Malalai Kakar (Policewoman)

Three years ago, Kim Sengupta interviewed five women who wanted to build a new Afghanistan. As of October 3, 2008, three were dead and a fourth had fled. The first four paragraphs below are from Sengupta's article Women who took on the Taliban – and lost, recently published in The Independent.

In the case of Malalai Kakar, the most prominent policewoman in Afghanistan, an additional “crime” which sealed her fate was that she was a determined and effective campaigner for women’s rights.

Jen Jimmi (Survivor)

The link to this video came to me originally from Mrs. Ali of Dubai; she is a member of the AWR community.

As I don't understand either Mandarin or Cantonese Chinese, I asked my new Taiwanese friend Vincent to translate this woman's name for me; he said the English version would sound something like Jen Jimmi. If anyone can help me any further with this woman's story, I would be happy to have the information.

No Arms & Amazing

These videos tell the stories of four women, all of whom found a way to live "normal" lives despite facing a physical challenge that most of us would consider overwhelmingly debilitating - all of them have no arms.

The women are Stacey McInroe Conner, Jessica Parks, Barbara Guerrar, and Jen Jimmi.

Barbara Guerra (Born with no arms)

I found two videos about Barbara on YouTube; this is the second and I believe the most recent.

(They say there are only six degrees of separation between everyone in the world. I'm trying to connect with Barbara so I can write more of her story; if anyone can help me find her, I would be most grateful. Please click here to contact me. Thanks, Susan)