Sunday the 8th of March marked International Women’s Day, a global day where we join together to celebrate the achievements of women.
Why International Women’s Day is important to us
An important aspect of International Women’s Day is to eliminate discrimination against women worldwide, and to reach full and equal participation in global development.
The expertise of women is critical to developing a better understanding of the natural world, as well as the advancement of science and technology not only in Australia, but worldwide. However, even though over half of all Bachelor of Science and PhD graduates are women, less than 30% of the world’s researcher are women, according to UIS data. Furthermore, there is still a significant pay gap between men and women. Australia’s current full time pay gap stands at 13.9%, with women making more than $240 less than men every week.
UN Environment Program’s Global Gender and Environment Outlook 2016 (GGEO) identified gender inequality as one of the main challenges to advance to the environmental aspects of sustainable development, as it has negative impacts on access, use and control of natural resources, as well as the right to a clean, safe and healthy environment for all.
Women in the wild at FNPW
Those of us at FNPW would like to acknowledge and highlight some of the amazing women we are privileged to work with on our major projects including the Saving Our Species projects and the Wildlife Heroes project.
Kylie Durant Project Manager, Holbrook Landcare Network
Kylie manages our Saving Our Species Nectar Lover project, which stresses the importance of the migratory nectar feeding birds in the landscape. These birds are the most productive part of the landscape and play a crucial role in our agricultural productivity. As Kylie puts it, “Talking to farmers and getting them interested in the birds, and how the big old paddock trees and patches of bush on their farms can contribute to bird conservation is becoming more important as agricultural intensification puts pressure on these resources.”
Kylie’s favourite moment in the field was about 5 years ago when she was out on a site visit seeing Superb Parrots feeding on wattles in a revegetation corridor. In this area, these birds had not been spotted for a number of years and this moment marks the start of the return of the species to Holbrook, “Now I get texts from farmers and the community when they see them! This gives me hope that the work we are doing could also have this effect on the nectar-lover species and inspire people to value them and the resources in the landscape.”
Mary Bonet- K2W Glideways- Program Manager/Facilitator
Mary manages the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala Corridor conservation initiative which includes the Petaurus Connections Saving Our Species project. This project has adopted gliding possums as its flagship conservation species working with the landholders, schools, community groups, and ecologists to protect, restore, and connect areas of important glider habitats across the K2W landscape. This not only supports glider populations, but also the needs of many other plants and animals, including spotted-tailed quolls and woodland birds.
Mary loves working with school groups and recalls one of her favourite moments while visiting the students of Trunkey Creek Public School to check out some newly installed squirrel glider nest boxes. They spotted a few empty nests but not much else until they reached the last box. The children were saying it was too dark, so they kept moving the camera around and the next moment out came a sleepy squirrel glider. “It climbed up the tree and then glided above us all to another tree and climbed into another one of the nest boxes. We all hugged each other. I feel bad that we disturbed the glider in the middle of the day but it was a truly magical moment that none of us will ever forget.”
Vanessa Barratt, Project Manager, Wildlife Heroes
Vanessa manages our Wildlife Heroes project, which provides support and supplies for the hard-working wildlife rescue and rehabilitation volunteers throughout Australia. Vanessa poses an important question for all of us to think about, “Many of us have used wildlife rescue services but how many of us understand just how many animals need help, and how much work wildlife volunteers do?”One of Vanessa’s favourite experiences in the field was when she stood on George Street here in Sydney in bat costume to convince more people to care about the fact that they are heading towards extinction, “Fruit bats pollinate flowers and disperse seeds up and down the east coast, they should be loved (like bees are) for their services to nature.”