By Rachel Leeds
On this last day of 2013, it is important to reflect on the year past and remember what we learned and achieved, what we gained as well as what (and who) we lost, what we discovered and what remains unsolved. Taking these things into account, we can welcome the New Year with informed enthusiasm and wizened sensibility. With that in mind, GenEq has prepared for you the following “year in review” – the headlines from 2013 that most impacted our continually evolving world of gender politics, equality, and justice. Bonne fête, meilleurs voeux, et heureuse année!
16: Pauline Phillips, voice of the famous Dear Abby column, passes away.
24: Congress lifts the ban that prevented women in the military from serving on the front lines and in elite combat units.
11: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, publishes Lean-In, the latest post-feminist treatise.
8: Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the UK, passes away.
18: Malala Yousafzai appears on the cover of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People issue and goes on to become the youngest person, and the first girl, to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
22: Angela Merkel is (yet again) declared by Forbes to be the world’s most powerful woman.
18: The House of Representatives passed a bill banning abortions after 22 weeks.
25: Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis delivered an 11-hour filibuster to run out the clock on a piece of legislation that would have closed all but five abortion clinics in Texas.
26: The Supreme Court defends gay marriage and invalidates the Defense of Marriage Act by granting federal rights and benefits to any and all legally married couples in America.
17: Nina Davuluri becomes the first woman of Native American descent to be crowned Miss America.
23: The imprisonment of two members of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, and their subsequent hunger strike, raised such fervent international outcry Putin promptly had them released before the end of their sentence.
24: The World Economic Forum ranks 136 countries based on their gender-based disparities in its 2013 Gender Gap Report. Iceland has the narrowest gender gap in the world; the United States came in at 23rd. Benin fell from 117th in 2012 to 126th in 2013.
1: Hillary Clinton’s views on abortion and reproductive rights go viral.
10: Four young women launch a free online magazine by and for adventurous women, aptly naming it Misadventures. It features lady adventurers in essays and interviews, and shares their insights and visions through photography, DIY guides, recipes, and product reviews.
13: Just in time for Christmas, Beyonce released an awe-inspiring visual album, affirming the fact that she really is the greatest woman on the planet.
13: UN Women launches a database which will examine 195 constitutions through a gender lens.
15: Michelle Bachelet was re-elected in Chile with 62.3% of the votes.
22: A Florida woman turned the table on her attacker by giving him a choice to either go to jail or hold a sign at a busy Tampa intersection that reads “I beat women. Honk if I’m a scumbag” and wear a dunce cap.