"All day long and night, she perches on her bar stool and watches television, or smokes, or talks to a little dog. Her hands are busy, working on something small, roundish and green. Sometimes, she simply stares. Until a customer stops by, that is, drawn by the large flashing neon lights and signs with the Chinese characters, ‘man’ and ‘love’, and to what is being sold."

"How did I become a Socialist? By reading. […] Manual spelling takes time. It is no easy and rapid thing to apsorb through one’s fingers a book of 50,000 words on economics. But it is a pleasure, and one which I shall enjoy repeatedly until I have made myself acquainted with all the classic socialist authors."

"It’s no accident that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is called the Iron Lady of Africa. She was born and raised in Monrovia, educated in the United States at the Madison College of Business at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She rose to occupy high level positions, mostly in the financial area in Liberia and also at the United Nations."

"She was jailed for an entire year for her opposition to the government of Samuel Doe and then when another strongman, Charles Taylor took over in Liberia, she went into exile and opposed his government there.

"She returned to Liberia and eventually was asked to take over the leadership of the Unity Party, and it was as the head of the Unity Party that she ran for president and was elected as not only the first female president of Liberia, but the first woman to head any government in Africa."

This is quite a long transcript, covering lots of issues. There’s a much shorter interview with EJS on the TED blog (my transcript of that is here). See also biography of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the Liberian government website.

"An average of US$10 per month was handed out to a group of girls participating in the study on condition that they attended school 80 percent of the time so to remain eligible for the stipend. It made no difference to the outcome when no conditions were imposed - the girls participating in the study attended school 80 percent of the time, and in both cases the school drop-out rate also fell by 40 percent. […]

"The researchers selected three groups of girls, the first of which were given stipends on condition that they attended school 80 percent of the time; the second were given the same stipends unconditionally; the third received nothing and served as the comparison group for the study. […]

"‘This is a strong and important finding, both because it challenges the rationale for conditional cash transfers, and because it comes from the World Bank, which has been the strongest advocate of conditional cash transfers in the international community,’ Devereux [a development economist] said."

The study title was “Schooling, Income, and HIV Risk (SIHR) Malawi”, and it’s available as a Word doc. The intervention groups also showed lower rates of HIV and HSV-2 in comparison to the controls.

"Nadia and Aliya are Muslim American women who cover themselves in adherence to their faith’s promotion of modesty. Nadia chooses to cover her face with the niqab while Aliya chooses to wear the hijab."

Via altmuslimah. No transcript is provided on the CNN site, but I made one.

"On the surface it would appear that every woman should be the fierce opponent of bride price, especially considering how it has been portrayed in the world media and the way uneducated (and even educated) Nigerian men view it but to be honest, I think it is a beautiful part of our culture and should be practised PROPERLY rather than twisted and abused."

Via eccentricyoruba.

"When their soups arrived, I watched as each little girl painstakingly constructed what was obviously her personal ideal—just enough chile, herbs, salt, fish sauce, shrimp paste and locally made Lao tomato-chile ketchup to make a uniquely individual breakfast."