Here are all the ways that being a woman has improved in 2018.
If you look closely, cracks are showing, and those cracks will bring the whole patriarchy crashing down.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
It might feel like the world is on fire, both literally and figuratively. Sexism runs rampant on an institutional level. But if you look closely, cracks are showing, and those cracks will bring the whole patriarchy crashing down.
2018 was one giant leap for womankind. Don’t believe us? Check out these major ways 2018 was a great year to be a woman.
Women Made History During the 2018 Midterm Elections
Democrats gained control of the House, but the real winner of the 2018 midterm elections was women. A record number of women ran for office in 2018. Not surprisingly, a record number of women were voted into the U.S. House of Representatives, with 90 women headed to Washington. Women make up half the population. We’re getting closer to the day when women will make up 50% of legislators, too.
Individual women broke barriers too, especially women of color. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. They will be joined by Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, the first Native American women elected to Congress. On the gubernatorial front, Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee’s first female senator, and Kristi Noem is South Dakota’s first female governor. At 29, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women to be elected to Congress. The future is female, and the future is now.
California Now Requires a Woman to Sit on Every Board of Directors
In September, California became the first state to require all federally traded companies headquartered in California to have a woman sitting on the board of directors. Hopefully, this will serve as a blow to Silicon Valley’s rampant sexism. Tech giants Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. both currently have two female board members, however, the new law will require both to add a third within the next few years.
California is the vanguard for the rest of the country, which means there’s a legitimate possibility other states could follow suit. Today, 18 percent of positions on corporate boards are held by women. Tomorrow, that changes.
10 States Have Gotten Rid of the Tampon Tax
During the mid-term elections, Nevada voted to eliminate the “pink tax,” which taxes feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons. The items are now (like groceries and bandages) considered a necessity, and therefore, tax exempt. Nevada is now the 10th state to have eliminated the “pink tax,” the others being Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Only 40 more to go, Ladies!
Ireland Ended Their Ban on Abortion
In May one of the world’s strictest abortion bans was overturned when Ireland voted to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment of the Irish Constitution. An overwhelming majority of voters struck down the law, with 64 percent voter turnout. Just a few months after abortions were legalized, Irish lawmakers introduced legislation to make them free.
The Number of Women in the Workforce is on the Rise
The national unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, and 3.3 percent for women. After almost two decades of declining participation in the workforce, the trend has reversed and women are back on the job. In 1997, the number of women in the workforce peaked at 77.7 percent, then slowly fell. However, in the past three years, the number of U.S. women ages 25 to 54 in the workforce has risen from 73.3 percent to 75.2 percent.
2018 isn’t over yet. Let’s see how many more barriers women out there can break and head into 2019 with the momentum to make it the best year for women yet.