As 2015 comes to an end we take a look at some of the many, many women who have been leaders, advocates and all-around champions in their fields.
They stand out because they speak their mind, push the boundaries and make us think.
In no particular order, here are Mamamia’s Women of the Year:
In the 2015 Women’s Football World Cup, the Matildas became the first Australian soccer team to get through a knockout stage after beating Brazil.
They lost in the quarter finals to Japan, the world champions.
The Matildas are now ranked ninth in the world. And while the men get the big bucks to lose (they’re ranked 58th), Australia’s most successful soccer team ever couldn’t even get paid a living wage.
But 2015 was the year the Matildas said no more. They went out on strike and forced the Football Federation to take their demands seriously.
As a team they stood together, and as women they stood up for the principle that women’s sports are just as valuable. They were rewarded with a significant pay rise in the new enterprise bargaining agreement settled in November. (They’re still not earning what the men do, but it’s a big step forward.)
In 2015 Michelle Payne became the first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, riding Prince of Penzance.