A loud THANK YOU to Tania and Bex of the Womens Adventure Expo for putting on an event at the Royal Geographical Society in the centenary year of suffrage in the UK to celebrate the long history of women in exploration. A day-long conference was followed by an evening event at which I was incredible grateful to be given the opportunity to talk about a subject I feel passionately about - the story of women in the polar regions.
It is a surprise to many that the story of women in Antarctica for example, begins in 1773 - the same year Captain Cook first crossed the Antarctic Circle. Many of the women whose stories I share were not free to explore in their own right, but nevertheless they found ways to explore within the roles available to them (or sometimes trespassed into roles that were not open to them). Either way, they carved out their own relationship with the Polar Regions and left us with a rich heritage that is in itself worth exploring.
The day was topped off by the appearance on stage of the Ice Maidens and my own Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole team. The Ice Maidens skied across Antarctica earlier in the year and although the Euro-Arabian journey was a lot shorter (!), it felt unique to have a stage full of women who had been both North and South in the same year sitting together on stage at the Royal Geographical Society - I wonder whether anything similar has happened on that particular stage before?