17 Amazing Wins For Women Since Last International Women's Day
2018 turned out to be a pretty great year for women! People predicted it might be, after the #MeToo movement kicked off at the end of 2017 and the Merriam-Webster dictionary word of the year became ‘feminism’ (with a 70% increase in searches).
All the wins for women since last International Women’s Day definitely deserve celebrating, but here are 17 of our faves...
Ada Hegerberg won the first female Ballon d’Or award
Football history was made when Ada Hegerberg became the first female winner of a Ballon d’Or award - celebrating the best footballer in the world. In the 60-plus years it has existed, the award has only ever been given to male players.... until December 2018.
Ariana Grande made music history
Ariana is no stranger to music industry success, but this last year has seen her reach colossal new heights. When she broke her new musical-inspired record ‘7 Rings’, the world lost it. It received nearly 15 million plays on Spotify within 24 hours, breaking the streaming record (previously held by Mariah Carey for ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’.)
After other songs from the album came out, Ariana also became the first artist to seize the number one, two and three slots of the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964. That’s hella big.
Surfing closed its gender pay gap
In September the World Surf League announced that, from now on, male and female surfing contestants would be rewarded with equal prize money.
However weirded out it makes you feel that the prize money was different in the first place… progress.
Amy Sherman-Palladino made Emmy history
At the 70th Emmy Awards in September, Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator and director of the Amazon comedy series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (about a 1950s housewife who decides to make it as a stand-up comedian), made Emmy history. She became the first woman, and pretty much the first person, to be awarded for comedy writing and directing in the same year.
Directing has always been notoriously male-dominated field but with exciting talents like Amy around, the future looks bright.
Tammie Shults became a hero
A pilot called Tammie Jo Shults was celebrated as a hero last April after she very calmly completed a challenging emergency landing and saved the lives of 148 passengers.
Tammie, a former member of the US navy, had battled tirelessly to become a fighter pilot against plenty of resistance due to being a woman, according to her family. She eventually succeeded in becoming one of the first female fighter pilots for the US navy. And then went on to save more than a hundred lives.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shot to fame
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history when she became the youngest woman to ever get elected to the US Congress, at age 29. Just a year before that, she was working as a bartender.
Alexandria is a trailblazer who’s engaging young people in US politics and making it more accessible to everyone. She uses emojis in political tweets, and she’s funny AF too. When a video of her dancing in college was spread around by enemies to humiliate her, she reacted by posting another video of her dancing at work with the caption, ‘I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!’
Instead of shaming her, the whole thing only made her more popular.
The US mid-term elections broke records for women
In the 2018 US mid-term elections there were loads of amazing record-breaking moments for women, and particularly women of colour.
Sharice Davids became the first Native American women elected to congress, and also the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent Kansas, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan became two of the first Muslim women in Congress and Ayanna Pressley became the first black Congresswoman from Massachusetts.
So many wins.
A 102-year-old woman became the oldest skydiver in the world
When an Australian woman called Irene O’Shea jumped out of a plane on her 102nd birthday in December, she became the oldest skydiver in the world.
It was her third year doing the jump and each time she has raised money and awareness about motor neuron disease, which killed her daughter. Irene is absolute goals.
Women in India formed a 620km human chain for equality
Women from Kerala in India showed us all how to protest with the mostest when they formed a 620k human chain that officials said contained about five million women. They were protesting gender inequality, as women between 10-50 years old (‘menstruating age’) were being banned from entering a temple called the Sabarimala temple.
The ban was overturned in September, and women entering the temple have since been offered protection from the police. It’s a small success, but a symbolic one.
Upskirting became illegal in the UK
An amazing young activist called Gina Martin campaigned tirelessly in the public eye to make ‘upskirting’, the act of taking a photo up a girl’s skirt without her consent, illegal after it happened to her at a festival.
Her hard work paid off. This February upskirting officially became a crime across the UK. Outrageous that it wasn’t illegal before but, again... progress.
Women in Saudi Arabia got behind the wheel
In June last year Saudi Arabian women, who had famously always been banned from driving, were granted the right to drive and the very first driving licences were given out.
Coachella became Beychella
Beyoncé made Coachella festival history in April last year with more than 400,000 viewers across the world tuning in to watch her performance streamed live on YouTube. It was the most viewed Coachella performance ever.
She was also the first black woman to headline Coachella - another history-making moment to add to her never-ending achievement list. According to social media analytics site Talkwalker, the hashtag #Beychella got used more than two million times.
Abortion was legalised in Ireland
In May, Ireland had a referendum on whether or not to overturn their abortion ban, stating that women could not legally get an abortion except for very rare circumstances.
The public overwhelmingly voted to get rid of it, giving women the right to seek abortions and have full control over their bodies.
Naomi Osaka bagged some major tennis wins
In September last year, 21-year-old Naomi Osaka became the first athlete, female or male, to win a tennis grand slam final representing Japan.
Nadia Murad won a Nobel Peace Prize
Nadia Mura, who was previously captured by ISIS and sold into sex slavery, is now an amazing activist speaking out and campaigning against sexual violence.
In October, she became the first Iraqi ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize at just 25 years old.
Taylor Swift nabbed Artist Of The Year
In October last year, Taylor nabbed Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards against an all-male nominee list of top artists including Drake, Ed Sheeran and Post Malone.
She also broke the record for the most amount of AMA wins by any female artist, with a total of 23 awards - now more than Whitney Houston. Damn.
Spain’s Prime Minister appointed a majority-female cabinet
In June, the newly appointed Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the members of his cabinet, and almost three quarters of them were women.
Although this doesn’t seem that extraordinary, he made history even so.
Sexism unfortunately does still exist, even in 2019, but we shouldn’t forget that progress is being made all over the world.
This International Women’s Day let’s not just look at what we need to change, but celebrate all the amazing wins for women so far. We can’t wait to see what this year brings.