Historic achievements. Incredible bravery. A desire to stand strong, even in the face of unimaginable pain. See them all in these stories of women in the news who captured our attention. It’s time to meet our Lionesses This Month.
A shift in the Supreme Court
After 233 years, a Black woman finally sits at one of the highest and most prestigious points of government. Earlier in the month, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to join the Supreme Court. She breaks ground as the first Black woman in the role, along with the third woman of color and only the fifth woman overall.
Many senators, politicians and members of the public celebrated her confirmation and what it could mean for young Black women to see this progress.
The New York Times profiled women of the Harvard Black Law Students Association, Judge Jackson’s alma mater, to hear their reactions. One student, Mariah K. Watson, said that she felt brought to tears.
“If there is going to be somebody who can test where America truly is and our acceptance in wanting to be reflective of what this nation is and can be in many different ways, breaking the mold, then she is the person to do that,” said Watson. “I’m grateful for the hard steps and all of the chipping away that she’s doing right now so that the path is cleared or at least a little clearer for those who seek to come after her.”
As the war intensifies, women continue to raise their voices
We’ve spoken about the women protesting and supporting Ukraine, even at the risk of their own safety. Russia hasn’t retreated, but they’re not backing down, either.
Russian activist, artist and musician Aleksandra Skochilenko was recently arrested for a covert anti-war strategy. She replaced supermarket price tags with messages about the horrific bombing of a Mariupol art school where 400 people sheltered inside. She acted despite a recent law that criminalized any “discrediting” of Russian soldiers or references to the war. She’s currently being held until her trial, where she faces 10 years in prison as global organizations call for her release.
Racing to the finish
Though the annual Boston Marathon began all the way back in 1897, women have only been allowed to participate since 1972. That was over 75 years later. And this year, the 50th women’s competition capped off with a nail-biting race.
Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir finished with a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 1 second. She was just four seconds ahead of Ababel Yeshaneh. The two were neck-in-neck, trading the lead back and forth before Jepchirchir pulled ahead with a final push.
“I knew that if we pushed together we could run [a] good race,” said Jepchirchir. “I am grateful.”
Composure in unimaginable circumstances
“They broke the news that I’m in labor, yeah?”
So began Erin Maye Quade’s campaign speech at an endorsement convention. Maya Quade, who is running for a Minnesota State Senate seat, spoke to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and completed a question-and-answer session—all while going through labor.
At times, she needed to pause due to the contractions. It’s difficult to watch someone in pain, but there’s something to respect in how she remains poised throughout the event.
Still, critics wondered why the event wasn’t paused as it likely would have been for another medical emergency.
“While we were in awe of her strength, it was horrifying to watch a woman go through this vulnerable experience while nobody with the power to do so stepped in to put an end to it,” said Emma McBride, a political director of Women Winning.
Once it was clear that her opponent, Justin Emmerich, was leading in the endorsement voting, Maya Quade suspended her campaign so that she could go to the hospital. She gave birth just a day after the event ended to Harriet Blake Maye Quade, according to a post by her wife, Alyse Maye Quade.
More prominent women in the news this month:
- The Venice Biennale, the oldest contemporary art exhibition in the world, will have a majority of women artists for the first time—by a dramatic nine to one ratio. Special focus will also be on non-binary, trans, Black and disabled artists.
- With the recent victory of the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team, Dawn Staley became the first Black coach to win more than one Division I NCAA tournament
- The Giants’ Alyssa Nakken was the first woman to coach on the field during an MLB game.
For more inspiring stories of women in the news, see our catalog of Lionesses This Month coverage!