Valentina Tereshkova reaches orbit: 16 June 1963

Valentina Tereshkova in her spacesuit, preparing for launch

On 16 June 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, orbiting the Earth 48 times in Vostok 6. With her flight, she clocked up more hours in space than all the preceding American manned missions combined. She remained the only woman to have flown in space for 19 years and she remains the only woman to have completed a solo space mission.

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Alison Hargreaves summits Everest: 13 May 1995

Alison Hargreaves on Everest

On 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.

Hargreaves 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.

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Violeta Chamorro sworn in: 25 April 1990

Violete stands with arms aloft whilst wearing the presidential sash. Danial Ortega stands next to her

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).

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Greenham Women: 22 March 1982

Several women are seated on the ground with peace signs whilst a man and a police man attempt to move them

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.

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