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Article

Elizabeth Miller

conjectural early human, also known as Mitochondrial Eve, was proposed by Rebecca L. Cann and her fellow researchers in 1987 Using mitochondrial DNA inherited only along the maternal line Cann and her associates examined 147 individuals and produced a genetic evolutionary tree showing branching from two sets of individuals one set of African ancestry and a second set of mixed African and other ancestry The most parsimonious explanation of the tree was that modern humans originated in Africa from a single source which Cann and her coworkers named Eve at a date between 140 000 and 290 000 years ago Subsequent research has placed this date more accurately at approximately 200 000 years ago by comparing ten human genetic models African Eve is a mathematical model and not an actual fossil of human remains Nonetheless most scientists now agree that she is the most recent woman who is ancestral ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Manager of a hostel for Africans in London in the 1920s and wife of Dr John Alcindor. Born in London of a French father, raised by her mother's family, she trained as a journalist. She was disowned by her family after her marriage in 1911 to John Alcindor, a Trinidadian.

While raising their three children, John (1912), Cyril (1914), and Roland (Bob, 1917), Alcindor also assisted her husband in his west London medical practice, often dealing with patients herself when the Harrow Road surgery was closed.

Along with her husband, Alcindor was active in the Pan‐Africanist movement (see Pan‐Africanism), and during the early 1920s was one of only two white women to serve on the committee of the London‐based African Progress Union, over which her husband presided from 1921.

Her husband's death in 1924 left the ...

Article

Julia A. Clancy-Smith

Tunisian physician, was born to an old, well-known family of Tunis. Her widowed mother played a pivotal in her education starting from primary school. Both Tawhida and her sister were enrolled in the School for Muslim Girls, an academic institution prized for its first-class education, which had opened in 1909 in the family’s neighborhood. During the 1920s in Tunis while Bin Shaykh attended secondary school the feminist movement took off and was marked by a watershed event in 1924 Manubiya Wartani a young Tunisian woman attending a public conference devoted to the question of feminism and women s rights removed her veil and stood up in the crowd to make a speech At about the same time Bin Shaykh had a chance encounter that would utterly change the course of her life she made the acquaintance of a respected French physician Dr Etienne Burnet and his Russian wife Lydia ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Chadian medical doctor, was born on 16 June 1956 in the eastern Chadian city of Abéché Her parents were Brahim Djadarab and Fatimé Fadoul She had four siblings her brother Issa Michel and her sisters Khalié Sadié Ibni Oumar Mahamet Saleh and Rakié The entire family attended primary school in Abéché and Brahim excelled in her education Her family supported her studies and she completed her secondary education at the Lycée Franco Arabe at Abéché Her father pressured her to study English but she found the language impractical in eastern Chad Even so she learned the language which would later prove to be extremely useful when she lived in Canada Her commitment to school impressed her Chadian and foreign teachers Missionaries and her family also strongly encouraged her Since there were no final classes to prepare for the baccalaureate examinations in Abéché in the early 1970s she had to ...

Article

nurse, affectionately known as “Cherry,” was born Eumeda Powis in the largely rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, on 16 January 1939. Her father, Ferdinal Powis, was a farmer. Her mother’s name and occupation are unknown. She attended the Collington and Crooked River Schools in the parish, and later, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she went on to receive a tertiary education in Great Britain, attending Trafford College and Manchester Polytechnic. Her studies at the tertiary level established her in the field of healthcare, in which she had a distinguished career. She married Arthur S. Byfield and gave birth to two children while residing in Britain for over thirty years. It was here that Byfield did extensive work in nursing. Nursing was not her only passion, however. She was committed to community development in both Britain and her home county of Jamaica.

Byfield took refuge in her work ...

Article

Osire Glacier

the first female pilot in Morocco and the Maghreb, was born into a bourgeois family in Fez on 14 December 1936. Her father, Abdelwahed Chaoui, was an avant-garde journalist and an actor who wanted his daughter to have an exemplary education, including training in Arabic and French and in Moroccan and Western cultures (Morocco was at the time a French protectorate). From her childhood, she distinguished herself by her exceptional intelligence, impressing her teachers as well as the director of her school.

In addition to her success in school Chaoui demonstrated strong leadership skills When she was seven years old she organized a strike in her school to protest against the violence of the colonial authorities She made her young peers promise that they would not return to their classrooms until the French authorities liberated the students who had been arrested in a public demonstration in favor of Morocco ...

Article

Sandra Lauderdale Graham

Afro-Brazilian wet nurse born in Mozambique presumably in 1826, was shipped to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a slave. It is possible that she arrived after 1830, when an Anglo-Brazilian treaty against the transatlantic trade took effect. Clementina was among slaves from Mozambique who made up an estimated one-quarter of all slaves in Rio de Janeiro after 1830. Exactly when Francisco de Paula Barboza Leite Brandão, an attorney of moderate means judging by his address in the capital of Rio de Janeiro, and his wife bought Clementina is not known, but as a younger woman she earned their trust as the ama-de-leite (wet nurse) to their son. Her life was to be riddled with uncertainties.

Privileges came with the work entry into the family s private living quarters better clothes or choice leftovers from the family table but at the price of being closely watched whereas house ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Senegalese medical researcher and government minister of health, was born in 1951 in Dakar, Senegal. She attended primary and secondary schools in Dakar, where she drew attention because of her aptitude for science and her athleticism. She played on the Senegalese national women’s basketball team in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Coll-Seck received a medical degree from the University of Dakar in 1978 and commenced her medical practice the same year. She worked as a doctor in hospitals in the French city of Lyons as well as her hometown of Dakar in the late 1970s and the 1980s.

In 1989 Coll-Seck was named to the faculty of the medical school of the University of Dakar and chief medical officer of infectious diseases at the Dakar public hospital. In the 1990s Coll Seck was noticed by the international medical and public health community for her ...

Article

Dior Konaté

Senegalese scientist and specialist in artificial intelligence, was born in Dakar, Senegal. She was one of seven children. Combining her passion for sciences and her fascination for knowledge webs, Dieng-Kuntz made significant contributions to computer science research.

Dieng-Kuntz received her elementary education in Dakar and planned to be a writer, yet she became passionate about mathematics after her teachers convinced her to switch to that discipline. Dieng-Kuntz attended Van Vollenhoven High School in Dakar and at the school’s concours général, she took the top places in mathematics, French, and Latin, and second in Greek. In 1972 she passed her scientific baccalaureate with honors and congratulations of the jury. She then earned a scholarship to the Grande École Polytechnique in Paris. Rose Dieng-Kuntz was the first black African woman to be admitted to that prestigious institution. Upon graduation from the École Polytechnique in 1978 with a doctorate in information ...

Article

antiapartheid activist, medical doctor, and South African politician, was born in KwaZulu-Natal on 27 January 1949, the eldest of eight children. In defiance of popular practice at the time, her father, a rural Catholic schoolteacher, insisted that she receive a formal education. She was sent to Adams College in Amanzimtoti (then called the Amanzimtoti Zulu Training School) where she completed high school in 1967. She earned her BSc with majors in zoology and botany from the University of Zululand in 1971, before moving to the University of Natal to work as a research technician and to study medicine. Here she became involved with student politics, working as an underground operative for the African National Congress (ANC), and, alongside fellow University of Natal student Steve Biko, serving as a member of the South African Students Organisation, to which she was elected as deputy president in 1976 the ...

Article

Elisabeth Bekers

Egyptian feminist, physician, fiction writer, and political activist, was born in the village of Kafr Tahla, near Cairo, Egypt, on 27 October 1931. She was the second of nine children born to al-Sayed El Saadawi (1897–1959), a peasant family’s son who became an inspector in the Ministry of Education, and Zayneb Hanem Shoukry (1913–1958), daughter of an impoverished feudal family descending from Grand Vizier Talaʿat Pacha of Istanbul. Both of her parents were anxious to have their daughters as well as their sons educated. Nawal El Saadawi began her schooling at Muharram Bey Girls’ School in Alexandria, where the family briefly lived until al-Sayed was transferred to the small district town of Menouf in the Nile Delta in punishment for his participation in anti-British and antiroyal demonstrations. From 1938 until 1948 the El Saadawis remained in Menouf where Nawal attended the English primary school Despite his aversion to ...

Article

Werner Graebner

taarab singer, drummer, and healer, was born in urban Zanzibar. Her parents had migrated to the islands from the Kilwa area of Tanzania on the East African mainland. She is better known as Bi Kidude. Some controversy surrounds Kidude’s birthdate; considering all evidence, the latest she could have been born is around 1920. Growing up in suburban Zanzibar’s Ng’ambo area, she showed interest from a young age in taarab song, a genre of poetry sung to musical accompaniment developed in nineteeth- century Zanzibar. One of her uncles, Buda Suwedi, was a member of Siti Bint Saadi’s group, then the most popular singer in Zanzibar. Kidude attended night rehearsals at Saadi’s place, pretending to sleep in a corner or on the outside baraza bench, soaking up the songs, which still form her main repertoire today.

When Kidude was in her teens, dhows traditional Arab sailboats from all over the ...

Article

Terza Silva Lima-Neves

Cape Verdean pharmacist and politician, was born on the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde, on 22 February 1944. Her mother, Maria da Luz Tavares Gomes, sold goods at the local municipal market. Her father, João Lopes Gomes, whom she never had the opportunity to know, migrated to Venezuela in 1947, never to return to Cape Verde. Isaura Gomes was one of six children.

She attended Liceu Gil Eanes, the country’s first secondary school, graduating with distinction as the best student of her class in 1963 However she did not receive a scholarship to continue her university studies in Portugal The scholarship instead was awarded to a student with lower grades the son of a Portuguese citizen resident in São Vicente This event affected Gomes tremendously as she was a committed young student Lacking educational alternatives on the islands during the Portuguese colonial period Gomes tutored high ...

Article

Eric Bennett

Jane Goodall, the daughter of an engineer father and a novelist mother, was born in London, England. She had not received any college training in biology before taking her first trip to Africa as a tourist at the age of twenty-three. She went to Kenya, where she met paleontologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey. Goodall was a passionate amateur natural historian, and Leakey hired her as his assistant. In 1960, with Leakey's help, Goodall established a camp in the Gombe Stream Game Reserve in Tanzania, from which she ventured out each day to observe chimpanzees.

During the early 1960s, with extreme patience and slow progress, Goodall became acquainted with a group of chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika By winning their trust Goodall was able to sit among them observing a hitherto undiscovered complexity of their relationships Goodall learned that chimpanzees maintain specific social ...

Article

Irica Grant

was born to Herbert Smith and Vera Smith in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica, on 27 June 1939. After graduating from Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1958, Gordon decided to further her education at the University of Manitoba, Canada, where between 1978 and 1985 she obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master of science degree in microbiology. During the same period, Gordon also earned a bachelor’s degree in the field of secondary education and teaching from the University of South Florida. She married Donald K. Gordon, a university professor, in 1964, and the couple have a son, Kevin, and a daughter, Lisa. Throughout her career, she was committed both to her family and to community development, along with the development of science and technology, both as a practicing scientist and a teacher.

Subsequent to working as a technologist at the Government Laboratory in Kingston ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Cameroon gynecologist, was born to a Bassa family in the town of Sackbayémi in the Puma district on the coast of Cameroon. Her father had been a Catholic priest, but after his conversion to Protestantism, he married and had six children. His willingness to challenge the status quo would be followed by his daughter as she became one of the first female doctors in Cameroon. After attending primary and secondary schools in Cameroon, Gwet-Bell moved to France to attend medical school. She began to show interest in medicine at ten years of age, when she worked as a volunteer in a hospital. To help pay for school, Gwet-Bell sold perfume in a store.

After Gwet Bell received her degree from the University of Paris 5 she returned to her homeland She first worked at the Conseil des Églises Baptiste et Evangélique de Cameroun CEBEC Hospital in Bonabéri affiliated with her ...

Article

Herbert Stern

was born in Santo Domingo to Ulises Heureaux (1845–1899), president of the Dominican Republic, and Rosa Pons Rodriguez, the daughter of a physician, Eusebio Pons. As her parents did not marry, Heureaux’s birth was not listed in the official records from the time. Consequently, it is not clear exactly when she was born, although scholars generally agree on the year 1887. After Evangelina Rodriguez Perozo, Heureaux was the second Dominican woman to receive a medical degree, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Santo Domingo on 1 April 1922.

Heureaux completed her training as a free student meaning a student not obligated to attend lectures only to pass the necessary exams At that time the university was closed and the institution that supervised her examinations was the Instituto Profesional During her studies she interned at the Hospital Militar Military Hospital ...

Article

Hypatia  

Michael A. B. Deakin

Alexandrian astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher, was the first woman mathematician of whose life and work we have reasonably detailed and secure knowledge. She was active as a public figure, taking a leading part in the civic affairs of Alexandria and also delivering popular lectures on philosophy: a Neoplatonist philosophy heavily influenced by mathematics. She also taught students the intricacies of technical mathematics and astronomy. Her public profile alone was probably distinguished enough to earn her a place in history, but this has been cemented by the lurid nature of her death. She died in 415, murdered by a crowd of Christian zealots who seized her, stripped her, and proceeded to dismember her and to burn her mangled corpse. Undoubtedly this further circumstance has served to keep her name alive.

Hypatia was the daughter of the mathematician Theon and taught both mathematics and philosophy in the then Greek city of Alexandria ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Burundian scientist and educator, was born on 1 January 1958 in the Burundian capital of Bujumbura. Her father was Gaston Kadima Muende Kanumayi (1916–1981), from the Kasai Occidental province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her mother, Jacqueline Girinka Kibogora (1936– ), was born to a Congolese father, Kibogora Rutera Munzi. Her family moved to Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, in 1962. Kadima then attended elementary school in Kinshasa and Kananga. Her middle school years were spent at the Catholic girls school Institut Janua Caeli in Kananga. To further her interests in mathematics and science, she transferred to a predominately male Catholic high school, where she concentrated on biology and chemistry. The girls’ school offered little in the way of science education, and her father strongly supported her decision to search out better opportunities. Kadima graduated from high school in 1975 having scored extremely well in ...

Article

Cheryl McEwan

British traveler, explorer, and writer, was born in Islington, London, on 13 October 1862. Her father was George Kingsley, a doctor and travel writer. Her mother was Mary Bailey. Kingsley was largely self-educated at home while caring for her invalid mother. Following the deaths of both parents in 1892, she embarked on her first journey to West Africa in August 1893. She traveled from Luanda to the Congo River estuary, through the French Congo to Fernando Po and to Calabar in the Oil Rivers Protectorate, returning to Britain early in 1894. Her second journey (December 1894–September 1895) took her from Sierra Leone to the Gold Coast and Calabar. From there she sailed to the mouth of the Ogowé River in the French Congo, exploring its lower reaches in July 1895 before traveling overland from Lambaréné to the Rembwé River which she followed to the coast ...