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Over 200 people attended the meeting on Women in Astronomy at the Space Telescope Science Institute in September 1992. Speakers documented the status of women in astronomy and shed light on the causes of their underrepresentation. The Baltimore Charter, which is based on extensive discussions among the meeting participants, is a focal point for action to increase the participation of women in the profession.
The foundation for the Charter is our deep belief in the equality of women's abilities and our frank assessment of the current status of women in the profession. The Charter Rationale explains why action is needed today and the Recommendations consist of five major points that, if adopted, will greatly improve the situation for women in astronomy. The goal of equal participation of men and women is not only a matter of justice but of practicality as well, because the inclusion of new people and new ideas has always led to renewed intellectual ferment. We ask our colleagues to embrace the Charter and to help persuade universities, observatories, and other astronomical institutions to endorse it formally.
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