The Global Connections for Women foundation (GC4W) recognizes the remarkable moments and accomplishments of Women & Girls across the globe in 2014.
1. March 2014: Lupita Nyong’o became the First African Female to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress – for her outstanding performance in the movie “12 Years a Slave.” The resounding effects of the last words of her acceptance speech “When I look down at this golden statute, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you are from – your dreams are valid.”
2. March 2014: For the First time in history more than half of women of the working age in Latin America are now in the labor force. That number has grown to more than 100million and is expected to increase as more advances are being made to improve gender equality and women empowerment in that region.
3. May 2014: India had the nation’s largest election participation in history. As 90% of voters insisted that the priority agenda for elected officials should focus on combating violence against women. “According to the poll, 75% of men and women participating in the largest democratic event in history also believe that the political promises made to advocate women’s rights have been inadequate so far.”
4. June 2014: Award Winning Director, Lauren Greenfield directed Always’ #LIKEAGIRL video campaign to combat the negative association of being told to “Act Like a Girl.” With the video, Always hopes to empower young women to maintain their confidence at puberty. “Confidence means being able to find your own power that gives you some stability and just allows you to follow your own path – where you can fully express yourself” ~ Lauren Greenfield. The video had over 53,581,694 views on YouTube.
5. August 2014: Mo’ne Davis became the First American Girl to lead her team to victory in a Little League World Series game. “She captured the hearts and imaginations of girls not only in the country but around the world,” said coach Steve Bandura. Mo’ne is one of only four American girls to ever play in a Little League World Series game. Her outstanding performance is one that Sports Illustrated Magazine immortalized on their cover and Mo’ne hopes that “when people see it they’ll feel inspired to throw like a girl.”
6. September 2014: Serena Williams wins her third straight U.S. Open, the 18th Grand Slam singles career title. The victory awarded Serena a cool $4 million in prize money, but the highlight of the award presentation was when she was presented with an 18-carat gold Tiffany bracelet to commemorate her 18th title – by tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
7. September 2014: Emma Watson was named UN Women Ambassador and launched UN Women “HeforShe” Global campaign with a speech that attempted to redefine “Feminism,” while insisting on the full participation of men and boys as advocates of women empowerment and gender equality. “Our main goal is to increase the involvement of men and boys in the struggle to achieve gender equality,” said Head of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka.
8. September, 2014: Li Na is the First Chinese player and the First Asian to win a Grand Slam single title, with championship at the French Open and most recently, a second Grand Slam crown in January at the Australian open – a move that improved her tennis rankings to No. 2 right behind Serena Williams. Li announced her retirement from Tennis as her knee injury worsens, her courage is one that we recognize and we wish her the best of luck on her next endeavor.
9. October 2014: Patricia Mawuli at 28 years old, is Ghana’s First Female civilian pilot and the First Woman in West Africa certified to build and maintain rotax engines. “There are a lot of young people (who), when they see me, (are given) hope. It motivates them to learn harder because they believe women actually have something ahead of them,” says Patricia.
10. October 2014: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala the First Female Minister of Finance in Nigeria named “African Finance Minister of the Year Award” for her outstanding performance as a finance minister for Nigeria – which contributed to Nigeria’s #1 position as the largest economy in Africa. The award was presented to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala by the African Investor Magazine on the sideline of the ongoing annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC.
11. October 2014: Team USA Wins First Women’s Volleyball World Crown. This was the very first time Team USA had ever won a FIVB women’s world championship since 1952 (when the tournament first started). This is Team USA’s first world championship trophy in Milan’s Mediolanum Forum.
12. November 2014: Women in America now make up close to one-fifth of the U.S. Congress – as the record-setting 100th woman in the Congress, Dr. Alma Adams takes oath. Meet the rest of the 100 Women shaping history in the 113th U.S. Congress.
13. November 2014: Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister elected Opec’s First Female President, Mrs Diezani Alison- Madueke. OPEC, is an association of 12 oil producing countries, with 81 percent of the world’s crude oil reserves. Diezani was elected during the 166th General Meeting of the organization in Vienna Austria, making her the First Female President of that organization.
14. December 2014: Malala Yousafzai became the very First Pakistani, the First Pashtun and the Youngest Person to ever receive the Noble Peace Prize award. Malala was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for “her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the rights of all children to education.”
15. December 2014: Misty Copeland makes History as the First African-American Ballerina Soloist for the American Ballet Theater. Misty told The Huffington Post: “I hope that they see someone who overcame adversity to beat all the odds to do what she loves and what ultimately saved her life.”