Wednesday, March 14, 2018

International Women's Day Series - Nobel Women

We are midway through Women's History Month and today marks the end of the Busy Black Woman series for International Women's Day, which focused on the 48 women who have been awarded Nobel Prizes. This index post is being offered at the end of the series instead of at the beginning, in case you missed any of the posts or tweets that were presented throughout the week on the Busy Black Woman social media platforms.

When I originally thought to create this series, I wanted to honor a group of women whose accomplishments are not very well known. I already followed the Nobel Women's Initiative on Twitter, and was acquainted with the work of several women who had received prizes in Literature and for Peace. However, I was not at all familiar with the women who had received prizes in science or economics except for Marie Curie...which leads to my confession that this effort did not take off with the same enthusiasm as previous series.

Yet, that is the entire point of highlighting the work of each of these accomplished women! Regardless of our interests, careers, and passions, it is inspiring to know that there have been women who can serve as role models for the young Busy Black Women who endeavor to become scientists, physicians, or economists one day. And consistent with the theme for International Women's Day 2018, the #PressforProgress is not only found in activism. (And of course, at the end of this effort, I have a newfound appreciation for the work of women across all fields of endeavor.)

Before you click through the index, I did want to share a few of the insights I gained about the women who are featured. Although I thought it would be a daunting task to profile these 48 women, given my lack of familiarity with so many of them, once the series began and I delved into the research, I learned a great deal (and there is so much more to learn). A few of the early science Laureates were married to their co-recipients, while some of the women acknowledged that they were married to the work itself. No women were awarded Nobel Prizes in any field for the entire decade of the 1950s, and despite an increase in the number of women who have received recognition in the past twenty years, there is still a noticeable gender gap. The first woman of color to win a prize was Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, after which more women from all over the world begin to receive acknowledgement.

In the #MeToo era, it will be interesting to see how gender impacts future awards. And it would be quite the research project for someone to inquire about how gender impeded past nominees.

In addition to the links provided, there is a biography for each woman included on the Nobel Prize website. Enjoy the rest of Women's History Month!

Introduction - March 8, 2018
United Nations - International Women's Day
Google Doodle - #IWD2018
Gowns Worn by Queen Silvia of Sweden

Prizes for Physics (2) March 9, 2018
Marie Curie (1903)

Prizes for Chemistry (4) March 9, 2018
Marie Curie (1911)

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (1) March 9, 2018

Prizes for Physiology and Medicine (12)  March 10, 2018
Youyou Tu (2015)

Prizes in Literature (14) March 11-12, 2018
Alice Munro (2013)
Nelly Sachs (1966)

Prizes for Peace (16) March 13-14, 2018
Shirin Ebadi (2003)
Aung San Suu Kyi (1991) 
Alva Myrdal (1982)
Mother Teresa (1979)
Jane Addams (1931)

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