One month down already in 2020 – can you believe it? But we’re still in awe of some of the amazing things women all over the world achieved last year. From the arts and academia to sport and science, women in almost every industry were breaking glass ceilings and proving that anything is possible.
Here, we take a look at a few of the amazing women that lit up our world in 2019…
Some amazing women in SA
The athlete and top SA distance runner, Gerda has had quite a year. She smashed the female record at last year’s Comrades Marathon with a finishing time of under six hours. And, at the gruelling New York Marathon in November, she beat her own personal best with an Olympic qualifying time of 2.27.48. We’ll look out for her at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
At 48, this Zambian-born SA mom of two made history as the first black woman to conquer Mount Everest. It took four separate attempts but, in May, she made her dream come true and the nation celebrated her achievement. Because of her success, her next goal is to climb the highest peak on every continent in support of the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Children’s Foundation. We’ll be cheering her on every step of the way.
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Today is the last day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence that ran from the 25th of November. This doesn't mean the activism has to stop, but the violence definitly has to. As we wrap up the 16 days, Lavender Hill activist and Philisa Abafazi Bethu SA Director Lucinda Evans speaks on why we should all be in the fore front of ending this social ill. She also shares about some of her work and the space she operates from. Watch her special today at 19:30 hrs on BRICS TV Starsat channel 509. Watch it on the go via mojamedia.tv Download the TV2Africa App on playstore/ apple store, subscribe, and stream it on your device at your convenience #GBV #16Days #SayNoToGBV #OrangeTheWorld #LucindaEvans #philisaabafazibethu #MojaMedia #bricstv #gbvawareness #lavenderhill #capetown #imbokodo #humanitarian #advocate #December #portrait #smile #instadaily
Lucinda is on the BBC Top 100 Women of 2019 list and we couldn’t be more proud. As a women’s rights activist, Lucinda was instrumental during the #AmINext movement that sparked in September. Since then, she led nationwide marches challenging government to change policy and take action against gender-based violence. Lucinda says, “My hope, as a Khoisan woman, is that we will one day be freed from violence against our bodies, and the bodies of our daughters, sisters, mothers and aunties. I hope that one day we will have a female president. For this, I will continue to advocate and rise in pain to power.” We could do with more amazing women like Lucinda.
She became the world’s first black African female fighter pilot. And, as such, she was part of the special air display showcased for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration ceremony. In an interview with Afternoon Express she said she’s wanted to be a pilot ever since she was a girl. She used to watch air shows at Durban’s Virginia Airport. She calls combat pilots, “the military specialists and police [force] of the air”.
Amazing women in the arts
The Oscar-winning actress makes the list for her sheer, never-ending fabulousness. This year, she not only took on the challenging role of a notorious Russian empress in HBO’s Catherine the Great, but she showed once again that ageless attitude we strive for. Images of her gliding barefoot down the runway at L’Oréal’s Paris fashion show blew up on social media. And for good reason. Full of joy in her printed gown, she was immaculate.
Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo
These amazing women became the first authors to jointly share the prestigious award since 1992. Margaret Atwood was honoured for her novel, The Testaments – the gripping sequel to her 1985 release The Handmaid’s Tale. British author Bernardine Evaristo was awarded for her eighth novel, Girl, Woman, Other about 12 people living in the UK. At 79, Margaret is the oldest ever Booker winner and Bernardine is the first black woman to earn the prize. What a duo!
She stole the show at this year’s 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. On the night, she walked away with two gold statues for her work on comedy drama, Fleabag – best lead actress in a comedy and best comedy writing. In her speech, she joked “It’s really wonderful to know that a dirty, pervy, messed up woman can make it to the Emmys” – talking of her character, we hope!
Amazing women in politics
This Swedish teenager made the world sit up and listen to her views on climate change and the future of our planet. She delivered her first speech at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland and, a year later, has become a household name around the globe. Last year, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. And Greta was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her impact has become known as the ‘Greta Thunberg Effect’.
The bold 81-year-old star caused a stir at the end of last year. For four weeks running, she highlighted the climate crisis by staging protests in Washington – with famous friends like Ted Danson and Catherine Keener. Her friends were fined and released from custody. But, Jane spent the night in jail. “One night, big deal!” she said. Last we heard, she planned to keep protesting until January when production of her hit Netflix series Grace and Frankie was set to resume. She predicted she’d spend her 82nd birthday in jail on 21 December. Either way, she looked pretty chuffed in her handcuffs.