We’ve nearly hit the end of the year. I’m sure we’re all ready for the holidays – but the news doesn’t slow down for a second. We’ve got four stories of women who regained their freedom, made history and advocated for global justice. Read on to learn about these women in the news.
Meet our Lionesses This Month:
In June, we told you about Britney Spears’ attempts to break free of her conservatorship and regain control of her life. Under her father’s management, Spears was forced to perform, change her medications and take birth control despite wanting to have another child. While it initially seemed unlikely that courts would dissolve the conservatorship, fans protested and called for her freedom.
Now, 14 years after the conservatorship began, the arrangement has ended. Spears is free to make her own professional, personal, financial and medical decisions.
Spears’ attorney said the situation “helped shine a light on conservatorships and guardianships from coast to coast, from California to New York. And that took a tremendous amount of insight, courage and grace.”
Breaking barriers in Boston
Even before we knew the outcome, Boston’s mayoral race made history. All five major candidates leading up to the election were people of color, promising change for a city that had only elected white male candidates to date. Two women, Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, advanced to the general election. And on Nov. 2, Wu won the electoral race.
“One of my sons asked me the other night if boys can be elected mayor of Boston,” said Wu during her acceptance speech. “They have been, and they will again someday, but not tonight. On this day, Boston elected your mom, because from every corner of our city, Boston has spoken.”
A woman as president (for 85 minutes)
While we haven’t shattered the glass ceiling yet, we’re moving closer to seeing a woman in a presidential role. President Biden temporarily transferred presidential power to Vice President Harris as he went under sedation for a routine colonoscopy. Harris’ role lasted for an hour and 25 minutes before Biden resumed his post.
This is a normal practice for medical appointments that require sedation, but the transfer is still significant. Harris was the first woman elected as Vice President – making her the first woman to step into the presidential role, even if it was just over an hour.
Calling for change at COP26
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP26, received mixed reactions. World leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland to make ambitious promises. Their goal is to limit rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many climate activists felt that the summit was all talk, no action. They protested around the summit to make their voices heard. Among them was Greta Thunberg, who called COP26 a failure and urged nations to step in before it was too late.
“We need immediate drastic annual emission cuts unlike anything the world has ever seen,” said Thunberg. “The people in power can continue to live in their bubble filled with their fantasies, like eternal growth on a finite planet and technological solutions that will suddenly appear seemingly out of nowhere and will erase all of these crises just like that.”
Other influential women in the news:
- Astronaut Wang Yaping became the first Chinese woman to complete a spacewalk. This makes her China’s second woman in space and only the 15th woman in the world to conduct a spacewalk.
- A Montana Army National Guard member recently became the first woman to complete the U.S. Army Sniper Course in Fort Benning, Georgia. (Officials haven’t released the soldier’s identity).