Nigerian geophysicist Deborah Ajakaiye became the first woman in any West African country to be appointed a full professor of physics. Over the course of her scientific career, she became the first female Fellow elected to the Nigerian Academy of Science and the first female dean of science in Nigeria.
Japanese geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi became the first woman elected to the Science Council of Japan
The Supreme Court rules that excluding women from the draft is constitutional. In a separate decision, the high court overturns state laws designating a husband “head and master” with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife.
In a break with tradition, Lady Diana Spencer deletes the vow to “obey” her husband as she marries Prince Charles.
Brazilian agronomist Johanna Döbereiner became a founding Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences
American cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of genetic transposition; she was the first woman to receive that prize without sharing it, and the first American woman to receive any unshared Nobel Prize.
Geologist Sudipta Sengupta and marine biologist Aditi Pant became the first Indian women to visit the Antarctic.
U.S. Supreme Court bans sex discrimination in membership for onetime all-male groups like the Jaycees, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.
The state of Mississippi belatedly ratifies the 19th Amendment, granting women the vote.
Hishon v. King and Spaulding, 467 U.S. 69 (1984): The U.S. Supreme Court rules that law firms may not discriminate on the basis of sex in promoting lawyers to partnership positions.
After identifying HIV as the cause of AIDS, Chinese-American virologist Flossie Wong-Staal became the first scientist to clone and genetically map the HIV virus, enabling the development of the first HIV blood screening tests.
The U.S. Supreme Court held that a work environment can be declared hostile or abusive because of discrimination based on sex, an important tool in sexual harassment cases.
American biochemist and pharmacologist Gertrude B. Elion received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with James W. Black and George H. Hitchings “for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment”
Indian geologist Sudipta Sengupta became the first woman scientist to receive the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award in the Earth Sciences category.
In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v Casey, the Supreme Court upholds Roe v Wade but allows states to impose restrictions such as a waiting period and parental consent for minors seeking abortions.
Edith Flanigen became the first woman awarded the Perkin Medal (widely considered the highest honor in American industrial chemistry) for her outstanding achievements in applied chemistry. The medal especially recognized her syntheses of aluminophosphate and silicoaluminophosphate molecular sieves as new classes of materials.
Congress adopts the Gender Equity in Education Act to train teachers in gender equity, promote math and science learning by girls, counsel pregnant teens, and prevent sexual harassment.
Israeli-Canadian mathematical biologist Leah Keshet became the first woman president of the international Society for Mathematical Biology.
Elaborating on Title IX, the Supreme Court rules that college athletics programs must actively involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to qualify for federal support.
Chilean astronomer María Teresa Ruiz discovered Kelu 1, one of the first observed brown dwarves. In recognition of her discovery, she became the first woman to receive the Chilean National Prize for Exact Sciences.