2017 has been full of ups and downs for womankind. The current political climate constantly reminds us that there is still so much to be done for women’s rights and empowerment internationally. GenderInequality.Sucks—but this past year hasn’t been all bad. As we head into 2018, here are some memorable moments worth celebrating.
1. Hillary Clinton Makes Waves in Politics
Though she lost the election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign inspired women worldwide. She faced challenges with grace and intelligence and never backed down when faced with political bullying. She also released a New York Times bestselling nonfiction book, What Happened?, and continues to be an important part of the political conversation.
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2. Maria Grazia Chiuri Takes the Reigns at Dior
Never before has a woman held the position of Artistic Director at the French luxury goods company, Dior. This year, that changed when Italian fashion designer Maria Grazia Chiuri accepted the role. By bringing a modern take to “femininity” to her work, Chiuri is being called an “activist designer.” Chiuri commented in Vogue that, “Dior has to be about female empowerment.” Her contributions leading that cause in the industry have earned her accolades already—this past November, she was the recipient of the Swarovski Award for Positive Change at the 2017 Fashion Awards in London.
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3. Women Allowed to Drive in Saudi Arabia
With the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, many things in Saudi Arabia are ripe for change. This year, the ban that prevented women from driving was finally lifted. Long seen as a global symbol for women’s oppression, this move was a huge step forwards for Saudi women.
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4. The Women’s March Draws Jaw-Dropping Crowds
4.5 million women in seven continents marched in protest after Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. President. These protests were an active response to negative comments Trump has made against women and other groups, while also calling attention to gender inequalities in U.S. government and beyond.
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5. Malala Yousafzai Goes to Oxford University
Back when she was a teenager, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in direct response to her work campaigning for women’s rights to education. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work and, with yet another milestone in her career as a groundbreaking activist, Yousafzai was recently accepted to study at Oxford University. “So excited to go to Oxford!!” she tweeted after receiving her confirmation of acceptance.
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With so much work still to be done—and an increasingly hostile sociopolitical climate—it can be beneficial to pause and admire all that we have accomplished so far. Though progress may feel slow, we have had many wins worth celebrating and deserve to raise a glass in honor of the role models fighting the good fight for womankind.
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Photo Credits: Shutterstock / Karl Sonnenberg, Shutterstock / Evan El-Amin, Shutterstock / Kdonmuang, Flickr / United Nations Information Centres