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April 2022 - Celebrating Women

We're back for another incredible month of firsts for women, and April has given us plenty of reasons to celebrate...

From sporting, fashion and musical firsts, to applauding the liberation of women's sexual desires, we've brought you ten exciting moments that are huge milestones for gender equality. We know there's a long way to go, but amongst all of the frustrating setbacks in feminism, are some trailblazing women excelling in their fields that deserve our recognition.

1) The first female creative director of Dior was honored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Maria Grazia Chiuri by © Ben Rosser

Maria Grazia Chiuri, the creative force behind Dior, was honored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington this month for elevating women's voices.

“It was not easy to find my way,” she says. “I think that is really something that you have to work on.”

Maria has a clear vision: "We should all be feminists”.

This is the slogan on a t-shirt which features on the cover of her recently published book, titled Her Dior: Maria Grazia Chiuri's New Voice.

It's a powerful collection of photographs and essays by trailblazing women that celebrates Maria Grazia Chiuri's feminine and feminist spirit within the House of Dior. It's no surprise the National Museum of Women in the Arts wanted to honour her!

2) Royal Mail releases stamps to celebrate hidden female heroes of WWII

Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II by Royal Mail

A new set of ten stamps is being issued in tribute to women's vital contribution during the Second World War, illustrating the huge range of work women undertook during the war years.

David Gold of Royal Mail said: "These stamps are a tribute to the millions of women who contributed to the war effort and the Allied victory."

"Their bravery and sacrifice is often overlooked, but their work helped to drive some of the post-war social changes that eventually saw equal opportunities and equal pay legislation. We must also remember the women who supported the war effort at home, managing households despite the unceasing demands of total war."

3) Cardi B makes history...

Cardi B became the first woman to have every song on an album become platinum, certified by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

The debut album, Invasion of Privacy, was actually released in 2018, but is still smashing records.

Her latest triumph comes after another milestone with the same album, when she became the first woman to have every song on her album be certified at least gold.

The news technically broke at the end of March, but this milestone was too good not to mention!

4) Wendie Renard became the first woman to make 100 Champions League appearances

Wendie Renard by Valerio Pennicino - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

French professional footballer Wendie Renard made history in April as the first woman to make 100 appearances in the UEFA Women's Champions League.

The Olympique Lyonnais captain and seven-time European champion plays as a centre-back, and captains both Division 1 Féminine club Lyon and the France national team.

In the men's game, a total of 45 players have appeared in 100 or more matches in the competition, led by the tournament's all-time leading goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo on 183.

Football has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to gender equality, but Wendie is paving the way for this generation of women footballers.

5) The first ever woman is set to referee the men's French Cup football final...

Stephanie Frappart will become the first woman to referee the French Cup final, the French Football Federation has announced.

Frappart said she was "happy and proud" to be appointed to next month's game, where Nice will face Nantes.

The 38-year-old has also been selected for the referees panel for the women's Euro, scheduled for July.

Frappart was previously also the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 match in 2019; in the same year she handled the European Super Cup, and in 2020 refereed a men's Champions League match.

6) ...and the first woman refereed an AFC Champions League game

Photo by imagesourcecurated on envato

Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita became the first woman to referee an Asian Champions League match in April, when Australia's Melbourne City played South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons in the group stages.

"The selection reinforces the AFC's commitment to strengthen and develop the women's game at all levels," the Asian Football Confederation said in a statement.

7) Natalie Holt becomes the first woman to score a live-action Star Wars project

Natalie Holt has been named as the composer for Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, is a live-action television series featuring the Star Wars character of the same name.

Holt told Vanity Fair: “Obviously, I’m just thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as John Williams. It’s been exciting and overwhelming at times, because I’m such a fan. I want to pay respect to the history of it, and do it justice as well.”

8) The UK's first female sex shop celebrated it's 30th birthday

Ky Hoyle - provided by Sh!

Sh! Women's Erotic Emporium celebrated its 30th birthday on April 1st. Ky Hoyle, who opened Sh! Women's Emporium in Hoxton in 1992, told The Mirror she started the business after failing to find a sex toy designed for women.

Though Ky hails the progress women have made expressing their sexuality over the last 30 years, she still has more to do. She is now running workshops where women can get together, feel liberated and break down the stigma of women's sexual issues.

9) The first female leads Life of Pi in the West End

Payal Mistry - provided by Story House PR

Understudy Payal Mistry became the first female to lead Life of Pi in April. She made her debut playing the leading role in the show, which extended its run at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre.

The central role of Pi is usually played by Hiran Abeysekera or Nuwan Hugh Perara, but when Hiran was on holiday, Payal performed the role for the very first time, for two shows.

Payal told The Female Lead: "It feels wonderful to be able to explore this character through the female perspective, and I feel especially blessed to be the first for this role! Breaking barriers is so important in this industry. I know it would have been such a positive influence to see someone like myself on stage at a young age, and I'm so grateful that I could potentially be that inspiration for someone else."

10) A Japanese snowboarder made history with the first 'frontside triple 1260' by a woman

Photo by Izf on envato

Reira Iwabuchi became the first woman in the world to land a stunningly impressive snowboarding trick... the 'frontside triple 1260' is three and a half rotations performed in the air.

The 20-year-old originally tried the frontside triple at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, but narrowly missed. Iwabuchi said: “After I came so close at the Olympics, I really wanted to try again at The Nines.” And this time, she achieved her goal.

Astonishingly, Canadian Laurie Blouin landed the second-ever women’s cab triple 1260 shortly after, at the same event . Watch these incredible women break records here:


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