Celebrating International Women’s Day 2022

By Office of the President | Mar 8, 2022

In 1908, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States in honor of the New York garment workers’ strike protesting unsafe working conditions. Nearly 70-years later, the United Nations recognized International Women’s Day as a day honoring women’s global work and contributions and uplifting equality while inspiring future generations of women and girls.

Since then, a more inclusive and continually-growing movement has helped make International Women’s Day a rallying point to build support and participation in the political and economic arenas as more women assume world leadership roles over their countries and nations. As a result, women continue to alter history with their involvement in global affairs, leadership on the frontlines in the military, education, science, and medicine, to name a few.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. Despite opposition from both men and women, she established a medical college to train other women to become doctors.

In the mid-1900s, British chemist Rosalind Franklin was also a trailblazer in science. Her research was instrumental in discovering the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, better known to us as DNA. Though others discovered the double-helix shape in 1953 and earned Nobel Prizes, she continued to contribute to the studies of RNA and viruses.

As leaders, we should seek diversity and equity, embrace inclusion, challenge inequality in-the-moment, and create a more inclusive world. Additionally, inspiring, educating, mentoring, and sharing practical advice to empower women can help build and grow careers, exposing more women to leadership positions and career advancement opportunities.

Today, we are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day here at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University with a video tribute to the women of Downstate.

Thank you for all you do!


Contact: Dawn S. Walker
917.439.9666 | 347.533.2071

About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough's only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care. It is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City and Brooklyn's 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate's teaching hospital, backed by an outstanding medical school's expertise and world-class academic center research facilities. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

In addition to high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis (kidney diseases)—and offering the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn, among many other distinctive programs—Downstate also sponsors a major learning center for young children with developmental disorders and disabilities. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.