10 Women Who Transformed the World in the Past Year
In the past year, women came together at full force, ready to fight for what they believe is right.
From politics to protests to the exposure of sexual harassment, women own some of the year’s proudest moments.
The 2017 Women’s March was one of the largest single-day protests in United States history, and the 2018 March boasted impressive numbers as well–an estimated 1.6-2.5 million protesters turned out once more
The ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia was finally lifted.
The New York Times broke the ground-breaking Harvey Weinstein story.
The number of women on ballots at the local, state and federal level was higher than it has ever been. At least 79 women are exploring opportunities to run for governor in 2018 -- a number that potentially doubles the record for female candidates set in 1994.
At Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, a woman with a uterus transplant gave birth to a healthy baby for the first time in the U.S.
TIME Magazine did something it had never done before when it named a plethora of strong women as its “Person of the Year.”
It was, arguably, the year of the woman! So, here are a few of the highlights.
Check out the latest Fortune 500 list, and you’ll find PG&E Corporation’s Latina CEO has made history, along with 31 other women CEOs on the list — a more than 50% increase from last year’s numbers. This marks the highest ranking of female CEOs on any other previous Fortune 500 list.
When Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes, she used her moment in the spotlight to deliver a profound and powerful speech that addressed the negative power behind disrespect, violence, and bullying. If you haven’t already, take the time to read her amazing speech. She was followed in 2018 by Oprah Winfrey, who also gave an incredibly impactful speech.
Oprah made history this past year when she accepted the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes–the first African American woman to receive the honor–and presented her own impassioned speech, addressing themes related to women’s empowerment and standing up for social justice.
The internet went wild with “Oprah 2020” gossip after the speech. She has since confirmed that she will not be running for president in 2020, but it is clear that her speech and continuous advocacy for respect and justice in our culture have left lasting impressions across the country and globe.
A national reporter on CBS’s “The Saturday Early Show,” Carlson continues to be one of the world’s most powerful female journalists. In 2016, she came out with her story of sexual harassment in the workplace, which helped open the floodgates for the #MeToo movement.
In 2017, she released her book, Be Fierce, which discusses sexual harassment in the workplace and her journey to reclaim her personal empowerment as a professional woman. She’s a firm believer in advocating for women and focuses heavily on the role of women in politics and the media today.
If you don't already know who she is, look her up — her full story is truly inspiring. Murad was captured by Isis and abused for months until her escape. Since her harrowing ordeal, Murad has spoken out in an attempt to better protect refugee women.
In 2017 and 2018, she has used her story to contribute to the voice and power of the #MeToo movement. She has had several recent stories published highlighting her unique struggle, and also speaks at events in order to empower others to come forward and address these important but sensitive issues.
Check out Nadia Murad's book, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State, in the Spire Stacks bookstore!
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in 2017, Alyssa Milano brought back Tarana Burke’s “Me Too” movement in a seriously viral way with a simple tweet. It quickly sparked a global conversation.
Women all over the world took to their social media accounts to share their personal stories of sexual assault. The movement helped take down many other high profile celebrities and politicians as well.
Representative Maxine Waters
In July of 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin jumped in and interrupted Waters during a House committee meeting. Waters politely coined the phrase, “Reclaiming my time,” as she continued speaking, despite his interruption.
It was a strong moment for women everywhere who have been “mansplained” or interrupted by men in the workplace, public eye and beyond.
Before the race in November 2017, Roem’s campaign gained national media attention, partially because she was transgender. Roem assumed office on January 10th, 2018, becoming the first transgender person to be elected and seated in a United States state legislature.
Swift used her power and fame to put the spotlight on a very big issue — sexual harassment and sexual assault. After taking a radio DJ to trial for inappropriately groping her during a 2015 meet-and-greet, Swift won a symbolic $1 in her countersuit but sparked a global media frenzy in the process.
Alicia Keys was named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2017 due to her bold choice to stop wearing makeup in 2016. She goes completely bare-faced all to the time to make a statement about healthy self-image. That’s not to say that women shouldn’t enjoy makeup. But in an industry like the one Keys exists within, choosing to forego makeup is a bold and powerful statement.
In 2017, she also joined a growing list of celebrities and public figures who chose to speak out in support of DACA recipients in response to the Trump administration’s attacks on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Featured photo via PBS Newshour
Who are some of your favorite women who have transformed the world in the past year? Share with us in the comments below!