Viola Davis, Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disgust in Inside Out.
JB Lacroix—Getty Images; Lucasfilm Ltd.; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
By Eliana Dockterman
December 21, 2015

2015 was a big year for women in pop culture. Adele broke all of pop music’s records. Funny ladies flooded the small screen with a fresh perspective, from Jane the Virgin to Broad City to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Half of this year’s 20 top-grossing films had female protagonists.

And those are all of the moments that didn’t quite make the list. Here are the 11 most empowering moments for women in popular culture this year.

Write to Eliana Dockterman at


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