As scientists and science lovers head to Washington, D.C. to March for Science, Maria Elisa Christie, gender specialist in Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development, says that women are under-represented in the world of science.
Christie has worked in international development for more than 25 years and her work focuses on gendered spaces and everyday life, both in how communities interact with nature and with each other. “From Nepal to Mexico, I’ve seen how women are under-represented in ways that go beyond the numbers,” says Christie. “Around the world, it’s a familiar story – ‘women’s work’ isn’t valued – or even recognized and therefore isn’t studied or understood.”
“Research must make a concerted effort to include women in all steps of a project cycle and take women’s concerns and knowledge into account if it is to succeed,” says Christie. “If we don't ensure that women participate in research and capacity building efforts, and have access to information, we can reinforce the marginalization of women.”
“I’ve witnessed women around the world making a living for themselves and their families. I’ve dedicated my life to studying these stories to see what insights they have to offer international development,” said Christie. “Let’s make sure all women who are involved in science get represented when we defend what we do, and not just for one week in April in our nation’s capital.”
Christie has more than 25 years of experience in international development. Throughout her career, she has worked with a variety of development, research, and non-governmental agencies around the developing world along with local, state, and federal governments in the United States and Mexico. Her research focuses on gendered space and everyday life in nature/society relations, participatory research methodologies, kitchens and gardens, and women’s reciprocity networks. View Christie’s full bio here.
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