In the mountain communities around the world women always protected the environmental and biodiversity, kept the tradition and favoured the social and economic development by managing mountain farms and small businesses.
In the International Women Day we found out 10 stories of woman whose love for the mountains leds them to built their job and life in the mountains:
Trekking Guide and Blogger
Marzia worked for years as a marketing professionist until she decided to quit and enroll in a mid-mountain guide course with the Alpine Guides of Lombardy. While accompanying trekking at all altitudes, she dedicates herself to the blog Donne di Montagna, with which she organizes trekking for groups of women and collects stories of mountain women.
«It is difficult fighting against stereotypes, fighting against this culture. […]. We must be strong, not caring about the judgement of others. Our future generations will be as we have been, they will be even more aware, emancipated.»
Executive Director of Alaska Avalanche School
Melis lived and worked in Alaska for 20 years enjoying a career on snow and glaciers as a climbing rescue ranger for Denali National Park, senior mountaineering guide for the Alaska Mountaineering School and she is today the Executive Director of Alaska Avalanche School. She followed her passion for mountains and mountaineering by dedicating to education, safety and health in the outdoors.
«Early in my career as a mountaineering guide, I was treated poorly by men who were not open-minded about what a successful climber should look like[…] I wish I had learned to carry myself more confidently at a young age.»
Monica has always gone to the mountains since she was young and then they became her workplace. She was an engineer of the Environment and the Mountain territory: she studies rivers, creeks and avalanche triggering, but above all she designs ski facilities and areas, she has designed some of the most famous Italian Olympic slopes.
«When I think of a ski slope I always try to keep the sinuousness of the alpine environment, the connection with Nature. I prefer to optimize the ones that are there without breaking an ecosystem.»
Lecturer at the University
Patricia lives in Patagonia, Chile; she is a climber and mountain passionate, but mainly she was offered a job which have never been offered before to a woman in her country. She works as director of the ‘Expedition and ecotourism management engineering’ course and with the speciality of mountain environments at the Universidad San Sebastián.
«In the mountains when women enter into competition with other women, to show the other woman that she is more capable, we are terrible. Terrible! My dream is to carry on climbing and going to more mountains».
Mountain passionate since childhood, Eleonora has made its way into the world of mountaineering by working first as secretary of CAI Rome (Italian Alpine Club) and then she was recognized as a skilled climber. Since the 2000s she decided to take over the management of the Sebastiani hut, in Monte Velino, with the cooperation of some friends and she Is keeping.
«So, I chose my destiny. I usually suggest to other women to get out of the mold, to leap into the unknown. At the same time men should also break their mental patterns.»
Sustainable Trekking Guide
Lakshmi is an academician. After completing her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering in Saudi Arabia, she worked with the best researchers in the world but her motivation to help conserving the environment led her to join the Green Trails project by IndiaHikes, with which she organizes trekking environmentally sustainable and manages projects in upcycling waste that generate income for the locals.
«It requires to look at the problem in a completely different way. It requires us to change the behaviour of people. By behavioural changes I’m looking onto our own abits and perceptions that we have about waste. And this is not simply. How many of us are trying to bring about a behavioral change in our own lives?»
Activist and Writer
Terry grew up in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, which inspired her the attention on protecting the nature of the American West. Feminist, environmental activist and writer, she looks for the silence of wilderness to work on their famous books about social and environmental justice, ecology, protection of public lands and wildness and women's health.
«To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.»
Coming from around the Annapurna mountains, Muna always loved mountains and was able to fight against all prejudice and tradition becoming a trekking guide, rock climbing instructor and a mountain climbing guide in Pokhara. To reach this goal the support of the Empowering Women of Nepal group was fundamental for Muna.
«I want to give a message for other mountain women: If you have a passion, never give up if you want to do something. We are all mountain women, who work in the mountains.»
Irene grew up in her parents' hut in Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy, and produces cheese since the age of 16 by working the milk of their own cows. After graduating in Science and Culture of Gastronomy and working in local companies of the sector, she carried on the family business and founded the International School of Mountain Cheeses, where she teaches other women as well.
«I've been making cheese since I was sixteen. [...] It's hard work, but you have to know that historically it was women who processed the milk».
Jasmin has found her way dedicating herself to an artisan work in her places, in Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy. He designs and builds new objects with an innovative design, starting from a waste raw material: he collects the leaves that fall from the trees in autumn, mixes them with organic resins and creates custom-made lamps, tables and panels with local wooden molds.
«Hurry up, city times, and industrial production are not for me. […] At the beginning I just knew that I would go back to craftsmanship, then one day I saw my feet on a bed of multicolored leaves: I had found the raw material».