Celebrating Women: Past, Present & the Future
The first International Women’s Day took place in 1911, since then it has grown around the world and in more recent years the month of March has become known as the Women’s History Month.
It therefore seems a fitting time to celebrate some of the women who have made such a difference to the world of travel and beyond. We salute the many pioneers of the possible, women who have paved the way for our generation as well as modern icons empowering today’s women of the future.
Take Amelia Earhart, her brave adventurous spirit continues to inspire today. She never gave up on her dreams and found the way forward for women in a male-dominated environment. As she said, “the most effective way to do it, is to do it” and that what was she did. Other noted heroines of aviation are Amy Johnson whose remarkable determination and passion for flying led her to achieve many incredible milestones and Bessie Coleman who broke barriers by becoming the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license. To do this she had to learn French and move to France as at the time all flying schools in the United States denied her entry. Our history has a wealth of women explorers, mountaineers and travellers who have overcome so much to change the future.
Today’s heroines are using their platforms to shape the way we understand the world. Women such as Jane Goodall and Dr. Sylvia Earle are spearheading the conservation and environmental movements on land and sea. Through their exceptional determination, they are directly responsible for challenging businesses and governments to advocate for our wildlife, our lands and our oceans. Inspiring people to conserve the natural world we share is at the heart of the Jane Goodall Institute. This community conservation organisation realises Jane’s vision to improve the lives of people, animals and the environment by uniting our power to make a difference. With Mission Blue, Sylvia Earle Alliance the goal is to create a worldwide alliance that will form a global network of marine protected areas large enough to restore the ocean – the blue heart of the planet. Both are completely dedicated to helping shape our world for the better. A legacy that is being taken up by new generations.
One such is Cristina Mittermeier, who is both a conservationist and photographer. This former marine biologist turned National Geographic photographer, uses her images to bring to life the beauty of the world around us and to create a sense of urgency designed to mobilize us to protect nature and communities threatened with extinction. Her visual media platforms are a powerful expression of why we need to change our actions.
Image Credits: Cristina Mittermeier
Shining a spotlight on women, not just in travel but beyond is National Geographic’s first female Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg. She took the helm of this iconic publication in 2014 and under her leadership the magazine has been awarded some impressive accolades. But her vision goes beyond awards as she is focused on creating a more comprehensive and inclusive representation. In November 2019, she launched a year-long project on women’s impact in the world with her “Women: A Century of Change” issue. It’s no surprise that she has been recognized as a “one of the women who are changing the world”.
The last words should go to Jane Goodall, she is a true heroine of our time.
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference. The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. The greatest danger to our future is apathy. Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”Jane Goodall