Visible Women

From a mosaic artist to a champion snowboarder: the women making waves this week

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Fiona Patterson
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Dropping every Friday, Women Making Waves is a series highlighting the women who rocked the boat, pushed for change and made history around the world this week.  

Snowboarder Anna Gasser makes history as first woman to land triple cork

Austrian snowboarder Anna Gasser

On Tuesday (13 November), Austrian athlete Anna Gasser achieved something no woman ever has before: landing a cab triple cork, a snowboarding move that involves three full rotations.

The 27-year-old Olympic champion pulled off the jump on her first attempt at the Stubai Glacer in Austria.

Gasser previously made snowboarding history in 2015, when she became the first woman to land a competition cab underflip. She also claimed the gold medal in the 2018 Big Air competition at the Pyeongchang Games.

She told Redbull that the cab triple cork is “a trick with consequences, and you really have to put everything on the line if you want to succeed.” The move entails taking off with your ‘wrong’ foot, followed by three and a half rotations in the air before landing in the forward position. Don’t try this at home…

Girl Scout who campaigned to end child marriage becomes state lawmaker

Cassandra Levesque 

When Cassandra Levesque was 17, she began researching the issue of child marriage as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award. She was shocked to discover that it was legal for children as young as 13 to get married in her home state of New Hampshire, as long as they had the consent of their parents.

Levesque, now 19, launched a campaign to end child marriage in New Hampshire, but was dismissed by a state legislator who said there was no need to change a century-old law because “of a request from a minor doing a Girl Scout project”.

Undeterred by this rejection, Levesque decided to run for the state legislature herself – and won. The New York Times reported on Tuesday (13 November) that Levesque will now sit in the New Hampshire House of Representatives as a Democrat, making her one of the youngest lawmakers in the state.

Earlier this year, Levesque’s Girl Scout project helped push New Hampshire’s marriage age to 16. From her position in the state legislature, she plans to raise the minimum marriageable age to 18, try to attract more young people to her state and increase the minimum wage.

Her story even caught the attention of Hilary Clinton, who celebrated her success on Twitter

Garima Arora becomes first Indian woman to claim Michelin star

Until this week, no Indian woman had ever won a Michelin star. That all changed on Wednesday (14 November), when chef Garima Arora’s restaurant Gaa was awarded the coveted – and still very male-dominated – symbol of culinary excellence.

Gaa opened in Bangkok, Thailand last year, and has received praise for its “tasty and artful mix of Indian and Thai cusine.” Popular dishes on the menu include grilled raw jackfruit, roti and homemade pickles, and Arora has said that she aims to elevate the “feeling of eating at someone’s home”.

The chef, who grew up in Mumbai, told the BBC that her father’s exotic taste in food inspired her from a young age. She began her career as a journalist but was drawn to cooking and studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She has previously worked with Gordon Ramsay and Indian chef Gaggan Anand, both of whom already have Michelin stars to their name.

On Instagram, Arora thanked her team of 30 people, saying that “each one of them preserved, believed and always showed up.” 

Artist Helen Marshall unveils suffrage selfie mosaic in Birmingham 

The mosaic of suffragette Hilda Burkett in Birmingham New Street station 

A mosaic of suffragette Hilda Burkett was unveiled at Birmingham New Street station on Thursday (15 November). Poetically located at the spot where Burkett threw a stone at Prime Minster Herbert Asquith’s train in 1909, the portrait is made up of 3,724 photos of women submitted by the public.

Artist and People’s Picture founder Helen Marshall said that she researched several “daring and brave” women from the West Midlands who had been involved in the women’s suffrage movement. However, Burkett’s story “was uniquely connected to the station and Birmingham.” Burkett went to prison for her protest against the PM and was the first suffragette to be force-fed during her sentence.

Marshall previously told that she wanted to create a portrait of a suffragette using images of women submitted by the public, to celebrate “the everyday” experience of being a woman in Britain throughout the ages.

“This artwork is a personal statement as well as a more universal one,” she said. “I inserted a few women who meant a lot to me including my mother, my daughter, and a friend who passed last year.

“The portrait is of a smiling Edwardian lady, but her story is far from what we might expect, much like the public submissions.”

Women Making Waves is part of Stylist’s Visible Women campaign to raise awareness of women who’ve made a difference to society. See more Visible Women stories here.  

Images: The People’s Picture / Getty Images