2 Feb 2024

Space Is for Everyone – How Women Have Been Silenced Throughout History


Throughout history, women have been so important in advancing scientific knowledge. Still, they’re overlooked in the realm of space exploration and research. This article looks at the issue of how women are silenced.


The Forgotten Pioneers

Space exploration has always been male-dominated. When you think of space, who do you think of? For a lot of people, it’s names like Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong. Yet, women like Katherine Johnson and Valentina Tereshkova are hidden behind their shadows.


Why Have Women Been Silenced?

The silencing of women in space advances is a result of many factors. Throughout history, women have had little access to education and jobs. Also, stereotypes kept women at home taking care of children instead of astronauts or scientists. Even as late as the 1960s, there were fewer than 1 in 10 women attending university!


Unrecognized Contributions

Despite setbacks, women have made big contributions to space research and development. For example, in the 1960s a team of female engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They performed complex calculations that made space missions successful. This is just one example of work which was critical, but not noticed.


The women of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory helped launch the first American satellites, lunar missions and planetary explorations. Those “human computers,” as they were called, are seen here in 1953.


Inspiring Future Generations

It is so important to encourage each other to pursue careers in STEM. It’s also important for us to use the mentorships, scholarships, and opportunities available. When women’s voices are heard, the potential for discoveries and advancements becomes boundless.

The history of women’s contributions to space is a story of resilience and overcoming systemic barriers. Despite being silenced for too long, women have demonstrated their capabilities as scientists. They’ve challenged the established narrative and pushed the boundaries of knowledge!


This article was written by Stemettes Work Experience.

Did you enjoy this article? Click on a star to rate it!
Upcoming Events
Parent, guardian, teacher or volunteer?

The Stemettes Zine is a curated space tailored specifically to Stemettes but we have plenty of content and updates for you folks too. Sign up to receive the Stemettes newsletter and we’ll keep you updated with the latest from Stemettes HQ including events, activities, resources and fundraising activities.