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February and March 2022 - Celebrating Women

It's been an exciting start to the year in the equality sphere, with notable milestones reached in sport, film, business and politics.

Erin Jackson by US Speedskating

As well as an exciting International Women's Day on 8th March, the last two months have seen some standout occasions that will go down in history. Check out our list showing just ten of these breakthrough moments. We know there's a lot more that needs to be done for gender equality, but we believe every step in the right direction is a step worth celebrating.

1) U.S. Women's Hockey saw the first ever Indigenous woman making her debut

Abby Roque by USA Hockey

Abby Roque, the first Native American woman to play Olympic hockey for the United States, made her Olympic debut in February, saying: “The biggest piece for me is making sure I’m being a good role model and putting my best foot forward. Especially for us women in sport, if you can see it, you can be it."

"When you look at hockey, you want to see female hockey players, and if you're an indigenous kid you want to be able to see other Indigenous players playing on the biggest stage.”

Abby is also one of no more than a handful of Indigenous people to compete at any Winter Games for Team USA. Her identity comes from her membership in the Wahnapitae First Nation, a Canada-based tribe with fewer than 600 members.

2) The women's darts tournament will be televised live for the first time

Photo by sergign on envato

The PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) announced that Betfred Women's World Matchplay in July will become the first televised women's darts tournament.

"We have expanded our commitment to women's darts in recent years following the introduction of the PDC Women's Series, and we feel that the time is right to give these players a televised tournament, PDC chief executive Matt Porter said.

3) Seven new mixed-gender team events made their debut in the Bejing Winter Olympics 2022

The Winter Olympics are starting to offer women more opportunities, with the International Olympic Committee pushing toward gender parity at the Olympics.

There's still a long way to go before they reach equality, but in February the Beijing Games saw seven new mixed-gender team events, including mixed-team aerials, mixed-team snowboard cross, mixed-team short-track relay and mixed-team ski jumping.

The women’s monobob also had their inaugural run in Beijing.

4) The Winter Olympics saw a Black woman win speedskating gold for the very first time

Erin Jackson by US Speedskating

Another milestone in the winter Olympics... Team USA's Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to win Olympic speedskating gold.

Her win was also the USA's first medal in the category for over a decade.

She joined American Shani Davis as the only Black athletes to win speedskating medals at the Olympics... though progress is slow, any step towards equality is a step worth celebrating.

5) Women's representation on boards has more than trebled in the last ten years

Photo by BGStock72 on envato

The UK government announced in February that "almost 40% of UK FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, putting the UK second in international rankings for board representation."

However, there are still many companies yet to hit the former 33% target set by the Hampton Alexander Review.

6) Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

Since Biden's nomination of Judge Jackson back in February, her position in the Court has been confirmed, making her the first Black woman to become a justice on the US Supreme Court in its 233-year history.

Speaking at a White House event in celebration of her confirmation, Judge Jackson said: "I am feeling up to the task, primarily because I know that I am not alone."

"I am standing on the shoulders of my own role models, generations of Americans who never had anything close to this kind of opportunity, but who got up every day and went to work believing in the promise of America."

7) Pay finally equalised for men’s and women’s national soccer teams in the US

On February 22, the US women's national soccer team secured equal pay with their male counterparts and won a $24 million (£17.66m) payout.

The historic lawsuit, which has finally been settled, has been active since 2016

The change was led by Megan Rapinoe, US Women’s National Team’s own public figure and trailblazer.

The star midfielder said, “I think we’re going to look back on this moment and just think, ‘Wow, what an incredible turning point in the history of U.S. Soccer that changed the game and changed the world, really, forever.”

8) The first Black female 007 wins the 'Rising Star' Bafta Award

Lashana Lynch, who made history as the first black female 007 in No Time to Die, took home the Rising Star award at the 2022 BAFTA Film Awards on 13th March.

Accepting her award on stage, Lashana said, "I have very supportive parents whose parents came from Jamaica here in the Windrush generation. I have them to thank for my existence."

She continued, "I would like to thank the women of this country who taught me what it is to be in this industry as a dark skinned woman. I thank them for laying the foundations for people like me."

9) Ariana DeBose makes history as the first queer woman of colour to win an Oscar

Ariana DeBose won the Oscar for best supporting actress at the Academy Awards on 28th March, for her role in the West Side Story remake.

The win made DeBose the first queer woman of colour to win an Oscar. She also became the second Latina actor to win an Oscar, after Rita Moreno who became the first in 1962; Moreno incredibly won the same award for playing the same role in the original West Side Story.

DeBose celebrated Moreno in her acceptance speech, saying: “I’m so grateful – your Anita (the character they both played in West Side Story) paved the way for tons of Anitas like me, and I love you.”

10) The Philippine Air Force introduces first ever female fighter pilot

Photo by Rawpixel on envato

A woman joined the ranks of fighter pilots in the Philippine Air Force for the first time in March.

First Lieutenant Jul Laiza Mae Camposano-Beran is the air force's first female combat mission-ready pilot and wingman, meaning she is qualified to fly and fight in the AS211 light jet combat aircraft.

She was also the 5th female recipient of the Athletic Saber Award, which recognizes cadets for their athletic ability.


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