2015’s top 11 moments for women in popular culture

Amy Schumer during the "Fight Like a Girl" episode of "Inside Amy Schumer." (Comedy Central)

TIME has compiled a list of the most empowering moments for women in pop culture — and it is fun, wildly inspiring and, frankly, kick-ass.

Adele made hits and smashed records. Half of 2015’s 20 top-grossing films had female protagonists, including a new Star Wars movie that crushed the record for biggest box office debut and a Pixar film that broke the record for best opening for an original movie. Television saw an influx of female perspectives, from Jane the Virgin to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and television actresses found themselves thrust into new, nuanced roles — there were superheroes in shows including Supergirl or Jessica Jones, compelling anti-heroes in unREAL, and one particularly potent force to be reckoned with in Empire‘s Cookie Lyon.

Jennifer Lawrence was one among many women of Hollywood to publicly confront the gender pay gap, Amy Schumer dominated a year that saw her star in Trainwreck, release a comedy special, and produce a third season of her sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, and Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama.

And that’s the tip of the iceberg …

To see the full list and watch clips go to TIME.


Jessica Jones gives us an electrifying female superhero — at long last

Jennifer Lawrence talks gender inequality, break-up and Amy Schumer with Diane Sawyer

Lydia Harris is the “real” Cookie Lyon

Adele’s “25” breaks 15-year-old debut week album sales record

Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” is a manifesto for the modern woman

Viola Davis gives rousing speech after historic Emmys win


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