George S. Ledyard
This is an article I wrote back in 2005. I think it's relevant...
What a great article, an excellent perspective thank you.
Here in the UK there are probably less women in high ranking positions than the US (although I stand to be corrected on this). Although my teacher is the technical head of the Ki Federation of GB, the President is Sensei Margaret Williams, she is an inspiration to all the many members in our organisation. We probably have a 60/40 male/female ratio, which may be that high, simply due to her being such a great aikidoka and great role model to both sexes.
I have spoken to 30 year plus guys, who remember the older 'harder' days of training and they all agree that using any 'strength' with her is pointless, it just gets you into trouble.
I really like the fact that aikido attracts a higher proportion of women than the other MA's. And for all the reasons, you gave in your article, there is no reason why women shouldn't feature equally alongside men in the higher levels of our art. And it is an art we practice, not a combat system.