Celebrate International Women’s Day!

March 8, 2019

2019 March 8

As you may know, today is International Women’s Day! To celebrate, let’s take a look at some of the amazing contributions that women in science have given us.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the first female physician and surgeon in Britain. She began her medical career as a nurse and fought tooth and nail against the powers-that-be to study medicine. After she became a licensed physician in 1865, male physician egos were so crushed that the laws were changed to explicitly bar females from studying medicine in the UK until the Medical Act of 1876 was passed.

Barbara McClintock working in her lab - Source: WikipediaBarbara McClintock‘s spent much of her life examining the genetic makeup of maize. Because maize individual kernels of maize exhibit different characteristics (such as color), McClintock was able to discover the “jumping gene”. Her work was initially dismissed as junk science, but later was instrumental in understanding the concepts of genetic change and genetic regulation and in damaging the pride of her snobby male scientist peers.

Dorothy Hodgkin was a UK chemist whose work led to the utilization of exogenous insulin to treat diabetes. She is credited for the development of many other scientific discoveries, but her work in the treatment of diabetes has saved countless lives. We didn’t need you anyway, pancreas!

Who is your favorite female scientist, leader, or hero (real or fictional)? Let me know in the comments below!

Want to teach your kids more about strong and courageous women? I’ve curated a short list of great gender-positive books to read to your kiddos.

One of them is even F-R-E-E!

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World
Katherine Halligan (Author), Sarah Walsh (Illustrator)

From Amazon: In this uplifting and inspiring book, follow the stories of fifty powerhouse women from around the world and across time who each managed to change the world as they knew it forever. Telling the stories of their childhood, the challenges they faced, and the impact of their achievements, each lavishly illustrated spread is a celebration of girl power in its many forms. From astronauts to activists, musicians to mathematicians, these women are sure to motivate young readers of all backgrounds to focus not on the can’ts and shouldn’ts, but on what they can do: anything!

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Debbie Levy (Author), Elizabeth Baddeley (Illustrator)

From Amazon: Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

FREE: Three Inspirational Female Scientists
Peter Fogarty (Author), Priya Kuriyan (Illustrator), Jean deWet (Illustrator), Maya Marshak (Illustrator)

From Amazon: Three inspirational female women from around the world and throughout history.

Mighty Mommies and Their Amazing Jobs
Donald Jacobsen (Author), Graham Evans (Illustrator)

Naturally, I can’t let this post slide without mentioning my own book! Mighty Mommies and Their Amazing Jobs is an engaging and easy-to-read rhyming picture book that teaches children about various STEM / STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). This book is packed with colorful illustrations by artist Graham Evans as well as creative descriptions that will pique the interest of children. Mighty Mommies and Their Amazing Jobs features awesome women in STEM / STEAM careers, which works both to encourage young girls to pursue those careers and also promotes gender positivity.

What’s your favorite “girl power” book? It doesn’t have to be a kid’s book – it can be whatever inspires you. Let me know in the comments below!

1. “Barbara McClintock”, wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_McClintock
2. “Dorothy Hodgkin”, wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Hodgkin
3. “Elizabeth Garrett Anderson”, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

1. Featured image by geralt at Pixabay
2. “Barbara McClintock shown in her laboratory”, Wikipedia
3. “Dorothy Hodgkin”, Wikipedia
4. “A portrait of Garrett in the 1860s”, Wikipedia

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