International Women's Day 2024: Inspire Inclusion

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Inspire Inclusion”. National Geographic has a history of embracing progress, innovation, and science and extending grants through the National Geographic Society to explorers and changemakers. This has helped to advance the work of conservationists and researchers like beloved icons, Jane Goodall, Beverly Joubert and in more recent years the likes of, Asha de Vos and Dolores Carolina Elkin.

The inclusivity of women in the fields of research and conservation particularly has come a long way over the past hundred years. Moreover, the inclusion of achievements and advancements made by women in the global conversation encourages young women to participate in the betterment of our world.

The November 2019 issue of National Geographic Magazine was dedicated to women. Titled “WOMEN: A century of change” this issue documented the prolific women who’ve made significant contributions to society, culture, science, conservation and research over the years. It also addressed the magazines own relationship with women, and the strides taken to create an inclusive platform for sharing these stories.

In 2018, Former Astronaut, Dr Peggy Whitson covered the March issue of National Geographic Magazine. An important female-figure in space exploration, Whitson has spent more days in space than any other American woman. She was the first female, non-military Chief of the Astronaut Office and the first woman commander of the International Space Station.

Australian ocean conservationist and the face of National Geographic Wear’s AW23 campaign, Valerie Taylor, featured on two covers of National Geographic Magazine. Both covers were pivotal in Taylor’s career. Valerie Taylor was a pioneering voice and creative in the world of conservation, particularly in the protection of shark species and the Australian sea lion. 

Jane Goodall and her chimps featured on the December 1965 cover of National Geographic Magazine. The infamous work carried out by Goodall changed the way we viewed primates. Her story shared through the pages of National Geographic Magazine heralded her as a pioneer, changemaker and conservationist, inspiring future generations of female scientists and researchers to get out in the field.

A very honourable mention goes to the first woman who graced the cover of National Geographic Magazine. Her name is Eda Zahl. It was the October 1959 issue and she was depicted gathering sea urchins. It was also the first time an image of a human was featured on the cover of this prolific, yellow-bordered title. Iconic to say the least.

Learn more about International Women's Day 2024 here.

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“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float.

To gain all while you give.

To roam the roads of lands remote.

To travel is to live."

Hans Christian Andersen, Author.