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 (learn more about these goals here).

Geologists Christine Siddoway and Kawna Korhonen study rock formations in Antarctica (photo by Csiddoway)

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 probability 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

February 1
Afobaka Dam and Operation Gwamba (1964)
February 2
Groundhog Day
February 3
George Adamson, African Lion Rehabilitator, Born (1906)
February 4
Congress Overrides President Reagan’s Veto of Clean Water Act (1987)
February 5
National Wildlife Federation Created (1936)
February 6
Colin Murdoch, Inventor of the Tranquilizer Gun, Born (1929)
February 7
Karl August Mobius, Ecology Pioneer, Born (1825)
February 8
President Johnson Addresses Congress about Conservation (1965)
February 8
Lisa Perez Jackson, Environmental Leader, Born (1982)
February 9
U.S. Fish Commission Created (1871)
February 10
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, born (1944)
February 11
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
February 12
Judge Boldt Affirms Native American Fishing Rights (1974)
February 13
Thomas Malthus Born (1766)
February 14
Nature’s Faithful Lovers
February 15
Complete Human Genome Published (2001)
February 16
Kyoto Protocol, Controlling Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Begins (2005)
February 16
Alvaro Uglade, Father of Costa Rica’s National Parks, Born (1946)
February 17
Sombath Somphone, Laotian Environmentalist, Born (1952)
February 17
R. A. Fischer, Statistician, Born (1890)
February 18
Julia Butterfly Hill, Tree-Sitter, Born (1974)
February 18
World Pangolin Day
February 19
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)
February 20
Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)
February 21
Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)
February 22
Nile Day
February 23
Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)
February 24
Joseph Banks, British Botanist, Born (1743)
February 25
First Federal Timber Act Passed (1799)
February 26
Four National Parks Established (1917-1929)
February 27
International Polar Bear Day
February 28
Watson and Crick Discover The Double Helix (1953)
February 29
Nature’s Famous Leapers
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