With all the highs and lows of 2018, one thing that prevailed was the might of women around the world. Throughout the year, we saw, time and again, women standing up for themselves and what they believe in. While it was hard to scale down this list to just a few individuals, here are 6 courageous women who inspired us to keep fighting for progress. With a different woman-in-arms to motivate us for each day of the week, take a few minutes daily to revisit this article as a reminder of why the future is most definitely female.
A survivor of a Parkland, Florida high school shooting in February 2018, Emma Gonzales became a force to be reckoned within gun violence activism after she spoke up and spoke out against lack of federal gun regulation and firearm safety laws. Gonzales made several major media appearances in 2018 and assisted in organizing March for our Lives, where she held a 6-minute long moment of silence, the length of the shooting spree she had survived months prior. Co-creator of gun control advocacy group called Never Again MSD, Gonzales continues to be a voice of justice and advocacy for her generation.
Challenging the status quo in professional sports since we can remember, 2018 was no exception for Serena Williams. Last year, Williams made waves in the media after being harshly criticised and penalized for an outfit worn during a match. Williams was anything but quiet about her disapproval of the criticism, which subsequently launched massive online outrage at the overall hypocrisy and sexism that run rampant throughout professional sports.
Elected to the position after a long, hard campaign in 2017, Keisha Lance-Bottoms was officially sworn in as the 60th mayor of Atlanta, Georgia on January 2, 2018, making her only the second to hold the position in history. Since, Lance-Bottoms has become a beacon of social change and progress, a true example of political #BlackGirlMagic, and a role model for women everywhere.
A fierce proponent of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, Loujain Al-Hathloul has been placed under arrest on more than one occasion for her determination to make change. First detained for disobeying the female driving ban in 2017, Al-Hathloul was detained again in 2018 for campaigning women’s rights, a charge that could land her a possible 20-year jail sentence.
American model Cameron Russel stirred things up with her viral TED Talk when she bravely stated, “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.” Since, she has used her large social media following as a platform for blasting sexism and abuse in the fashion industry, one Instagram post at a time.
A political dark horse who showed us the come up is really real. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began 2018 as a 29-year-old Yew York bartender, and ended the year by making history as the youngest ever woman to be elected into the House of Representatives. Talk about girl power.