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November 2021: Celebrating women

As we near the end of a tumultuous year, in which women in particular have faced ugly and sometimes catastrophic difficulties, we wanted to shine a light on some of the wonderful reasons to celebrate with women as well.

This is the first post of our roundup series, where each month we'll be looking back at ten awesome moments of the past 30 days. There's still a long way to go on our journey towards gender equality, but amongst all of the dismal, frustrating headlines, there are some amazing milestones to observe.

We hope that one day there will be no more "first woman to..."' but until then, here's some good news for women from November 2021...

1) Honduras elected its first female president, Xiomara Castro

Honduras’s ruling party conceded defeat in presidential elections, giving victory to the leftist opposition candidate Xiomara Castro and easing fears of another contested vote and violent protests.

"People, I am not going to fail you!" tweeted the former first lady.

2) The U.S. Postal Service revealed the first batch of their stamps for 2022, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program

They also honoured some incredible women in history, including:

  • Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907), the first African American and Native American sculptor to achieve international recognition

  • Katharine Graham (1917-–2001), the first female head of a Fortune 500 company and a pivotal figure during turbulent moments in American history

  • Eugenie Clark (1922-2015), pioneering marine biologist who worked tirelessly to change the public perception about sharks, as well as to preserve marine environments around the world.

*Photos provided by USPS

3) The U.S. Navy selected its first woman to go directly from earning designation as a naval aviator to postgraduate flight training in the F-35C Lightning II

Lt. j.g. Suzelle Thomas, assigned to the “Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 7, received her Wings of Gold during a ceremony at the chapel onboard Naval Air Station.

Eagles Commanding Officer Cmdr. Dylan Porter said: She stood out not only with her performance during her training here, but also as a leader amongst her peers. Lt. j.g. Thomas will be a great asset to the fleet and I’m excited to see all that she accomplishes in the future.”

4) Dame Sandra Mason made history by becoming the first president of Barbados

Queen Elizabeth was removed as head of state of Barbados, and on 30 November, 72-year-old Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in. This significant date marked the country's 55th anniversary of independence.

Dame Sandra has been governor-general since 2018, and was also the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals.

5) Central London’s first 24-hour homeless women’s drop-in centre was opened by Ellie Goulding

The Sanctuary in Marylebone offers a range of services from medical care to job skills as well as legal advice and emergency beds for women with nowhere to go.

Goulding, who is patron of the Marylebone Project, which runs the Sanctuary, said: “We need more places like this where vulnerable women can come and feel safe and feel like they have a place to rebuild and re-skill and get themselves back together.

6) Erin Jackson became the first Black woman in the U.S. to win a World Cup speedskating race... twice!

Photo by sportpoint74 on envato

Jackson made history in the first 500-metre race on 12th November, taking the top spot in 37.613 seconds.

The 29-year-old from Ocala, Florida, won the second 500-meter race at the season-opening meet in Poland, breaking her 24-hour-old track record with a time of 37.555 seconds.

7) The UK's only female arm-wrestling referee made her debut at the national championships

48-year-old Kath Whitaker from Wales became interested in the sport after watching her partner Dean Bolt compete.

Whitaker told the BBC: "In Europe there are lots of female referees and arm-wrestlers. I hope that this changes in the UK and people see the sport, how I have, so inclusive and welcoming."

8) Magdalena Andersson became Sweden's first female Prime Minister

"Budgetpromenad med Magdalena Andersson" by Socialdemokrater

Swedish lawmakers elected Magdalena Andersson to the role of prime minister in November, but she quit the same day after her proposed budget was defeated and the coalition government she hoped to lead broke down.

She was again narrowly appointed to the role by Sweden's Parliament, and has since unveiled her new cabinet.

Congratulations to Andersson who became the first female leader in the country's history... twice!

Photo provided by Emilia Schneider

9) Chile elected the first ever trans woman to congress

As the presidential election put LGBT+ rights at stake, transgender woman Emilia Schneider was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, making her the first trans person to hold office in the lower house of Chile's bicameral Congress.

"This is a day of mixed feelings." Schneider tweeted, "On the one hand, hate advances. On the other, there is hope. I want to thank you for all your support, and today I am humbled and honoured to be the first trans deputy of Chile. This is a step thanks to years of feminist and dissident struggle."

10) Cardi B became the first woman rapper to earn two diamond-certified singles

A week after receiving another Grammy nomination, it was announced by the Recording Industry Association of America that the “WAP” superstar has become the first woman MC to go diamond multiple times.

Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” featuring Cardi B passed the 10-million-units sold mark for the diamond certification. Cardi B scored her first diamond plaque for 2017’s “Bodak Yellow.”

She tweeted: “Wow, I got two Diamond records! Thank you sooo much @maroon5 for including me on this song and this is the song I cater to my daughter every time I perform it. I’m forever grateful.”

By Holly Droy


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