As some of you may be all too keenly aware, Valentine’s Day doesn’t solely have to be dedicated to romantic love. Indeed, you may have even heard the term Galentine’s Day being banded about ever more frequently on the Internet as the February 14th annually comes around. The word was created by Parks and Rec‘s Leslie Knope to refer to her favorite day dedicated to celebrating all the gals in your life in lieu of, or in addition to, a sexy romantic date. Just ladies celebrating ladies, you know.
And, as ardent followers of everything Leslie Knope does, we wanted to channel her lady-loving spirit and celebrate some of the women of Argentina. So, while we don’t have a bunch of flowers for you, here are four female success stories that hit the news this week.
1. Physicist Karen Hallberg wins International Women in Science Award
To start us off, we’ve got some stellar news from down south: physicist Karen Hallberg, otherwise known as the Director of Research at the Centro Atómico de Bariloche and affectionately by friends as la atómica, has been awarded the L’oreal-Unesco Science Award for her development of cutting-edge computational methods that allow scientists to better explore quantum matter. Her research is being recognized as an important contribution to the process of understanding the electronic and magnetic properties of nanoscopic systems and new materials. Essentially, the future of everything we use around us on a daily basis.
But put aside your feelings of marginal inadequacy for a minute, because this is really a fantastic win for the Argentine scientific community. The award celebrates excellence in a field of research and as the only Latin-American winner, Dr. Hallberg will be representing the continent at the awards ceremony on March 14th. As Argentina continues to seek investment in renewable energy fields, her win shines an important light on the country’s scientific community. On top of the glory, she has been awarded €100,000 which she plans to split between her research and encouraging young girls to pursue science.
Keep going, oh Queen of Nanoscopic Systems!
2. Claudia Brant takes home a long-deserved Grammy
Amongst all the Cardi B drama and the Dolly Parton adoration, you can be forgiven for not spotting this news in the coverage of the 2019 Grammys. However, the night was also a great one for Argentine music, as Buenos Aires-native Claudia Brant took home her first American Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.
Her 2018 release Sincera had some stiff competition from the likes of Pablo Alborán, Natalia Lafourcade, Carlos Vives, and Raquel Sofia, but this Argentine has been working hard behind the scenes for decades and knows her stuff. Since moving to Los Angeles 20 years ago she has collaborated with stars like Barbra Streisand, Santana, and Jennifer Lopez, has more than 1,000 compositions under her belt. Claudia has been behind hits performed by Luis Fonsi, Ricky Martin, and many more, so this is a well-deserved victory. As she said on the red carpet: “I’ve been a songwriter for my entire life, writing songs for other people. This is the first time I have been nominated for an American Grammy, for a record that is truly mine.”
Congratulations on the win Claudia!
3. Girl Power: Association of Women in Sustainable Energy founded
Here is another lady-driven science story for you, because if there’s one thing we love more than women’s success, it’s when it also helps to save the world. After more than a year of work, 11 female leaders in the Argentine energy sector have banded together to form the Association of Women in Sustainable Energy (AMES, in its Spanish acronym).
The Association aims to help propel greater female contribution in the renewable energy and STEM sectors, and empower Argentina with necessary networks to enable future generations. As creating more equality in these areas has proven to increase creativity and innovation, AMES hopes their work will bring about both positive economic and socio-cultural change.
And, unfortunately, Argentina needs it. Despite goals to produce 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025, the current rate is still less than 2 percent. So let’s hope these ladies can help speed things up.
4. Sara app launches to keep women safer in Buenos Aires
Although we’d all like to live in a world of polite, happy taxi drivers with no ulterior motives other than to get you ASAP to your chosen location, the reality is that 14 percent of women in Argentina say they’ve been assaulted by a driver during a taxi trip and 9/10 feel it’s necessary to maintain constant contact with friends while traveling. So to combat this increasing violence and provide women with a safer option, Sara app has launched this week.
Initially only operating in Palermo, it’s exclusively aimed at women as an Uber-esque option but with female drivers only. The final destination must be agreed on before the journey is accepted, and the passenger will be sent detailed information about her driver before getting in the car.
The security the app provides is equally intended for the drivers. Of the city’s 40,000 taxi drivers, only 1,125 are women and they’re often harassed and threatened by male passengers. But Sara will enable them to be aware of their destination before accepting clients, as well as removing cash payments to limit risk of theft. The opportunity has the added benefit of increasing economic parity in the transport sector, which the government is also currently attempting to equalize.
It’s great news all around from the women of Argentina this week (no one mention CFK and her latest batch of legal troubles, though). From science to music, we love what these ladies are doing. And, remember, if you’re still hoping and waiting for that box of chocolates to arrive, just go find some friends instead and share the love Knope-style. (Or go and watch Parks and Rec if you have no clue what I’m talking about. It would also be a great use of your time).