Are We There Yet?
By many accounts, 2014 was a banner year for women, and it isn't hard to see why. From the explosion of Twitter hashtags calling attention to the harassment and abuse of women, such as #YesAllWomen and #WhyIStayed, to the Columbia University student who carried around her mattress in protest of her alleged sexual assault, woman have been making their voices heard in creative and powerful ways.
And people are starting to listen. California successfully passed legislation requiring colleges to adopt affirmative consent policies. President Barack Obama created a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The nation finally started to believe the multiple allegations of rape against the actor who portrayed TV's favorite dad, Bill Cosby.
Women are also increasingly being recognized for their contributions, winning awards and rising to positions of power. Mary Barra became the first woman to run General Motors. And Malala Yousafzai, after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban, became the youngest person to every receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
It's in this climate of increasing opportunities for women that Hillary Rodham Clinton emerges as the likely Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential race and, based on recent polls of likely candidates, a strong contender for the presidency.
And yet, even as women are on the rise, they still face real obstacles. They continue to be underrepresented in positions of leadership (though some, like Woman of the Year Dr. Shirley Metcalf, are bucking that trend), underpaid as compared to their male colleagues, and under the persistent threat of sexual assault.
In our 18th annual Women's Issue, we explore some of the biggest challenges facing women today, and the ways they are rising to meet them.