"Feminism" was the most looked-up word in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary in 2017.
We've profiled some extraordinary women in Goats and Soda this year who should be cited in the dictionary's definition. They pursued their goals in the face of poverty, war and prejudice.
Many of these women were recognized in 2017 for their determination. Malebogo Malefhe of Botswana, who was shot by her boyfriend 10 years ago, was given an International Woman of Courage award by the State Department for her work with domestic violence survivors. And ultrarunner Mira Rai, who grew up in a small village in Nepal, was named National Geographic's Adventurer of the Year.
Here are seven of the remarkable women we wrote about.
Alika Kinan, the sex trafficking activist who sued her captors
When Kinan was a teenager in her native Argentina, a woman offered to buy her a plane ticket. Kinan thought was going to go on a great adventure. Instead, she was trafficked — stripped of her travel documents and taken to a brothel, where she was expected to have sex with 15 to 30 men a day. It was nearly 20 years before she was rescued. She went on to become the first Argentine woman to sue her traffickers and the state, winning a total settlement of about $50,000. Her years of activism against trafficking led her to the U.S. State Department in June, where Kinan was one of eight international activists honored at the unveiling of the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.
Malebogo Malefhe, a domestic abuse survivor who is fighting gender-based violence
When people find out that Malefhe uses a wheelchair because she was shot by her boyfriend, the first question they ask is: "What did you do to him?" Now Malefhe, who sustained eight bullets from her boyfriend of 10 years, wants to make sure that no woman who has faced domestic abuse is asked this question ever again. Since then, she has devoted herself to fighting gender-based violence in her native Botswana and teaching women that when men hurt them, it's not their fault. This year, the U.S. State Department gave her the 2017 International Women of Courage award.