Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we recognize female contributions across the globe and their impact in society. In the field of sustainability, gender equality and the education of women and girls is a crucial part of creating a just and sustainable world. Female scientists and researchers have always been and continue to be major contributors to sustainability efforts.

In the global conversation about environmental and social sustainability, climate change is a key concern. Climate change is a humanitarian crisis as well as an environmental one because environmental risks do not affect people equally.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have made gender equality a priority in many of their goals and have highlighted gender equality in goal number 5

How are women affected by environmental issues?

Although women are more likely to be affected by climate change, they are less likely to be included in the conversations to prevent climate change from happening. Across the world, women are highly underrepresented in fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Gender equity is necessary in order to advance our communities into a sustainable world. Because climate change is a global issue, we need a global and diverse community of people working to innovate and solve the problems associated with climate change.

Featured Historical Female leaders in sustainability and Environmental Conservation:

Rosalie Edge

First American woman to receive national renown for conservation efforts. Her activism gave momentum to push for the formation of Kings Canyon and Olympic National Parks, and the successful campaign to add several thousand acres of forest land to Yosemite National Park. Through incriminating wildlife organizations and their leadership, she was able to stop much of the illegal fur trapping and hunting happening within them.

Majory Stoneman Douglas

Leader in the creation of Everglades National Park. She is the Author of Everglades: River of Grass and founder of the ” Friends of the Everglades,” a leading environmental organization in Florida working to protect the only Everglades in the world.

Mardy Murie

Known as the grandmother of the environmental movement, her activism has led to the establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 1960, the passing of the Wilderness Act in 1964, and the passing of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980

Rachel Carson

Known as the mother of the environmental movement, her book silent spring brought to attention the effect of chemicals and destruction humans were causing to the planet.

Wangari Maathai

Founder of the Green Belt Movement, she helped create jobs for women while also planting trees and restoring forests in Africa.

Vandana Shiva

Environmental leader working towards more organic sustainable farming, as well as fair trade. She advocates for native seeds and biodiversity.

Julia Butterfly Hill

Redwood activist, environmentalist, and motivational speaker. She is most well known for living in a tree for roughly 2 years.

Make sure to attend UM’s film screening about Jane Goodall on March 20th. Jane Goodall is one of the most world-renowned conservationists and behavioral scientists. Her work in Gombe with chimpanzees reshaped what many people understood about primates during her time and today. The event will be March 20th in Bondurant Auditorium at 6:30pm!

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