5 Friyays: March 29

5 Friyays: March 29

Hey all – it’s Dr. Hinson back with our final Friyays for March! And since we’re still celebrating Women’s History Month here at Abbey Research, I’ve got an all-lady list to close out the month. Let’s get to it!

Centering Women in History

This past week I watched a new series on Netflix. It’s called ‘Rebellion’ and its two seasons cover Irish history from 1916 to 1922. In this period of revolution, turmoil, war, and violence, the show is notable for the primacy of women characters and storylines. In the telling of history, women are often excluded from periods of conflict, simply because they are much less likely to be active combatants. This doesn’t mean that women weren’t there, weren’t involved, and don’t have their own stories to tell. Though the show is more drama than history, it was still refreshing to see strong women leading and their stories shaping the other, arguably more historically significant events. For what it’s worth, from an Irish historian, it is a remarkably nuanced depiction of the complexity of Irish political life during this time. Check out the trailer below!

Commemorating Women in History

In a similar vein to the efforts to share women’s stories in ‘Rebellion’ – I love the idea of introducing more women to commemorative historical practice. What does that mean in non-academic speak? It means maybe we start building statues, or naming streets, parks, hospitals, train stations, etc, after leading women of history instead of continuing to dominate the landscape with men. When I saw this article in The Irish Times about adding more Irish women to the commemorative landscape of the country, I thought it was brilliant! One of the real ways we can work to address gender inequity is in how we teach and how we represent history.

Gender Inequity in Healthcare

Speaking of gender inequity, I thought this article from WHO on 10 Key Issues Ensuring Gender Balance in Global Health Workforce shone a different light on the concept of gender equity. One of the starkest examples of the damage of gender inequity is in the treatment of women in healthcare scenarios. This article provides all the statistics and has some wonderful suggestions on what we can do to tip the balance.

“There are many things that music can achieve – and empowerment is definitely one of them.”

Dealing with a post-Taliban Afghanistan has meant re-writing a lot of normal gender roles for women in the country. One of the ways they have provided education and empowerment to young girls is through the music program at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. ANIM’s all-female orchestra Zohra, Afghanistan’s first, traveled to the UK this month for a series of concerts and that gave the BBC the opportunity to shine some light on their wonderful programs. 

Designing (Spacesuits for) Women

We learned this week that NASA had to alter their plans for the first all-women spacewalk, due to take place today. NASA cited a lack of spacesuits in a smaller size, and since they couldn’t get another spacesuit adjusted in time, Anne McClain had to give her space to a male colleague. There are few important points I want to make regarding this. 1. It wasn’t intentionally planned to be a groundbreaking all-women spacewalk, it just so happened that way with the schedule for ISS repairs. 2. The lack of spacesuits is indicative of a much larger problem facing women across all fields. Proper equipment for many jobs from police officer to NASA astronaut is still based on the male human body as the average size. This can lead to a lot of health and safety risks, and for today’s news, led to the delay of a first ever all-women spacewalk. While it’s been wonderful to spend the month celebrating all that women have accomplished, this news came as a not so welcome reminder of all the work still ahead.

That’s all I have for my Friyays this week! Join Dr. D back here next week as we move into Spring!

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