For many women, June has been a devastating month. The US Supreme Court has overturned a landmark legal ruling made in 1973, often referred to as the Roe v Wade case. This means that 26 conservative states are now either certain or likely to introduce new abortion restrictions or bans. While some of the population will back the bans, millions of women have voiced their outrage - we're likely to see continued fights against the ruling in the coming months.
In other news around the world, there are still hundreds of positive stories happening every week that are worth celebrating. It was a momentous month for women in STEM, sport and politics, with experts in their field finally being recognised for their breadth of achievements. Take a look at ten of our favourite moments that happened in June...
1) Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen sing their response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade
Olivia Rodrigo made her views about the new abortion restrictions and bans in the US very clear at this year's Glastonbury festival...
The 19-year-old brought Lily Allen on stage to call out five of the Supreme Court justices responsible for the overturning of Roe vs Wade.
Olivia told the crowd: "The Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is a law that ensures a woman’s right to a safe abortion and other basic human rights. And I’m devastated and terrified and so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this.”
The pair sang Lily Allen's 'F**k You', originally released on her 'It's Not Me, It's You' album in 2009.
2) A 15-year-old becomes the first woman to win the MotoAmerica Junior Cup race
Kayla Yaakov made history this month by securing third place in Race 1 of the Junior Cup, before rewriting the MotoAmerica record books with a Race 2 victory.
The 15-year-old started the race weekend at Shelton, Washington’s Ridge Motorsports Park by celebrating her 15th birthday on 24th June.
And with five rounds left on the 2022 MotoAmerica calendar, the title is still up for grabs. “This is where I wanted to be,” Yaakov said. “To do it is really cool. This is crazy!”
3) A 21-year-old sets off on her mission to become the first woman to swim the length of Great Britain
Jasmine Harrison left her starting point in Cornwall on 29th June, hoping to become the first ever woman to swim from Land's End to John O'Groats.
Harrison is already a record breaker, becoming the youngest woman to row the Atlantic solo less than a year ago.
She's aiming to swim for up to twelve hours a day in order to complete the 900-mile journey in three months. She said: "I can only swim with the tide, that's why it's twelve hours - six hours on, six hours off - twice in a day.
"Then I would get out and sleep on a support boat alongside that would anchor up. I don't plan on stepping onto land until I reach John O'Groats."
The challenge has only been officially completed by two other people. You can track Jasmine's swim here.
4) Francia Marques is set to become Colombia's first Black vice president
Francia Marquez made history in June, as she will be the first Black Colombian and second woman to ascend to the vice presidency of Colombia.
"We've taken a very important step, after 214 years we've achieved a government of the people ... of those with calloused hands, of those on foot, of the nobodies," said Marquez during her victory speech.
The 40-year-old will assume office on 7th August, but she has already announced the new government would create an equality ministry.
"I come from a region that has been historically abandoned," Marquez wrote on Twitter. "My task is to guarantee the rights of these excluded and marginalized territories, to guarantee rights for Afro-descendant and Indigenous populations."
She also vowed to bring equality for women.
5) The new White House science adviser is the first woman, person of colour and immigrant to hold that position
Arati Prabhakar, an engineer and physicist, was nominated by President Joe Biden to be his science adviser on 21st June.
The former head of two federal science and engineering agencies will be the first woman, person of color and immigrant to hold that Cabinet-level position, if she is confirmed by the Senate.
Prabhakar would head The Office of Science and Technology Policy, looking into issues ranging from climate change to the physical sciences.
Prabhakar also will play an essential role in Cancer Moonshot 2.0 - an initiative personally important to Biden that aims to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years.
Prabhakar has previously led the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under former president Barack Obama, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology under former president Bill Clinton.
6) Margherita Hack has become the first female scientist honoured with a public statue in Italy
Margherita Hack, who was born in 1922 and died in 2013, was a high-profile figure for decades in Italy, as the country’s first female full professor in astronomy.
Hack specialized in spectroscopy and stellar evolution, and made frequent appearances on television, communicating science to the public. She was also politically active, campaigning for gay and abortion rights and against the Vatican City’s influence on Italian public life.
The bronze monument, by Italian artist Sissi, was unveiled on 13 June - a day after what would have been Hack’s 100th birthday - next to the main campus of the University of Milan.
Hack is credited with inspiring generations of young women to pursue a career in science, and it's hoped this statue will continue to do just that.
7) Sally Ride becomes the first female astronaut to be honoured with a public monument in the U.S.
Sally Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman and the third woman ever to have gone to space. She was also the youngest American astronaut to have travelled to space, having done so at the age of 32.
She died of pancreatic cancer in 2012, when she was 61, but her memory lives on as she became the first female astronaut to be honoured with a public monument in the United States.
The memorial to Ride’s ground-breaking achievements is the brainchild of documentary filmmaker Steven C. Barber, who has already spearheaded two NASA monuments. He said, “As I went through my journey of building the Apollo 11 monument and the Apollo 13 monument, it occurred to me very early on that there were no monuments commemorating any of the 65 women who have flown in space and the over 12,000 women that had worked at NASA,” Barber told Artnet News in an email.
The bronze statue was unveiled at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on Long Island.
8) Nicki Minaj will become the first woman to headline Rolling Loud New York
It's been announced that Nicki Minaj will be returning to her hometown of Queens, New York to headline Rolling Loud New York, alongside A$AP Rocky and Future.
Rolling Loud is the world’s largest hip-hop festival, about to enter its third year of production. Rolling Loud New York will take place at Citi Field on September 23rd to 25th, and will include performances from Fat Joe, BIA, Lil Baby, Pusha T, 21 Savage, Busta Rhymes, Fivio Foreign, Dream Doll, and more.
Cardi B co-headlined Rolling Loud with Lil Uzi Vert for the Los Angeles festival in 2018, making this year the first time a woman has solely headlined the festival.
9) Hollie Davidson became the first woman to referee a men's Six Nations side
Scottish official Hollie Davidson took charge of the men's Test between Portugal and Italy in Lisbon on June 25, becoming the first ever woman to referee a men's Six Nations side.
She will also referee Canada's game against Belgium in July, and has been appointed as an official at the Women's Rugby World Cup later this year.
Davidson made history in 2017 when she became Scottish rugby's first full-time professional women's referee.
She told The Female Lead: "“It’s unbelievable, I can’t explain the emotions after the game. It’s an exciting step forward for rugby, which at its heart, is a hugely inclusive sport sport for everyone no matter your role.”