Each year on March 8, people recognise the achievements of women around the world and consider the next steps in the global women's rights movement.
Here at AAP we're looking back on images of women who have inspired us over the last 12 months. From activism to the arts, politics and sport, they've made the news for their ambition, daring, creativity, kindness and more.
The change maker: Greta Thunberg.
The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, pictured here at a protest attended by more than 7,500 students in Belgium, has quickly become the most recognisable member of a movement of young people striking from school and hitting the streets to call for urgent measures to combat climate change.
Others at the forefront of change this year included Julia Gillard, who in 2018 was recognised for her role in establishing the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who along with Ronan Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The fighter for justice: Leetona Dungay.
The mother of 26-year-old David Dungay, who died in police custody at Long Bay Prison Hospital in 2015, has advocated for her son throughout the NSW coronial inquest into his death. The court heard this week that the incident has already led to the revision of emergency response guidelines at the hospital.
Other women who have made the news for pushing for progress in the face of adversity include Martha Ojulo, a Melbourne resident and refugee who spoke out after her son was murdered in a racially motivated attack in 2007, and Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year old Palestinian activist who after her own imprisonment has raised awareness of the Israeli military detention of Palestinian children.
The sports stars: Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry.
The stars of women's cricket have had a bumper year, including a win for Australia in the final of the Women's World Twenty20 against England in November. Alyssa was also awarded at the Australian Cricket Awards in February with the three major awards on offer, including the Belinda Clark Award.
World number one in women's tennis Naomi Osaka, who took out this year's Australian Open against Petra Kvitova, and Stephanie Gilmore, who won her seventh World Surf League Women's Championship title in November, also thrilled fans with their impressive victories.
The record breaker: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The 29-year-old New Yorker made history in 2018 as the youngest woman ever to be elected to US Congress, and is now making headlines for her work on climate change policy. Before entering politics she was working in a bar to support her family.
Other women surpassing milestones in their respective fields this year included Ariana Grande, who became the second artist in the Billboard chart's 60-year history after the Beatles to take out the top three spots in the Hot 100 simultaneously, and Killing Eve star Sandra Oh, now the first Asian woman to be nominated for and to win an Emmy for best leading actress in a TV drama.
The artist: Ruth E Carter.
At the Academy Awards in February, Ruth E Carter became the first African American woman to win for costume design for her work on the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther.
Others closer to home recognised for their undeniable creative talent included fashion designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, who were both awarded with the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2018 for their contributions to the industry, and Michelle de Kretser, who last year won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for the second time for her novel, The Life to Come.
The hero: Christine Blasey Ford.
The psychology professor was commended for her courage in testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who allegedly sexually assaulted her in 1982.
Stephanie Borchorsky, who received the National Police Bravery Award after saving two children from being set on fire by their father in 2015, and Carol Matthews, the winner of Victoria's Local Hero award for her work to improve bushfire preparedness after Black Saturday, are just two others inspiring women who gained public recognition for their courage and resilience.
The mogul: Ita Buttrose.
The journalist and businesswoman is adding another chapter to her illustrious media career as the newly announced chair of the ABC.
Other powerful women representing progress around the world included New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who in 2018 was the first female world leader to bring an infant to a UN general assembly meeting, and Michelle Obama, who in her new book Becoming details her path from Princeton student to successful lawyer to mother and first lady.
Explore our images of these and more inspiring women in our gallery for International Women's Day. To go further back, you can also browse our images for #IWD2018.
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