International Day of Women and Girls in Science

We work incessantly to make the world a better place through conservation and environmental sustainability.  We preserve habitat, save individual animals and plants, and put up nesting structures for birds and bats.  We fight against pollution.  We help the underrepresented throughout the world get to a better life.

And we all know that the number one, absolute best strategy for effecting long-term change in the way the world works is a simple, fundamental idea:  Create equity and parity for girls and women in all parts of society.  Today’s message, therefore, addresses that simple, fundamental idea on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, declared as February 11 by the United Nations.

In 2015, the United Nations created the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, asserting, among others, that the following are true:

  • “representing half of the world’s population, [women] continue to be excluded from participating fully in the economy…”
  • “women have a vital role to play in achieving sustainable development…”
  • “gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development…”
  • “women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened…”

Some may argue that we are finished with this concern, that women and girls have achieved equality and parity in all aspects of society.  And certainly, the world has made great progress.  Under the Millennium Development goals that ran from 2000-2015, the proportion of girls in school in developing countries has nearly reached parity, and a higher percentage of children are attending school every year.

But this is a journey, not a destination.  The sciences—including conservation and environmental sciences—continue to lag behind.  The UN cites a study of women in science in 14 countries.  It shows that the probably of women graduating with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or doctoral degree in a science field are 18%, 8% and 2%, respectively.  The percentages for men are 37%, 18% and 6%.

Please support efforts to engage girls and women in the fields of conservation and environmental sciences and studies of all kinds.

References:

United Nations.  International Day of Women and Girls in Science.  Available at:  http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/.  Accessed February 7, 2018.

United Nations.  2015.  Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 22 December 2015.  Available at:  http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/212.  Accessed February 7, 2018.

This Month in Conservation

September 1
Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, Died (1914)
September 2
President Roosevelt Dedicated Great Smoky National Park (1940)
September 3
Wilderness Act passed (1964)
September 4
Fort Bragg, Home of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Established (1918)
September 5
UNESCO Established First World Heritage Sites (1978)
September 6
Alcide d’Orbigny, French Naturalist, Born (1802)
September 7
Edward Birge, Father of Limnology, born (1851)
September 8
UN Millennium Declaration ratified (2000)
September 9
First “Bug” Found in Computer (1945)
September 10
Henry Hardtner, Father of Southern Forestry, Born (1870)
September 11
World Wildlife Fund Began Operations (1961)
September 12
Canyonlands National Park Established (1964)
September 13
Walter Reed born (1851)
September 14
Marc Reisner, Author of Cadillac Desert (1948)
September 15
Darwin reaches the Galapagos Islands (1835)
September 16
Ed Begley Jr., Environmental Advocate, born (1949)
September 17
Edgar Wayburn, Wilderness Advocate, Born (1906)
September 18
Grey Owl, Pioneering Conservationist in Canada, Born (1888)
September 19
Urmas Tartes, Estonian Nature Photographer, born (1963)
September 20
AAAS Founded (1848)
September 21
Assateague Island National Seashore Created (1965)
September 22
Peace Corps becomes law (1961)
September 23
Rose Selected as U.S. National Flower (1986)
September 24
President Kennedy Dedicated Pinchot Institute (1963)
September 25
Pope Francis Addressed the UN on the Environment (2015)
September 26
Johnny Appleseed Born (1774)
September 27
“Silent Spring” Published (1962)
September 28
National Public Lands Day
September 29
Steinhart Aquarium opens (1923)
September 30
Hoover Dam Dedicated (1935)
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