International Women’s Day gives us the chance to take stock of the year gone by, its multiple trials and tribulations. But more importantly, we look at the achievements. Here’s a list of the best moments we should be proud of as women!
Women leaders set an example dealing with COVID-19
A study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum suggests that in countries with female leadership, the responses to the pandemic were quicker, more effective, and stronger than those with men at the helm. In countries including New Zealand, Germany, Finland, Norway the measures are taken by the women in charge led to lower cases and fewer deaths. Both Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, decided early on to shut their country’s borders. Whether it was Ardern checking in with citizens through Facebook live Q&A sessions or Norway’s PM Solberg press conference addressing the children of the nation, research says the women did do it better.
Chhapaak hits the screens
Deepika Padukone starrer Chhappak is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Released in January 2020, it depicted the struggles the protagonist faces getting justice against her perpetrators. Directed by Meghna Gulzar, it even received tax concessions in the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. A mainstream Bollywood film with one of the biggest stars of the industry spread awareness about this very common crime targeted mainly towards women.
The US elects first woman Vice-President
In January this year, Kamala Harris became the first woman Vice President of the United States. As the first female, Black and South Asian American Vice President, she leads the way for women in the USA and around the globe. Harris also graced Vogue’s cover for the month of January. US President Joe Biden also announced an all-women, senior communications team, a first for the White House.
Ellie Goldstein on the digital cover of Allure
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Committed to inclusivity and body positivity, Allure magazine featured 18-year-old Goldstein, a model with Down syndrome on their digital cover, December 2020 for their ‘The Beauty of Accessibility’ series. She was part of a Gucci Beauty campaign before she made the digital cover of Allure. The cover was a win for women everywhere, shattering society’s perception of what a ‘cover girl’ should be.
Barbie’s 2020 releases
Receiving a lot of flak for their unreasonable standards of beauty for a woman, Barbie has been releasing dolls that promote inclusivity. Moving away from their cookie-cutter image of a woman, in early 2020, the brand introduced dolls with vitiligo, a prosthetic limb, and one without hair. Mattel also debuted a Barbie doll modeled after the great feminist poet late Maya Angelou.
The first woman WTO Director-General
Giving women a voice on an international platform is Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first female and first African Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She has twice been Nigeria’s finance minister and its first female foreign minister. Okonjo-Iweala will officially begin her term on March 1, 2021, and will remain in office until August 31, 2025.
Sonia Syngal appointed CEO of GAP Inc
The first Indian origin CEO of multinational corporation Gap Inc, Syngal took up the post in March 2020. She currently leads over 130,000 employees and heads the $16 billion business. The 49-year-old is the highest-ranked Indian-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company after Indra Nooyi stepped down as PepsiCo head in 2018.
Air India’s all-women crew makes history with the longest air route
Air India’s all-women pilot team helmed a 17-hour non-stop flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru on 11 January 2021. Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas flew the historic flight. The direct distance is 13,993 kilometres with a time zone change of approximately 13.5 hours. This isn’t the first record Captain Aggarwal has to her name though, back in 2013, she became the youngest woman to fly a Boeing-777.
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