On 23 May 1907 nineteen women took their seats as the Finnish Parliament met for the first time. The women were the first female Parliamentarians in the world.
By 2018 Finland ranked fourth in the world for gender parity. At the 2019 elections, 47% of the MPs elected were women.
Continue reading “Finland’s 19 female MPs take their seats: 23 May 1907”
13 May 1995, professional British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves
reached the summit of mount Everest in the Himalayas. She was the
first woman – and only the second person – to summit without either
support from a Sherpa team or supplementary oxygen.
had set her ambition out clearly and shown she was going for it: she
would become the first woman to climb Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga
– the three highest mountains in the world – without oxygen.
Continue reading “Alison Hargreaves summits Everest: 13 May 1995”
7 May 1429, Jeanne d’Arc led several charges on the besieged city of
Orleans in France. She was struck by an arrow, dressed the wound and
returned to the fray. The next day, the English army besieging
Orleans retreated and the city was freed.
led the lifting the of the siege, Jeanne then led the French army as
they routed the English armies and freed more cities. When Charles
VII of France was crowned in Reims that summer, Jeanne d’Arc knelt at
Continue reading “Jeanne d’Arc in battle in Orleans: 7 May 1429”
30 April 1937 almost 450,000 women in the Philippines voted for
women to have the vote. With 9 out of 10 votes in favour, equal
suffrage became part of the law. The plebiscite in April 1937 was the
culmination of decades of activism.
Continue reading “Philippine women vote to get the vote: 30 April 1937”
On 25 April 1990, Violeta Chamorro was sworn in as President of Nicaragua. She was the first female President in the Americas to have come to power under a free election.
Chamorro led the country for seven years, overseeing the end of the civil war between the Sandinistas (Marxist revolutionary government forces) and the Contras (US-backed counter-revolutionary forces).
Continue reading “Violeta Chamorro sworn in: 25 April 1990”
18 April 1906, Baroness Bertha von Suttner becomes the first woman to
collect the Nobel Peace Prize. She had been instrumental in Albert
Nobel creating a prize for peace at all.
Von Suttner was an international leader in the peace movement, and continued to campaign until her death, a few weeks before Franz Ferdinand’s assassination triggered the first World War she had sought to prevent.
Continue reading “Bertha von Suttner wins the Nobel Peace Prize: 18 April 1906”
9 April 1939, Marion Anderson stood on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington DC and sang “My
Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. A crowd of 75,000
listened to her, and millions more tuned in on the radio. She sang
where she did because she had been refused the use Constitution Hall
by its owners. Marion was black, and the owners had a
Continue reading “Marion Anderson sings in Washington: 9 April 1939”
28 March 1900, Queen Yaa Asantewaa addressed the remnants of the
Ashanti government in Kumasi, in modern-day Ghana.
I must say this: if you, the men of Asante will not go forward, then we will. We, the women, will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight! We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields.
words galvanised the Ashanti Confederacy, starting their final war
against British colonialism on the Gold Coast. The Ashanti leaders
chose Yaa Asantewaa to be the war-leader, the first woman to hold the
post, and an army of several thousand was placed at her command.
Continue reading “Yaa Asantewaa: 28 March 1900”
On 22 March 1982, around 250 women block access to the airbase at Greenham Common in the UK. It is the first time the women’s peace camp has put non-violence to the test on a large scale, and 34 women are arrested. By the end of 1982, 30,000 women would arrive for the ’embrace the base’ protest. By 1983, over 100 similar peace camps are set up near nuclear sites around the world.
Continue reading “Greenham Women: 22 March 1982”
On 11 March 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun debuts on Broadway in New York. She is the first female African-American playwright to be staged there.
Continue reading “Lorraine Hansberry: 11 March 1959”