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Happy International Women’s Day

Elizabeth, a 2nd year BSc Economics student tells us about her experiences as a young women studying economics.


Happy International Women’s Day everyone! First marked in 1911, today (the 8th of March) is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and is recognised across the globe. The theme for this year’s day is ‘Chose to Challenge’ and you can show your support for the day by challenging gender bias and inequality.


As a female economics student, I am sometimes aware of being one of few female students in my lectures, but my fellow students have been welcoming and being a woman in economics has never been an issue so far. I have really enjoyed listening to my professors, of all genders, talking about their work and experiences in the field of economics. There are also a number of networks that they have talked to us about, including women in economics groups that they have encouraged us to research and perhaps join. Another way to find these groups and keep up with the events that they run is to join Twitter and follow some of the academics at your university and further afield. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to read about and hear from inspiring individuals. You never know what you might be interested in studying next, and International Women’s Day is a great way to find out more about the contributions of women in all fields, including in economics.


If you are studying economics, there are a wealth of female economists to read about, have you heard of Esther Duflo? She won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2019 alongside two of her colleagues for “their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty", her Prize Lecture is available to watch on YouTube and is a really interesting watch. The other female economist who has won the Nobel Prize for Economics is Elinor Ostrom, who won in 2009 alongside a colleague "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons" and her Prize Lecture is also available on YouTube. There are, of course, plenty of other female economists out there, why not start by talking to the professors in the economics department at your university?


Why not mark this month by reading about or promoting female-focussed charities, or listening to a female-focussed podcast or vlog? You could also use the #choosetochallenge or #IWD2021 hashtags on your social media to show your support. There are plenty of ways to get involved, but if you feel a bit overwhelmed the International Women’s Day website is a great place to start, there’s a lot of information out there! The website even has an IWD photo gallery where you can upload your picture, everyone is welcome to submit their picture no matter who you are or where you are in the world.

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