Today marks International Women’s Day 2016 – a UN initiative which aims to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the globe.
This year’s theme is #PledgeForParity as the world is still a long way away from gender equality.
“In 2015, the [World Economic Forum] estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133.” (International Women's Day)
In celebration of the occasion, we are sharing the inspiring stories of five females who have recently entered the record books for their amazing achievements.
Serena Wiliams: Holds 15 current record titles
Serena Williams (USA) – the 21-time Grand Slam singles champion and current world number one – turned pro back in September 1995 and has dominated women’s tennis for the past 15 years, showing no sign she will put down her racket any time soon.
Incredibly, she has enjoyed the Longest span of Grand Slam titles in the open era – male or female. Her win over Victoria Azarenka at the US Open on 8 Sep 2013 came an amazing 13 years 362 days after her maiden Slam against Martina Hingis, in the same tournament, on 11 Sep 1999.
Serena is now the Oldest person ranked world tennis number one (female) ever. As of 14 January 2016, just before her quest to win an open-era equalling 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Serena was 34 years 110 days old and had amassed 9,945 points in the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) rankings, well ahead of the second-ranked player, Simona Halep, with 5,880 points.
Guinness World Records recently recognised the popular athlete for having the Highest earnings in a tennis career (female), because as of 11 January 2016 she had made a staggering $74,083,421(£51,012,500).
Angela Vorobeva: Oldest woman to climb Mt Kilimanjaro
Angela Vorobeva (Russia, b. 4 February 1929) reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, aged 86 years 267 days, on 29 October 2015.
Her incredible trek was organised by a company called Altezsa which sent Guinness World Records an application for the record, saying: “The message [Angela] wants to send to the community is that age or difficulties in life is never a barrier, but an incentivizing advantage, and that any life hardships may be tackled if a challenger is dedicated and committed to his cause.”
In an interview with Altezsa, the inspirational lady explained: “I had no idea I could become a record breaker until I was told so by the organizers of my expedition in September (laughing). Well, I would lie if I said I’m not keen on the idea to be mentioned in the Guinness Book.”
She took on the 5,895 m; 19,340 ft mountain with her 61-year-old daughter Vera, accompanied by a crew of fourteen professional mountaineers.
“The date for conquering Kilimanjaro - October 29 - was chosen for a reason. I was aware of the rains this time of the year, but reaching the top on that very day was very important for me,” said Angela, “Eighty years ago I gave a promise to my sister Lydia that I would be travelling for both of us. My beloved sister was six years older than me, born in 1923. She died of pneumonia when she was only twelve years and four days old. I loved her dearly. It was her birthday on my summiting day. I dedicate this climb to her.”
Kat Gunn: Highest earning female gamer
Having earned an incredible $122,000 (£77,095) since 2007 from video-gaming, Katherine “Mystik” Gunn (USA) has higher career earnings than any other female competitive videogame player.
Proving videogames aren't just for boys, Kat first started competing in Halo and obtained $100,000 playing Halo: Reach to win series 2 of American reality TV program WCG Ultimate Gamer.
Putting success down to tireless practice and a love of the game, she is pleased that her Guinness World Records title recognises that she has “done something when it comes to competitive gaming”.
Tuedon Morgan: Fastest time to run a half marathon on each continent and the North Pole Marathon (female)
Tuedon “Tee” Omatsola Morgan's (Nigeria) record-breaking journey began as a quest to get her health back on track, and it lead to her achieving the Fastest time to run a half marathon on each continent and the North Pole Marathon (female) in an incredible 62 days 12 hr 58 min 49 sec, from 8 February 2015 to 12 April 2015.
The 42-year-old accountant also holds the record for the Fastest time to run a half marathon on each continent (female), having completed the seven races in a mind-blowing time of 10 days, 23 hr, 37 min and 8 sec.
Guinness World Records caught up with Morgan to ask her about her achievements. “I went from an unfit 121 kg to the Guinness World Record” she explains, and says she hopes her amazing story will inspire others.
Asked what it felt like to become a record holder, Tee told us: "I got a notification on my phone and I was asked to log on to my page. My hands were shaking and I felt tears down my cheeks. This record means so much to me. My heath was really deteriorating and the doctors continuously told me I had to change my lifestyle. All I wanted was to lose weight but the more I pushed myself the more I wanted. Running the Seven continents twice and becoming the first Nigerian to run all Seven Continents and the North Pole to top it up with a GWR means so much. I am Officially Amazing!"
Read the full story here: How a mum-of-four's battle to get into shape led to an incredible multiple marathon world record
Ronda Rousey (USA) - Multiple MMA Guinness World Records title holder
Ronda Rousey (b.1987) is an American mixed martial artist, judoka, and actress, who has had an incredible career so far.
She became the First female champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship after she was signed and announced as Women’s Bantamweight Champion at a press conference in Seattle, USA on December 6, 2012.
Then on 28 February 2015 Ronda achieved the Fastest UFC title fight to be won by submission in a rapid 14 seconds against Cat Zingano at UFC184 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, extending her unbeaten record to 11–0.
Rousey was the Most-searched for female on the internet in 2015, according to Google's annual report of trending topics.
Having appeared in several high-profile movies, including Furious 7 (2015) and The Expendables 3 (2014), her peak traffic came in November during which she lost a fight against fellow American martial artist Holly Holm. In February 2016, the athlete told Ellen DeGeneres on her chat show that she had considered suicide after her surprising knockout loss to Holm.
However, the star sportswoman has proven a huge inspiration to many and her popularity is evidenced by the fact that she has the Most followers on Instagram for an athlete (female) with 7,379,992 followers, as of 13 January 2016.