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May 2022 - Celebrating Women

Take a look at our roundup of some of the landmark moments for gender equality over the last month...

Credit: David Cherry

From worldwide politics and business, to sports and eyewatering physical challenges, 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) France sees its first woman Prime Minister in 30 years

Elisabeth Borne, the French minister for labour, became prime minister on 16th May – the first woman to hold the post in more than 30 years.

The 61-year-old engineer is also only the second female prime minister in modern French history.

“I dedicate this nomination to all the little girls in France, to tell them, ‘Follow your dreams’,” Borne said while taking office. “Nothing should stop the fight for women’s place in our society.”

"I want to dedicate my nomination to all little girls and tell them to go all the way pursuing your dreams,"

France has its general election in June.

2) The first woman wins UK’s Fisherman of the Year

Ashley Mullenger

Ashley Mullenger is a whelk fisherman who fishes off Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. She says she was determined to normalise the role of women in the industry, after becoming the first woman to land a Fisherman of the Year accolade.

"Men have worked hard to build this industry that I'm now part of. It is part of my honour and respect for them," she told the BBC.

The under 10-metre award, which Ashley won, refers to the size of fishing vessel. Judges looked for an individual who has demonstrated skill, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to change.

3) Female referees are to officiate at a men’s World Cup for the first time

Stephanie Frappart by Sven Mandel

In a breakthrough for gender equality within football, Stéphanie Frappart of France, Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan have been included on the list of 36 referees who are officiating the tournament.

Fifa has also confirmed that three female assistant referees (out of a total of 69) will be joining them.

The 2022 World Cup is taking place in Qatar in November and December, which will be the first tournament hosted in the Middle East.

"I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women's match officials for important men's competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational," said the chairman of Fifa's referees committee Pierluigi Collina.

4) US women's soccer team to earn equal pay

Photo by Rawpixel on envato

Women who play soccer for the United States will now earn the same amount as men in a landmark deal.

U.S. Soccer and the unions for both the men's and women's national teams announced they reached a new collective bargaining agreement that will achieve "equal pay and set the global standard moving forward in international soccer."

While women's players previously had guaranteed salaries, they will now have the same pay-to-play structure as the men's player. They will also be provided the same working conditions as men.

5) The first ever woman finishes an extreme endurance ride in the Tunisian desert

Vanessa Ruck by Tunisia Desert Challenge

Vanessa Ruck - also known as The Girl on a Bike - recently battled sand dunes and blistering temperatures to complete the Tunisia Desert Challenge.

The 35-year-old motorcyclist went on to complete the gruelling eight-day endurance event, covering up to 469km each day and enduring sandstorms with up to 85km/hr winds. Vanessa told The Female Lead: "Tunisia really was brutal but such an adventure!"

6) The first female skater was drafted in the Canadian Hockey League

Photo by dotshock on envato

15-year-old Chloe Primerano made history in the 13th round of the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft, by becoming the first female skater drafted in the Canadian Hockey League.

Chloe Primerano from North Vancouver skated in 30 games with Burnaby Winter Club U15 Prep this past season, registering 19 points (2G-17A).

7) Spain take the lead on menstrual leave for women

Photo by diego_cervo on envato

Women who suffer from severe period pain might be allowed to take leave from work for up to three days each month, which could be extended to five days in some circumstances.

If the bill passes, Spain would join Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Zambia in having a policy that grants. menstrual leave.

Until now, no European country had proposed such a possibility.

8) UK government launch fund to support women’s reproductive at work

Photo by Image-Source on envato

The UK government has announced that women experiencing the menopause, fertility problems,

miscarriage and pregnancy loss, menstrual health and gynaecological conditions in the workplace will be supported to remain in or return to the workplace by a multi-million pound funding boost to VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) organisations.

Grants of between £200,000 to £600,000 per applicant will be available over the next three years to expand and develop projects or programmes in these areas. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Millions of women work across the country and all employers should have plans to ensure the right support is in place for women experiencing reproductive issues and the menopause."

9) Davina McCall calls on companies to provide more support to women to help halt the ‘menopausal talent drain’

In her latest Channel 4 documentary, 'Sex, Mind and the Menopause', Davina explores how menopause can affect the mind as well as the body, with memory loss and brain fog decimating women at work.

She says: "If you could get back to feeling yourself, there is a really high chance that you will stay in your job – because most of us really enjoy our jobs. Sometimes, you feel like you’ve lost your marbles so badly that you are unable to continue your work."

"Now imagine the drain on businesses and the economy if 13 million women leave their jobs because they just felt like they couldn’t continue." We're right behind you, Davina!

10) Pro skydivers celebrate female athletes by skydiving into Banc of California Stadium

Photo by Chris Carnahan

On 29 May, the Highlight Pro Skydiving Team soared into the Banc of California Stadium for the Angel City Football Club vs. NJ/NY Gotham Football Club soccer game.

The elite all-female skydiving team say they have a shared mission with ACFC to celebrate female athletes and champion women’s equality.

The team of 12 women regularly do jumps across America at events to elevate women’s rights, putting on spectacular aerial displays across the sky.


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