One act at a time


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Advancing Women & Children

Female groundbreakers of 2017

1st January 2018


The Independent picks the 20 names whose strides in their fields challenged preconceptions and stereotypes and provided inspiration


We have more female politicians on the world stage than ever before, from the UK to Germany and New Zealand. Countries are starting to tackle period poverty and abolish the tampon tax. A teenager in Mexico invented a bra that could detect breast cancer. Real and significant steps have been taken in the fight against female genital mutilation. The highest-paid boss in the UK is actually a woman. The vaginal mesh health scandal is finally getting the attention it deserves.

And in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the viral #MeToo campaign, we’ve seen an explosion of reckoning – and recognition – of endemic sexual assault and harassment in all kinds of industries. A tangible cultural shift has occurred, as more women feel empowered to speak out against gender violence and more men gain a better appreciation of channels of power and female oppression.

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