Happy Thanksgiving, Muses! We have a lot to be thankful for every year—friends, family, food on our Thanksgiving tables, and, of course, each and every one of you.
But this year, we also want to give thanks for some things that have happened around the world. While we still have a long way to go in closing the global gender gap, in so many ways, 2012 has been an amazing year for women. Here are a few for which we are most thankful.
A Woman From Every Country at the London Olympics
Yes, we’re always pretty excited (read: can’t sleep at night) when the Olympics roll around, but the 2012 Games pretty much trump every other year: This was the first time that every competing country had at least one woman on its team. Also, it was the first time in history that women could medal in all of the same events as men (previously, women couldn’t compete in Olympic boxing). Bonus: Team USA had eight more women than men on its roster.
Read more about some of the amazing female athletes who participated in the Games here.
More Women Leaders
No matter how you feel about who ended up in the White House and who didn’t, there was a lot to be excited about in the results of this election. First, there’s now a record number of women in the Senate and the House (though, for the record—not as many as we’d like). Also elected were the first Asian-American woman in the Senate (Rep. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii), the first Hindu-American in Congress (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii), and the first openly gay person in Congress (Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin). Though no one could mistake the U.S. legislative branch as “diverse,” we’re definitely thankful for these small strides.
Read more about the records being broken here.
If you haven’t yet heard about Malala, your world is about to be shaken. This year, on October 9, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was on her way home from school, when her school bus was stopped and she was shot in the head by the Taliban. The reason? She had spoken out against the regime and advocated for girls’ education. Miraculously, Malala survived and was transported to the U.K., where she is undergoing treatment. We are thankful for her amazing recovery, and for the worldwide attention that’s been brought to the rights of children and girls that still need to be defended.
See some amazing photos of Malala Day, designated by the U.N. as one month after her shooting, here.
The International Day of the Girl
Two days after Malala’s shooting, on October 11, the U.N. celebrated the first-ever International Day of the Girl, created to bring attention to the human rights of girls and to arm them with support and tools for a better future. Each year, the day will focus on a central theme, this year bringing awareness to the issue of child marriage worldwide. Events around the globe shed light on this issue, from a panel at the U.N. featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu to a parliamentary debate in Malawi and radio debates in South Sudan.
The issues facing girls, particularly in the developing world, are nothing short of terrifying. But we are grateful for this united international effort to make a change.
Read more about International Day of the girl here.