Security Culture & Monitoring

Ada Lovelace: harbinger of the modern computer

August 5, 2020

Ada Lovelace(1815-1852), the ‘Enchantress of Numbers’, was born Augusta Ada Byron, the only legitimate child of Annabella Milbanke and the poet Lord Byron. Ada has been called ‘the first computer programmer’ for writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the mid-1800s and is mainly known for her work with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine.

Her mother, Lady Byron, had mathematical training herself, and insisted that Lovelace be tutored privately in mathematics as well, which was an unusual education for a woman at the time. This study was furthered by the introduction of Lovelace to Mary Somerville, who was known as the ‘Queen of 19th Century Science’ and was the first woman to be accepted into the Royal Astronomical Society.

In June 1833 Lovelace was introduced to Charles Babbage, known as ‘the father of computers’ by Mary Somerville whilst he was working on an ‘Analytical Engine’ that was designed to handle complex calculations and Babbage demonstrated a small working section of the Engine to Lovelace. Lovelace became further involved in 1843 when she was asked to translate an article written in French by an Italian engineer, Luigi Menabrea, on the engine into English. Lovelace not only translated the article but tripled its length,adding pages and pages of notes, calculations and ideas. In her notes, Lovelace described how codes could be created for the device to handle letters and symbols along with numbers. She also theorized a method for the engine to repeat a series of instructions, a process known as looping that computer programs use today, which led to Lovelace often being referred to as 'the first programmer'. She was the first to express the potential for computers outside mathematics and her mindset of "poetical science" led her to ask questions about the Analytical Engine (as shown in her notes) examining how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool. Ada was not actually given credit for the article until 1848.

Babbage only built a small part of the Analytical Engine, which was never completed, but Lovelace’s efforts have been remembered. Lovelace was such an accomplished mathematician and programmer that her notes, all written in the early to mid-1800s,were used by Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing when he was designing the first computer. Since then, Lovelace has received many posthumous honours for her work; In 1980, the U.S. Department of Defence named a newly developed computer language "Ada," after Lovelace, and the second Tuesday in October has become Ada Lovelace Day, on which the contributions of women to science,technology, engineering, and mathematics are honoured. 

Lovelace died from uterine cancer in London on November 27, 1852.

NATO celebrating International Women's Day 2020

April 28, 2020

                                                                                         Together, We are stronger, We stand for Gender Equality

Rotary International Peace Fellowships

February 25, 2019

Each year, Rotary awards up to 100 fully funded fellowships for dedicated leaders from around the world to study at one of our peace centers.

Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops the fellows into experienced and effective catalysts for peace. The fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.

In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,200 fellows. Many of them now serve as leaders at international organizations or have started their own foundations.

Check out the Rotary Peace Map to see where our alumni are fostering peace around the world.

Our fellowships

Each year, The Rotary Foundation awards up to 50 fellowships for master’s degrees and 50 for certificate studies at premier universities.

  • Master’s degree programs: Accepted candidates study peace and development issues with research-informed teaching and a diverse student body. The program lasts 15 to 24 months and includes a 2-3 month field study, which participants design themselves.
  • Professional development certificate program: Experienced leaders gain practical tools for promoting peace and international development during an intensive, 3- month program, which includes 3 weeks of field study and peer learning opportunities with a diverse group.

See more:

Global Peace Index 2020

September 13, 2017

This annual report ranks 163 countries around the world according to their peacefulness. It has three main themes: level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarisation. There is reference to gender equality as an aspect of positive peace, but no specific mention of women’s contribution to peace-building.

It is compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) in consultation with global peace experts and think tanks, and with data gathered by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Please see the report here

The Concept of Political-Military Culture

September 13, 2017

Source: Thomas U Berger’s chapter, ‘Norms, Identity, and National Security’ in ‘Security Studies: A Reader’ edited by Hughes et al (2013)

The study of security studies is a vast and complex area, with the concept of security as a contested idea. We can refer to the political-military culture as a subset of the greater political culture within a country which influences how citizens of that society view national security, the military as an institution, and the use of force in international relations.

Cultures are not static and are open to change. When observing behaviour of individuals or groups of people from different cultural backgrounds, their reactions are likely to be different even when confronted with identical situations. We can say, for example that French or American policy-makers will respond differently to their German or Japanese counterparts with regard to the military and the use of force, if in similar geostrategic positions, simply because they come from cultural backgrounds with very different values and norms.

Gender and Private Security in Global Politics

September 13, 2017

Edited by Maya Eichler

Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations

The first book dedicated to the study of private security in global politics through the lens of gender

Advances both private security scholarship and feminist security studies by establishing gender as a key analytical category for private security studies

Employs an intersectional analysis of gender and other categories of difference such as race and class

Contributes new empirical material to the study of private security by drawing on ethnographic research

The Private Security Monitor

September 13, 2017

The Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, within the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, has a research project that promotes access to information concerning the world-wide use and regulation of private military and security services. The Private Security Monitor Project is managed in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF – see links). It has two components:

Firstly, the Web Portal which draws together all publicly-available regulations, reports, publications and data in the private security industry. Secondly, Private Security Mapping which aims to provide information on where private military and security companies are operating, what tasks they are performing and for whom.


Linked to this is a DCAF toolkit entitled: Private Military and Security Companies and Gender:

Click here for toolkit

The gender aspects and challenges of the privatization of security on a global scale are addressed. The authors argue that in order to ensure the effectiveness and long-term success of security sector reform involving private security companies and private military companies, it is indispensable to integrate gender aspects into all operations. This tool is part of the DCAF Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit series.


The following passage appears in Jacklyn Cock’s book entitled, ‘Colonels and Cadres: War and Gender in South Africa’ (1991:25):

‘A distinction should be made between the military as a social institution (a set of social relationships organised around war and taking the shape of an armed force); militarism as an ideology (the key component of which is an acceptance of organised violence as a legitimate solution to conflict); and militarization as a social process that involves a mobilization of resources for war. These phenomena are closely related. Militarization involves both the spread of militarism as an ideology, and an expansion of the power and influence of the military as a social institution.’

Jacklyn Cock wrote much of this book during the Apartheid years which was a particularly bloody and violent period in South Africa’s history. In the last ten to fifteen years, we have become familiar with the concept of peacekeeping as a means to prevent conflict. The above definitions reminds us that militarism is socially constructed and thus attitudes to such can be changed.

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