2020 summary: 15 good news from last year

Captain Sir Thomas Moore after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor CastlePool / Samir Hussein

7. The dream of an 11-year-old Nigerian ballet dancer has come true

For a simple reminder of the joy and beauty of the world, 11-year-old ballet dancer Anthony Mmesoma Madu posted a video of dancing in the rain in Lagos that has become popular. Anthony is one of twelve dancers at the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos, where free ballet lessons are taught by teacher Daniel Ajala Owoseni. As a result of this film, Anthony received numerous scholarship offers from international ballet schools and is likely to travel to the US next year to train at the American Ballet Theater. Contrary to his belief that ballet is for girls, Anthony says the film’s success has made him even more friends in his hometown. While it was praised from all corners of the world, an especially touching comment was made by Oscar-winning actress and winner Viola Davis, who posted a video with the comment: “Our people can fly.”

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8. The number of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies is growing

Women still make up only 8 percent of the CEOs of the top 500 companies in the US, and less than 1 percent of publicly traded CEOs are black. Still, 2020 has the highest number of women on this list, 37, and that number has risen to 40 in the months since the list was published. Katharine Graham was the first woman on the list in 1972 when she became editor of The Washington Post, a journey documented in The Post in which Meryl Streep played Graham. Mary Barra of General Motors, Sonia Syngal of Gap Clothing, and Carol Tomé of UPS are on the list of female CEOs.

9. Second-hand fashion is booming

According to reports by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy and post-COVID-19 green development, 71 percent of consumers report more interest in second-hand clothing, and 54 percent of sustainable fashion leaders report increased customer interest in eco-friendly products since the pandemic began. Resale firms such as Depop and Vestiaire Collective have seen a 150 percent increase in US sales compared to the same period last year and a 54 percent increase in the February-May period. The report states: “Compared to buying a new one, it is estimated that buying used clothing saves an average of 1 kg of waste, 3,040 liters of water and 22 kg of CO2.”

10. A great breakthrough towards ending female genital mutilation

In May, Sudan officially banned female genital mutilation. Anyone who persists in this practice, which could lead to severe bleeding, infection, complications in childbirth, and an increased risk of death for the newborn, is punishable by three years in prison. According to UNICEF, Sudan is one of eight countries where more than 80 percent of women and girls fall victim to genital mutilation. Despite the new law, many fear that it will continue to be kept secret, leading to even greater health risks. The law at least carries with it the hope that more women will speak openly about mutilations in Sudan, where such talks remain largely taboo.

11. The success of the global campaign “Periodic Poverty”

Thanks to the tireless work of young activists such as Amika George, founder of the nonprofit Free Periods, the UK now provides free toiletries for girls from the government. In June of this year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern followed in her footsteps by announcing that her government would pay for sanitation in schools to prevent menstrual poverty, which is responsible for girls missing classes around the world during their period as tampons and pads are too expensive. In Germany, the “tampon tax” was lowered in 2020 following a successful petition.

12. Legalization of same-sex marriage in some countries

The first gay wedding in Northern Ireland took place in February. In May, Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage. In July, Thailand approved a draft law on same-sex partnerships. Homosexual couples in Thailand will also be able to adopt children. In September, after a three-year struggle, a gay couple in Croatia became the first same-sex foster parents in the country and adopted two children in their family. Pope Francis also made headlines this year, highlighting significant advances in Catholic doctrine, which still governs most of the world’s LGBTQ rights law. He said that homosexuals “are children of God and have a right to a family. […] Now we have to create a civil law company. ” Finally an eye opener?

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