8 Female Firsts That Happened In 2015

With the standard proclamation these days being women can do anything men can do, it's easy to think that gals have taken on pretty much all there is to take on. In the U.S. and around the globe, though, females are still breaking glass ceilings and having their inaugural go at a whole lot, from winning elected office positions to piloting airplanes high in the sky. So here are eight female firsts in 2015, because it's worth taking note of just how long women have waited to get in on the action.

You might be thinking: "OK, but Janet Yellen became the first female chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve last year. What could possibly top that?" Right, you understand what a landmark event Yellen's nomination was. But outside of the U.S., some women saw for the first time the right to vote. And there's more firsts to be had in places other than government institutions, too. Ladies are snagging firsts left and right on the red carpet, out on the sports fields, and on the bookshelves. Their achievements are a testament to the fact that, if everything isn't fair game for women in today's world, there's no good reason it shouldn't be.

1. Women Voted In Saudi Arabia For The First Time

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December brought women's suffrage to Saudi Arabia, and let's just say Saudi women took it seriously. Approximately 130,000 women registered to vote and more than 900 women campaigned for public office. Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi became the first female elected official during the election, and 20 women in total were elected to municipal council seats.

2. Viola Davis' And Uzo Aduba's Firsts At The Emmys

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Davis was the first African American to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Aduba was the first actress to win both drama and comedy Emmy awards for the same role.

3. Iraq And Niger Saw Firsts For Female Aviators

An Iraqi woman referred to in press releases only as Dalia was named the country's first female commercial airline pilot for Iraqi Airways. Ouma Laouali earned the title of first female pilot to serve for the Air Force in her country, Niger.

4. Jennifer Welter Became The First Female NFL Coach

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The Arizona Cardinals, of the National Football League, announced in July that the team hired Welter to coach inside linebackers during training camp and the 2015 preseason. This wasn't Welter's first first, either. She became the first woman to coach for a men's pro football team earlier in 2015 when she became the Texas Revolution's linebackers and special teams coach.

5. Bidhya Devi Bhandari Was Elected Nepal's First Female President


Bhandari, an avid campaigner for women's rights, was elected to the position by the Nepal's parliament in October. Bhandari was the country's defense minister from 2009 to 2011 and was the vice-chair of the Communist Party of Nepal at the time of her election.

6. Two Women Became The First Females To Graduate From The U.S. Army's Ranger School

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Captain Kristen Griest and 1st Lieutenant Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to complete their Army Ranger courses to join a special operations unit. It was the first year the course was open to women and, at the time they attended the school, the two women weren't even allowed to apply for the kind of combat role they studied to take on.

7. Kenya's Defense Force Appointed Its First Female Brigadier

The U.S. wasn't the only country where women were making waves in national defense. President Uhuru Kenyatta did the honor in August of promoting Colonel Fatima Ahmed to the rank of Brigadier and appointing her to the role of managing director for the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme.

8. Zurinah Hassan Became Malaysia's First Female National Laureate

The award, intended for those who have made outstanding contributions to Malay literature, has been given out since 1981, and 12 recipients received the title before Hassan, a poet, was named National Laureate.