As disappointing as this year has been with reports of sexual assaults and crimes against women, this year also proved that women are advancing at a faster rate than they ever did before. This year saw the first woman become the head of the Federal Reserve and the first black woman get nominated for a Golden Globe, in the Best Director category. While we all mourn for all the women who faced violence and disparity; let us not forget to celebrate the achievers who are representing the womankind and making way for more and more of us to succeed.

 

EMMA WATSON

At the launch of UN’s HeForShe campaign, the Harry Potter actress gave a powerful speech urging men to stand up for feminism, which she insisted was for the benefit of all genders. Emma Watson, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, is extremely popular with the younger population and taking a strong stand on an important subject like this, could have a great impact on millions.

 

JANET YELLEN

Earlier this year Yellen became the first female chair of the Federal Reserve. Yellen was previously the CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank San Francisco and was elected a ‘Distinguished fellow’ of the American Economic association in 2012.

 

MALALA YOUSAFZAI

The 17-year Pakistani education activist won a Nobel Peace Prize this year. Malala was attacked  a couple of years ago for standing by this special cause and the near-death experience did not deter her from her chosen path.

 

AVA DUVERNAY

DuVernay became the first African-American woman to be nominated in the Best Director category for Golden Globes. This is a huge achievement for women and especially the women in the African-American community.

 

DEEPIKA PADUKONE

This story is not unknown to most. Deepika Padukone, one of the leading actresses in Bollywood stood up to one of the leading news websites for portraying her in a distasteful manner. Even though this is a common occurrence, no leading Indian actor/actress had ever raised their voice against it before.

 

[Picture Credits: CNN]

MARYAM MIRZAKHANI

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian by birth, who is currently working as a Mathematics professor at Stanford University, became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Mathematics. Breaking a rigid stereotype, Mirzakhani proved that women have potential to excel in all fields.

 

SHONDA RHIMES

The African-American woman, who created some of the most successful shows in the recent times like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘How to get away with murder,’ was awarded with the #SherryLansingLeadershipAward for breaking the #glassceiling. Rhimes at the ceremony gave an outstanding speech about breaking of the glass-ceiling.

 

MO’NE DAVIS

A thirteen-year old baseball player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Davis became the first girl to earn a win and to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history. Davis was one of the only two girls who playedin the 2014 Little League World Series and is an inspiration to children of all genders and races.

 

LUPITA NYONG’O

The actress who left everyone spellbound with her powerful performance in ‘12 Years a slave’ talked about her journey to self-acceptance. She revealed that as a child she hated her dark complexion but as she grew up she began respecting and loving herself.

 

LIBBY LANE

The Church of England gave the world its first woman Bishop. Libby Lane, who is now the Bishop of Exeter, previously served as the Dean of Women in Ministry for the diocese. She believes it wouldn’t be long before more women joined her.