International Women’s Day, now celebrated on March 8, was first commemorated in the early 1900s, as women across the globe were actively campaigning and protesting for equal rights. What began as small protests, rose to a global scale and trigged over a period of time a series of political, labor and social advancements for women. Unfortunately, these achievements do not always guarantee gender equality in practice (and in some countries laws still exist that favor men). Women still suffer from physical and psychological violence, lower salaries, and a lack of recognition, among other things. While this is the situation for women around the world, there are also specific statistics that show how women in architecture are not valued socially and professionally. There are few women who gain international recognition, making them unknown to many professionals and architecture students, and making it seem as if they do not exist.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked the Brazilian non-profit group Arquitetas Invisíveis (Invisible Architects) to share with us a part of their work, which identifies and recognizes the work of women in architecture and urbanism. The result is this list of 48 women divided into seven categories: pioneers, “in the shadows,” architecture, landscape architecture, social architecture, urbanism and sustainable architecture.