Edinburgh Napier University

Category: Women’s History

Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

“Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all” #BreakTheBias.

(Source: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/)

History of International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day! A global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women. It took place officially for the first time on March 8, 1911 in Denmark, Austria, Germany and Switzerland (Source). Coinciding with the female suffragette movement at the time.

The United Nations started sponsoring International Women’s day in 1975 and the United Nations General Assembly stated it was…‘To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security (Source)

March has since become the celebratory month of women’s contributions to history, science, culture and society. It started off as a week celebrated in California and eventually became a celebratory month recognised globally. The 1960s saw an increase in feminism movements which brought more attention to achievements and contributions made by women throughout history.

Break the Bias

This year’s theme is “Break the Bias”. It is asking us to stand up to the bias we see in the world and to take action! Read more on International Women’s Day at www.internationalwomensday.com/

Here at Edinburgh Napier University, there will be a number of activities taking place to show our support. We have an event on Women Working in Films & TV, this is an opportunity to network and to hear from a panel of experts in this field. The event takes place on Tuesday 8 March 2022, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the Glassroom at our Merchiston campus. More info here.

The ENU Women’s Network is inviting colleagues, irrespective of gender identity, to join them as they build on the network over the coming months. You can learn more and get involved here.

Further Reading

Want to know more about some amazing Scottish Women who have made incredible contributions, read our article Wonder Women of Scotland. Also, check out our other articles on Women’s History and Women in Science :

Women in Science

Women’s History

Women in Engineering

 

By Maya Green and Juliet Kinsey

International Day of Women and Girls in Science Friday 11th of February 2022

At Edinburgh Napier University, we want to celebrate all women and girls in science, from the past to the present day. Emerging from the shadows of history, women work together to find new inventions to improve the next generations. 

 

 

Microscope

Microscope

 

 

Here are some amazing Women Pioneers in Science that have and are helping to create a better future: 

 

  • Janaki Ammal was India’s first female plant scientist and Botanist. Ammal studied hybrid species and advocated for the biodiversity of India.  
  • Dorothy Lavinia Brown was the first African American female surgeon. She practiced in the South-eastern U.S. during the 1900s. 
  • Lauren Esposito is an arachnologist; you might be thinking what this means, and it involves a lot of legs… (a scientist who studies spiders and related animals such as scorpions)! But she is the only woman expert on scorpions in the world, and the co-founder of 500 Queer Scientists to boost awareness and recognition of LGBTQ+ people working in the STEM industry.  

 

Did you know that it is also estimated that only 25% of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) are women? This shows that girls are often stereotyped from an early age in the classroom, as boys are more likely to pursue these subjects such as Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and Computing. The sector needs to be more diverse, and Equate Scotland works with women to be more inclusive: 

https://equatescotland.org.uk/ 

 

Laboratory technician

Laboratory technician

 

 

At Napier, there are Scholarships in partnership with the British Council available for women from Southeast Asia that support their studies for health and life sciences.  

You can find more information in the links below: 

British Council Women in STEM (napier.ac.uk) 

https://www.britishcouncil.org/study-work-abroad/in-uk/scholarship-women-stem  

 

The library also has books available on Women and Girls in Science:

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma99560200102111

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma9923597423802111

 

Throughout the pandemic, women have been working on the front lines of covid-19 as scientists, health workers, and more. It is important to always recognise and value Women’s and girls’ contributions in STEM and how they are working to create a better life for us all.  

Woman’s History Month: Wonder Women of Scotland

Woman’s History Month: Wonder Women of Scotland

To celebrate Women’s History month we thought it might be nice to celebrate some incredible Scottish women both alive and sadly gone. We can only fit in a few here so if you are interested in learning more, why not look up some more information at librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

Christina Miller

Photo of Christina Miller

Source: Heriot Watt University

One little know Scottish woman whose story deserves to be better remembered is Christina Miller. Despite being born both female and hearing impaired in 1899, and later losing her sight in one eye, she battled against the norms of the time to become a respected analytical chemist. She was an inspirational teacher and mentor to generations of students.

Miller was awarded the Keith Prize by the Royal Society of Edinburgh for her scientific paper on phosphorus trioxide, and become one of the first 5 to become elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. There is even a building at the University of Edinburgh named after her.

Photo of Mukami McCrum

Source: British Library

Mukami McCrum

All-round amazing person, Mukami McCrum has lived in Scotland most of her life. She fights for women’s rights, in particular BAME and LGBT women who need support from domestic abuse. She is one of the founders of Shakti Women’s Aid and campaigns to end Female Genital Mutilation.

She was the chief executive of Central Scotland Racial Equality Council and has brought her deep commitment to race and gender justice to many organisations, including Akina Mama wa Afrika, World Council of Churches, Responding to Conflict Trust. She has an MBE for her community and human rights work.

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