As we look ahead to the new year and set our goals and resolutions, I find it can be inspiring to look back at some high points from the past year. So in the spirit of reflection and celebration, here are some feel good moments for women from 2013.
The year kicked off with 24 women sworn into national office on January 3– five Senators and 19 Congresswomen. These women set the record for the number of women in both legislative bodies.
Then on March 7, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA helps victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking access needed services, and it improves the criminal justice system’s ability to investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women.
Mid-year, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis inspired many with her 11 hour filibuster.
Davis was trying to prevent a vote on SB 5, a bill that would ban abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy and limit abortions to surgical centers thereby closing probably all but five abortion clinics in the large state. Davis is now running for Governor of Texas.
Later in the year, Senator Susan Collins led a group of women senators to find a compromise that led to the end of the government shutdown.
Edith Windsor, the woman behind the historic Supreme Court Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, realized a victory, along with the rest of the country, when the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional. Under Section 3, marriage was a legal union between one man and one woman, and spouse was a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Several brands broke through the marketing clutter with advertising campaigns that touched us. Goldieblox urged girls to pursue engineering careers, Pantene reminded us of the double standard women face at work, and Hello Flo brought us Camp Gyno.
In the world of publishing, Alice Munro was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013. She was the 13th woman to win in the Literature category since the prize was first established in 1901.
Malala Yousafzai, continued to inspire, addressing the UN on her 16th birthday and calling for access to education for girls worldwide.
And in the business community, General Motors appointed long-time employee Mary Barra CEO. She is the first woman to lead the company and one of 23 women leading a Fortune 500, a potential source of inspiration for the growing number of female breadwinners.
Who will inspire us in 2014? Will it be you?