Ahead of International Women’s Day, Taboola conducted a global analysis of more than 100 women who made the headlines in 2019.

The most read about women online: Greta Thunberg, Angela Merkel and Megan Rapinoe top list

The research found that Greta Thunberg received the most readership online, with more than 188 million people spending more than 193 million minutes reading about her.

The hype around Greta continues into 2020, with her name often topping Twitter’s trending list as she joins climate change rallies around the world.

Other notable women highlighted from Taboola’s research include:

  • Angela Merkel – Germany Prime Minister had a huge 170 million readers in 2019
  • Phoebe Wallter-Bridge – the English actor who swept the Emmy Awards had 12 million readers
  • Christina Koch – the US astronaut who completed NASA’s first ever all-female spacewalk had 5.3 million readers
  • Dina Asher Smith – the first British woman to claim a global sprint title had 2.6 million readers
  • Katie Bouman – the scientist who produced the first-ever image of a Black Hole had 1.1 million readers

In 2019, the conversation continued globally about the movements and causes that put women in the spotlight. When looking at terms including the Me Too Movement, gender equality and feminism, more than 91 million people read these phrases across nearly 147 million page views. In total, people spent more than 58 million minutes reading about these topics.

Globally, out of more than 100 women that made headlines in 2019 who we analyzed, Greta Thunberg, who championed issues related to climate change, received the most readership online. More than 188 million people spent more than 193 million minutes reading about her.

She is followed by Germany’s Angela Merkel (170 million readers) and sports star Megan Rapinoe (68 million readers), who led the U.S. women’s team to their fourth World Cup.

To honor some of the biggest female newsmakers, Taboola decided to look into some of the biggest ‘firsts’ for women in 2019, across entertainment, sports, arts, science and more.

When looking at some of the ‘firsts’ for women in the entertainment world in 2019, most people read about:

  • Cardi B (64 million readers) - the first solo woman to win a Grammy for best rap album
  • Brie Larson (54 million) - actor with the biggest opening for a female-fronted film
  • Sandra Oh (20 million) - the first Asian woman to host the Golden Globes
  • Aya Nakamura (16 million) - a popular French musician who’s song “Djadja” surpassed more than 400 million views on YouTube
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge (12 million) - this English actor and writer swept the Emmy Awards, taking home three awards for her show Fleabag
  • Halima Aden (4 million) - the first hijab and burkini-wearing model to pose for Sports Illustrated

When looking at some ‘firsts’ for women in the sports world in 2019, most people read about:

  • Simone Biles (26 million) - U.S. gymnast who made history by becoming the most decorated in history
  • Mary Kom (11 million) - Indian boxing champion who won a historic 8th World Championship Boxing medal
  • Saina Nehwal (2.7 million) - Indian badminton player who secured her second consecutive and overall fourth senior national badminton title
  • Dina Asher Smith (2.6 million) - U.K. runner who became the first British woman to claim a global sprint title
  • Ona Carbonell (2.5 million) - From Spain, she won three medals and is the female athlete with most metals in the history of water sports (23 in total).
  • Mithali Raj (1.9 million) - India team captain who became the first female cricketer to play 200 ODIs

When looking at some big moments for women in the arts, sciences and activism in 2019, most people read about:

  • Carola Rackete (20 million) - German ship captain who sparked international headlines by rescuing migrants
  • Christina Koch (5.3 million) - U.S. astronaut who completed NASA's first ever all-female spacewalk with colleague Jessica Meir
  • Katie Bouman (4.2 million) - scientist who produced the first-ever image of a Black Hole
  • Esther Duflo (2.9 million) - French economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics, focused on new approaches to alleviating global poverty
  • Margarita Salas (1.1 million) - Biochemist from Spain whose discoveries led to faster, more-accurate DNA testing.

Methodology – Taboola collected and analysed data from its dataset of 1.4 billion users each month, and from sites where its products are installed and user permission is granted. It conducted a global analysis of more than 100 women who made the headlines in 2019, and looked at which names consumers were reading about most.

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