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January 2022 - Celebrating women

Happy New Year to our Female Lead audience! If you've got the January blues, then take a look at our roundup of some of the great reasons for women to celebrate the start of 2022.

From worldwide politics and business to sports and positive local stories, we've put together a list of ten milestones in the gender equality sphere that will make you smile. There's a long way to go, but we believe every step in the right direction is a step worth celebrating.

1) An Army officer became the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition across Antarctica

Preet Chandi (@polarpreet Instagram)

Preet Chandi trekked 700 miles in 40 days, facing temperatures of -45C, poor visibility and fatigue along the way.

The 32-year-old from Derby said she set the challenge because she wanted to inspire others to "push boundaries".

Announcing her achievement on social media she wrote: "It feels so surreal to finally be here".

2) Pakistan appointed its first female Supreme Court judge

Ayesha Malik, a judge at the Lahore High Court, has become the first woman judge in Pakistan’s Supreme Court in the country’s 74 year history. Currently, female judges make up only 4 per cent of Pakistan’s high courts.

Ayesha Malik, 55, now sits on a bench with 16 other male colleagues in the Muslim-majority country's top court.

Lawyers and activists said it was a rare victory after decades of struggle to get representation for women in Pakistan's male-dominated society.

Malik is known for passing a landmark ruling in January that declared virginity tests on victims of sexual assault as illegal and against the Constitution.

She will now work as a Supreme Court judge until her superannuation in June 2031.

3) The Federal Reserve boosted the diversity of its boards

The Federal Reserve - the central banking system of the United States - has named leadership for the boards of its 12 regional Fed banks that is both majority female and majority people of colour.

Of the 24 people named to chair and vice chair posts at the 12 regional banks for the coming year, 13 are women and 13 are people who identify as Black, Hispanic, or otherwise non-white, according to a Reuters tally.

4) Goldman Sachs announced the next round of investments for their One Million Black Women initiative

Photo by Rido81 on envato

Goldman Sachs has committed $10 billion in investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic support to advance racial equity and economic opportunity by investing in Black women.

The initiative, called 'One Million Black Women', commits to invest in the core pillars of healthcare, job creation and workforce development, education, affordable housing, digital connectivity, financial health and access to capital that impact Black women at every stage in their lives.

5) The Spanish Government committed to increasing development aid with a focus on sustainability and gender equality

Photo by twenty20photos

Spain plans to allocate 0.7% of its Gross National Product (GNP) to development aid, incorporating the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Spain wants to focus the country’s development and cooperation policies on the fight to reduce poverty and inequality, combat climate change, and promote gender equality, the draft text of the new law reads.

6) 20th January marked a year since Kamala Harris' Inauguration

Kamala Harris has used her platform to become a powerful advocate for women and women of colour. Her first year record in office with Joe Biden demonstrates their commitment to better representation and equality in government.

The White House reports that since Kamala's Inauguration, there have been more Black women judges appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals than any presidential team – even over eight years – in history.

Biden & Harris's Cabinet also features the first majority non-white Cabinet in history, with mostly women in the Cabinet, including the first woman Treasury Secretary, the first LGBTQ+ and Native American Cabinet officials, and the first woman Director of National Intelligence.

7) Chile’s president-elect named a progressive, majority-women cabinet

Chile’s millennial president-elect, Gabriel Boric, has named a progressive cabinet, with a ministerial team which for the first time anywhere in the Americas is dominated by women.

14 women and ten men – with an average age of 49 – were named as ministers on 21st January.

“We have put together this group of people who are well-prepared, who have knowledge and experience, who are committed to the programme of changes that the country needs, and have the capacity to combine viewpoints, different perspectives and new visions,” said Boric at a ceremony outside Santiago’s natural history museum.

8) The Advertising Association launched a talent ‘taskforce’ to tackle skills shortage and diversity

Photo by bialasiewicz

The Advertising Association (AA) is a trade association representing advertisers, agencies, media and research services in the UK advertising industry.

On 27th January they announced they were launching a taskforce to address the “major” talent shortage in marketing and advertising. The new taskforce will work to understand how the advertising workforce can better represent the diversity of its audience.

The AA has revealed the next three action points for the All In Action Plan, focusing on addressing gender diversity and inclusivity, Asian talent, and ageism.

9) Meet Nancy Katnoria, the first woman ambulance driver in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a northern Indian state in the Himalayas, where in recent years, more women are becoming a part of workplaces.

22-year-old Nancy Katnoria broke the glass ceiling by becoming Himachal Pradesh's first woman to drive an ambulance and provide emergency transport service to patients, according to The Logical Indian. She is only India's second woman to take an ambulance's driver seat after a Tamil Nadu woman named Veeralakshmi in 2020.

10) Tennis player Ashleigh Barty made history the as first player to win on home soil in 44 years

Ashleigh Barty has made history by becoming the first player to win the Australian Open on home soil in 44 years, Sky News reports.

The world number one defeated American Danielle Collins in the final, becoming the only active player other than Serena Williams to have won major titles on three different surfaces.

The last homegrown player to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup was Chris O'Neil in 1978.


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