Women around the world today are running countries and companies. They are challenging the status quo with their revolutionary ideas, writings, and designs. They are activists and Nobel Peace Prize winners, and they can be found battling on the front lines of war. Refinery29 is honoring these accomplishments by looking back at women's successes from 1900 to 2016. The beginning of the last century saw female athletes compete in the Olympic Games for the first time. Now, in 2016, plenty of strong female athletes are getting ready to rock it in Rio.
In between those years, Marie Curie did groundbreaking research on radioactivity, Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic, and Valentina Tereshkova went into space. Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel transformed fashion, and Lucille Ball left her indelible mark on comedy with I Love Lucy. Tennis legend Billie Jean King advanced women's standings in the sporting world, and Rosa Parks gave power to a movement by refusing to give up her seat on a bus.
We've come a long way, for sure. But women are still being disenfranchised, discriminated against, and abused. While a quarter of a billion have joined the workforce in the last decade, it will take another 188 years (bringing us to 2204) before we achieve global gender parity, according to World Economic Forum estimates. One in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime, according to the World Health Organization, and thousands of young girls will be forced into marriages far too young.
In the year ahead, women around the world will continue to fight for reproductive rights. 2016 might be the year that the U.S. elects its first female president, even as women in other countries continue to battle to be legally recognized as equals in the most basic ways.
There's a lot of work to be done to advance women's rights, but there are plenty of moments to celebrate, too. That's why every Thursday, Refinery29 will explore women's history with our own #TBT life-changing moments. Click through to get started.