08 Mar 5 of the most important women explorers of the s. XIX and XX
Invisibility of women throughout history in many of the scientific fields has been a reality until not so long ago. In fact, a superficial search in any internet search engine or related book is enough to realize that, beyond Marie Curie, by all known, few women have been recognized their value and achievements. Today, March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, we gave our small tribute to five explorers who achieved great milestones despite the difficulties and impediments suffered
May Sheldon (1847-1936): Beyond her training and profession as an editor, writer and ethnologist, May Sheldon’s fame came from the expedition to Africa alone, integrating among the indigenous peoples around Lake Chala. Thanks to this he not only received many awards, but also the recognition of the Royal Geographical Society in 1892, being one of the first 15 women to be a member of this club.
Delia Akeley (1869-1970): After many years of expeditions with her husband Carl Adeley, from 1924 and after his divorce, he continued to explore Africa and getting to know the cultures present there, even living with them. . He was one of the first people to explore the Chalbi desert or cross the Tana river by canoe.
Mary Kingsley (1862-1900): Although her “destiny” as a woman was to take care of her sick mother, the death of her and her father barely 5 weeks apart brought her the opportunity she had always dreamed of. From 1893 he began to travel to Africa where he lived with native tribes, some of them cannibals, climbed Mount Cameroon on a previously unknown route and sailed the Ogooué River discovering new species hitherto unknown, among many other achievements.
Isabella Bird (1831-1904): With an a priori little exciting life and chronic back pain after a bad operation when she was 18 years old, her life would take a turn thanks to her impetus and desire to travel. This resulted in a first trip to New York followed by Australia, China, Japan and many other Asian countries. Her discoveries and achievements as an explorer were recognized by the Royal Geographical Society, becoming the first woman to become part of that association.
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926): Although her trajectory covers much more than the explorations carried out, Gertrude Bell traveled for the first time to Iran with twenty years and, later, for many other countries in the Middle East and Near East. She undertook an expedition to the desert organized by herself and, after that, spent many years in the archaeological study of Turkey. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of this territory he ended up working for the British government as part of the military intelligence team in the East.
These women are just five examples of the many who have played an important role in the knowledge of nature and who have not been given the recognition they deserve. We know that in Mapper and that is why, in the “Explorers / es” category that we premiered today, women will be more present than ever.