Saturday, 7 March 2015

Editorial: Special Issue on International Women’s Day 2015

Dear Plant-lovers,

We are extremely happy to bring to you the special issue of Indian Botanists on the eve of International Women’s Day. We take this opportunity to highlight some of the most significant contributions of Indian women botanists.

Gender issues are prevalent in science and India is no exception. For instance, women scientists are fewer in number than men, they occupy fewer positions of power, and face distinct issues by virtue of their gender and the accompanying societal pressures. Indian Botanists has been working to achieve its goal of creating awareness about plant science in our society. International Women’s Day would be the best time for publishing articles highlighting the contributions of some great women botanists of India.
When we announced about our upcoming issue and invited articles for the same, we received an overwhelming response from our readers. However, we were able to publish only limited number of articles owing to the content and relevance to this issue.

This issue describes detailed profiles of some eminent Indian women botanists and their success stories which include Dr. Kamala Sohonie- a pioneer Indian woman botanist who discovered the presence of cytochrome C in the plant cells at the Cambridge University, became the first woman to gain PhD in science and finally became the first lady director of IISc Bombay.

Our intention is also to highlight the contributions of some unsung who have contributed their bit to plant science. Researching plants and conserving them are equally important for plant science. Women have played a significant role in conservation of India’s rich biodiversity. An article focusses on role of women highlighting this aspect describing the contribution of Amrita Devi in the famous Chipko Movement started to resist the cutting of trees. The author has described role of various groups of women active in different parts of India conserving biodiversity of those areas rich in biodiversity.

We hope that this issue would bring into light of role of women in the some of the most important discoveries in plant science the readers would appreciate them after reading their struggle in a male-dominated society.

Gauri Nerkar
Section Editor
Indian Botanists

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