3. The U.S Women’s National Soccer Team won the 2019 Women’s World Cup
In a moment that was watched by a live audience of 82.18 million, the U.S Women’s National Team won the final match in the 2019 Women’s Soccer World Cup against opponents, the Netherlands. The team’s success drew further attention to lawsuit the team filed against the U.S Soccer Federation for gender discrimination – on the basis of unequal conditions and pay inequity.
4. Chanel Miller published her debut memoir, coming forward as the victim from the Stanford sexual assault case
For over four years, we knew Chanel Miller as her former alias, Emily Doe, the woman on the other side of the Stanford sexual assault case. In 2019, however, she decided that it was time we learned her real name. Miller released her incredible memoir, Know My Name, where she takes us through the night Brock Turner sexually assaulted her behind a dumpster, through to the trial, media coverage, trauma and healing that followed. A courageous and powerful decision, there’s no question that Miller’s memoir will have a ripple effect for years to come.
5. Saudi Arabia made major changes to their guardianship law
After a long and ruthless battle that has seen many courageous Saudi women placed behind bars, Saudi Arabia finally made significant changes to its male guardianship system. The law has long required women to have a male “guardian” (typically a family member of husband) who has control over many aspects of her life, including her finances, travel and decision to marry.
The long-awaited reform, which was implemented in August, allows any Saudi woman over the age of 21 to leave the country without the permission of a male guardian. According to Vox, women will also have employment discrimination protection and will be able to live apart from their husbands.
6. End of Sentence. Won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short
“I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar,” were the words of director and producer Rayka Zehtabchi when she went to accept the award for Best Documentary Short. Period. End of Sentence. takes place in rural India and explores the taboos and stigma associated with menstruation. If you haven’t yet watched the award-winning documentary, we recommend you add it to your list ASAP.
7. Jacinda Arden proved to the world what a real leader looks like, following the Christchurch shooting
In the wake of New Zealand’s deadliest-ever mass shooting in which a shooter opened fire in two mosques in the city of Christchurch – 39-year-old prime minister, Jacinda Ardern was tasked with the difficult challenge of comforting a country in mourning. Proving to the world the type of leader she is, Ardern showcased a level compassion that many others have lacked, while simultaneously condemning the violence and the suspected killer’s anti-immigration stance and announcing that she’d push for significant gun reform laws and launch an inquiry into the shooting.
8. Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Really Did THAT
We can’t really say that we’re that surprised, but Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show was undoubtedly the most talked about fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Not only was it the first-ever streamed runway show, but in keeping with the brand’s true style, it was a lesson in diversity, inclusivity and if that wasn’t enough, showcased an incredible collection of lingerie and showstopping performances from Normani, Halsey, Migos, Big Sean and A$AP Ferg. Music, dancing, models of all shapes and sizes, gorgeous lingerie and Rihanna? Sounds pretty iconic to us.
9. Selena Gomez released the breakup songs of the year
Need we say more? We may have had to wait over a year for Selena to drop a new single, but when the pop singer blessed us with “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now” back to back, well, she definitely did not disappoint. The two break anthems – which Gomez herself confirmed are best listened to during a long drive with friends – were the songs we needed to finish out the year. It’s clear that Gomez is back, and we certainly can’t wait for album set to drop in 2020.
10. Women dominated the award shows
We started the year’s successful award season in February, when Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler made history, both becoming the first people of colour to win in each of their categories – costume design and production design, respectively. Domee Shi, the first woman to ever direct a Pixar short, also took home the award for best animated short.
Onto the Golden Globes, Sandra Oh became the first Asian woman to host the awards show, while Rachel Chavkin took home the Tony Award for best direction of a musical after being the only woman nominated in the category and the only woman directing a Broadway musical that season.
This year’s Emmy’s may as well have been renamed after Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who took home three awards for her iconic show, Fleabag. And to finish the year off, women dominated the 2020 Grammy nominations – Lizzo and Billie Eilish earning eight and six nominations, respectively and Eilish also becoming the youngest person ever to be nominated in the top four Grammy categories.