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Take Five: Top Moments for Women in 2019

When you add women to any equation, the equation gets better— and this year was no exception. As 2019 comes to an end, it’s time to celebrate all the ways women have used their platform to make the world a better place.

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Photo by Pixel Stories on Stocksy

From entertainment and politics to sports and science, we’ve seen women break records, change the game, inspire action, transform culture, and persevere in the face of opposition. Here’s a look back at just five of these moments.

 

The Country’s Most Diverse Congress Was Sworn into Office

The 116th Congress made history with the number of women and African-American and Hispanic members sworn into office. As of January, a record 127 women serve in Congress, with 106 Democrats and 21 Republicans — roughly 24% of all the seats. 25 women (25%) serve in the Senate and 1o1 women (23.2%) serve in the House of Representatives. 

What’s more? Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reclaimed the House speaker’s gavel, which she last held from 2007 to 2011. Not only was she the first woman in U.S. history to hold that post, but a former speaker of the house hasn’t regained the gavel in 60 years.

 

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Won the Women’s World Cup

The women of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) captivated a global audience of 82.18 million people this year, winning the final match in the Women’s Soccer World Cup against the Netherlands. Using their victory as a platform, the players turned our attention off the field to a lawsuit the team filed against the U.S Soccer Federation demanding equal pay for equal work. 

“This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better. We have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less,” said the team’s Co-captain Megan Rapinoe, adding, “It is our responsibility to make this world a better place.”

 

Women Dominated the Entertainment Industry

Mo’Nique launched a comedy show in Vegas. She’s the first black female comedian to have a female residency. Cardi B won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, making her the first solo woman to win the category. “Captain Marvel” had the biggest opening for a female-fronted film. A film about periods won an Oscar. Actress Sandra Oh broke three Golden Globe records. Ali Stroker became the first actress in a wheelchair to win a Tony. Phoebe Waller-Bridge brought home six Emmys for Fleabag and signed a deal with Amazon Studios. She reportedly now earns $20 million annually. 

To finish the year off strong, women crushed the 2020 Grammy nominations. Lizzo and Billie Eilish respectively earned eight and six nominations. Eilish is the youngest person ever to be nominated in the top four Grammy categories.

 

Esther Duflo Won the Nobel Prize in Economics

The 46-year-old academic became the second (and youngest) woman to win the award in Nobel Prize history. Duflo was awarded the prize due to her experimental approach to ending poverty in the developing world. Her win is particularly significant given the high number of women in economics who say they have experienced discrimination and bias based on gender, age, marital status, and even research topic. 

 

Greta Thunberg Began a Global Movement for Climate Action

Environmental activist from Sweden, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg became the face of a global movement for climate change and Time’s Person of the Year. She arrived on our radar after giving an impassioned speech to leaders at the UN Climate Summit in New York. Since then, Thunberg has been rallying supporters and demanding action to protect the planet through a campaign of school strikes, known as #FridaysForFuture. 

And we’re only just getting started. Next year is expected to be an even more significant year for women across the globe. 2020 will mark several milestones, such as the centennial anniversary of U.S. women winning the right to vote, the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, plus more. 

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