We’re back with another series of FEARLESS FEMME FRIDAYS! Rounded up this week are five *kickass* women who are proving that the future is female. Let’s keep celebrating the amazing things women are accomplishing around the world today and every day 💪🏼💃
Jasmin Paris became the first woman to win Britain’s 268-mile Montane Spine Race on Jan. 16. Paris beat her closest male competitor out of the 125 race participants by 15 hours and simultaneously broke the course record by 12 hours. Get. It. Girl. 🙌 Paris completed the course in 83 hours, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds–a full day faster than any woman had ever completed the course. Even more impressive, Paris was expressing milk from her recent pregnancy throughout the race.
Paris has a long list of brutal races under her belt, but the Montane Spine Race is known as one of the world’s most extreme. It takes place on the Pennine Way National Trail that starts in Edale in Derbyshire and ends in Kirk Yetholm, Scotland. Knowing how to navigate well is a must, as little marks mark the path through the muddy fields, steep climbs, sinkholes and gorges that racers must climb through in the middle of winter.
Paris has since been selected to race for Britain in the 2019 Trail World Championships in Miranda do Corvo in Portugal next June!
Check out Paris’s full story over at The Guardian.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was sworn into Congress as the youngest representative ever on Jan. 3 to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District. Ocasio-Cortez is also the first woman of color ever to have run for the NY-14 seat, which is distressing when, according to censusreporter.org, 75 percent of the NY-14 district are people of color. Ocasio-Cortez won the popular vote over Republican Anthony Pappas with 78.2 percent of the vote. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez is committed to making education more accessible, reforming the criminal justice system, improving the job market, and expanding Medicare. Politics aside, Ocasio-Cortez is making history and continuing to prove to women everywhere that we can make big changes.
Find out more about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s background and mission at her campaign site.
Mari Copeny, 11, made waves on Twitter in December when she responded to conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren’s tweet, which stated that the “$5 billion spent on a wall will be the BEST $5 billion taxpayers EVER spent!” In response, Copeny noted how far $5 billion dollars could go in repairing Flint’s infrastructure to provide clean water to the nearly 100,000 citizens in her city. Copeny earned the nickname Little Miss Flint in 2016 after her activism for the Flint water crisis earned her national attention and a visit from President Obama.
Read more about Mari Copeny’s activism for Flint!
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN
Millie Bobby Brown, 14, became the youngest ever UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador on World Children’s Day, Nov. 20. Appropriately, she will be advocating on behalf of children and young people everywhere to promote awareness of problems faced by the vulnerable population, including deficient education and the lack of safe places to learn, the prevalence of poverty and hunger, and the detrimental effects of violence and bullying.
Brown’s new title was celebrated at the United Nations Headquarters in New York where she said it was “a dream come true,” and “a huge honor” to join the Goodwill Ambassadors at UNICEF.
Brown has been involved with UNICEF since 2016 when she hosted the United Nations 70th anniversary celebrations. She was also active in promoting UNICEF’s World Children’s Day in 2017, leading her to the symbolic appointment last fall.
Read more about Millie’s ambassadorship!
Nneka Ogwumike is the president of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association and announced in November that the association will be opting out of its collective bargaining agreement with the Women’s National Basketball Association in an effort to demand more equality between the NBA and the WNBA. In her essay “Bet on Women,” Ogwumike said:
“I don’t want the best and the brightest female athletes in the world dreaming about playing in the NBA. I don’t want the best and the brightest young girls growing up thinking that men are the pinnacle… I want them to dream about the league that I know ours can become. A league that has a fair and consistent work environment.”
Writer Alana Glass, a contributing sports writer for Forbes, wrote that Ogwumike’s coming changes will likely be “the most impactful collective bargaining agreements in women’s sports history.”
Ogwumike has quite the year ahead of her, but she’s armed with a passion for her league and for female athletes.
“To me, opting out means not just believing in ourselves, but going one step further: betting on ourselves, but going one step further: betting on ourselves. It means being a group of empowered women, in the year 2018, not just feeling fed up with the status quo, but going one step further: rejecting the status quo,” she said.
Read Alana Glass’s article to hear Ogwumike’s full story, or read Nneka Ogwumike’s essay to hear her perspective.
The world is changing. Women are moving up. The future is female. Find the women who will lift you up on Hey! VINA!