In pictures: 11 women who were the 'firsts' in their field in 2021

Pvt channel in Bangladesh appoints nation's first transgender news anchor

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In a tribute to International Women’s Day, a private news channel in Bangladesh has appointed the country’s first-ever transgender newsreader. Tashnuva Anan Shishir will start presenting news for Boishakhi TV from March 8. This was announced by the TV news channel on Friday.

NASA renames headquarters after Mary Jackson, its first black woman engineer

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Mary W. Jackson, NASA's first Black woman engineer

NASA has renamed its Washington, DC headquarters after Mary W. Jackson, its first Black woman engineer. Jackson received this honor, posthumously, for advocating for equity and breaking barriers in a discipline that white men have historically dominated. She served as the inspiration for the book turned film, "Hidden Figures," her role being played by Janelle Monáe.

Claire Polosak the first woman umpire to officiate in men's Test cricket

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Claire Polosak

Thirty-two-year-old Claire Polosak is the first woman umpire to officiate in an men's ODI. Australia's Claire Polosak made history yet again as se became the first woman umpire to officiate in a men's Test with the start of India vs Australia first Test in Sydney.

Bhawana Kanth became the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to take part in R-Day parade

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Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth became first woman fighter pilot to take part in R-Day parade.
Kanth is also a part of the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) tableau that showcased mock-ups of the light combat aircraft, light combat helicopter and the Sukhoi-30 fighter plane.


Chloé Zhao becomes first Asian woman to win Golden Globe for Best Director

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After nearly 80 years, an Asian woman has finally won the Best Director Golden Globe. Chloé Zhao took home the award for directing Nomadland, becoming the first Asian woman to do so in Golden Globes history. In fact, Zhao was the first Asian woman to even be nominated for the award. Zhao is also just the second woman to ever win the Golden Globe for Best Director, and the first in nearly 40 years, after Barbra Streisand won in 1984 for Yentl.

Referee Sarah Thomas will be the first woman to officiate the Super Bowl

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In 2021, Sarah Thomas takes the field in her black and white striped jersey. She'll be the first female official to work the NFL's biggest game. It's history, but also part of a trend with more women officiating at the top levels of men's sports.

Pope appoints first woman to senior synod post

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In a break with tradition, Pope Francis appointed French national Nathalie Becquart as an undersecretary of the synod of bishops, making her the first woman to hold the post and have voting rights. The 52-year-old is one of the two new undersecretaries named to the synod, the body of bishops that studies major questions of doctrine and where she has been a consultant since 2019. The appointment signals the pontiff's desire "for a greater participation of women in the process of discernment and decision-making in the church," said Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary-general of the synod.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Poised to Be WTO's First Female Leader

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Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was to head the World Trade Organization, becoming the first woman and first African to take on the role amid rising protectionism and disagreement over how the body decides cases involving billions in sales and thousands of jobs. Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was named director-general by representatives of the 164 countries that make up the WTO, which deals with the rules of trade between nations based on negotiated agreements.

Maia Chaka Hired as NFL's first Black Female Official

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The NFL announced it has hired Maia Chaka as a game official for the 2021 season. She becomes the first Black woman to join the league's officiating roster. Chaka, who also works as a health and physical education teacher in Virginia, joined the NFL's officiating development programme in 2014.

CRPF’s first Women CoBRAs Train To Take On Maoists

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The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has selected its first batch of women commandos to be inducted into its elite CoBRA unit to take on the Maoists. A total of 34 women personnel from all six of CRPF’s ‘Mahila Battalions’ have been selected. They will undergo the strenuous Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) pre-induction training of three months.

Martial Arts Expert Kiran Deoli Breaks 12 World Records

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Kiran Deoli Uniyal is the first Indian woman to have achieved 12 World Records in Martial Arts in speed elbow strikes and kicks. India Records and High Range Book of World Records has given her the title of achieving “First Woman/Female to achieve Most/Maximum Numbers of World Records in Martial Arts in India”. According to the official website of the Guinness World Records, Uniyal has made a record of 258 full contact elbow strikes in one minute using alternate elbows in the female category. She has broken the record with a speed of 4.3 strikes per second.

Read our full coverage on International Women's Day

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