Numerous gender equality accomplishments in 2014

Malala Yousafzai is, at seventeen years old, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in history. (Photo Credit: mic.com)

By Janelle Thompson, Women’s Center Correspondant

As this year comes to a close, it is important for us to look back and celebrate all of the big advances for women and gender equality that occurred this year. Thanks to increased awareness, many parts of the world have answered the call to galvanize on behalf of females everywhere, and have been effective in inciting positive change. Here, then, are the top ten feminist moments of 2014:

10. The moment actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, famed for his roles in the movies Inception and Dark Knight Rising, declared himself a feminist, and worked to remove the stigma against the word, encouraging his fan base along the way.

9. When the popular magazine Cosmopolitan began to include feminist material in order to capture the attention and interests of a more modern female audience. This change in marketing strategy demonstrates that the media is beginning to recognize that females are multi-faceted individuals with a broad range of interests spanning from makeup to politics. Though small, this is certainly a step in the right direction. So Cosmo, we applaud you.

8. When the Aunty Flow Period Party YouTube video caused us to reconsider menstruation, and dismantle its categorization as something taboo or clandestine. This recapture of lost language is a testament to how far we have progressed towards making female life experiences less shameful. #periodpower

7. When Emma Watson became the United Nation’s Goodwill Ambassador and spoke eloquently about gender equality and feminism for the HeForShe campaign.

6. When Frozen was released, convincing children everywhere that finding prince charming does not define a girl’s sense of worth or even a fairytale ending. The movie, which was both written and composed by females, was explosively successful, and also paved the way for a new type of heroine. To all the naysayers, let it go.

5. When Olivia Pope, leading character in the hit TV show Scandal, stepped out and joined the ranks of feminists everywhere. Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, certainly knows how to push her audience, and in this case it’s a positive push for powerful change.

4. The fact that an unprecedented one hundred females will be soon be swelling the one hundred and forty-fourth Congress’s ranks. Talk about a power move!

3. The moment Facebook decided to stop censoring photographs depicting breastfeeding mothers. This one was a biggie. The social media site finally caught up to modern times; changing its policy that formerly demonized nursing pictures.

2. When Beyoncé wrote the powerful feminist essay entitled “Gender Equality Is a Myth” in order to push the issues still plaguing women in today’s society to the forefront. If we weren’t already in awe of the pop queen we certainly can be now. Her message is truly inspiring.

1. The moment when Malala Yousafzai, a Pakatani teen received the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting girls’ education alongside Kailash Satyarthi, who is an advocate for children’s rights in India. So far, Malala, at seventeen years old, is the youngest recipient to the Nobel Peace. Not bad for the number one feminist move of 2014!

It is evident that the crowing achievements of this past year are exceptionally bright. Hopefully, this list is a fortuitous sign of the welcome changes that are to come in 2015.

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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