Boasting record seats, women senators shake up Capitol Hill

(Photo composite: TODAY)

Even though they make up only one-fifth of the membership, women are changing the architecture of the U.S. Senate in more ways than one.

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Kentucky woman ordained as priest by dissident Roman Catholics

(Photo: John Sommers / Reuters)

A dissident Roman Catholic group ordained a 70-year-old woman a priest in Louisville, Kentucky, during a ceremony attended by hundreds on Saturday.

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Under cover of darkness, Afghan women head to battle

(Photo: NBC News)

In a country where equality is still a huge unresolved issue, on the battlefield, women are making remarkable strides.

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Danica Patrick wins Daytona 500 pole

(Photo: Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)

Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any race in NASCAR’s top circuit.

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Pentagon chief lifts ban on women in combat

(Photo: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images)

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday lifted a ban on women in combat, saying that it was “the responsibility of every citizen to protect the nation, and every citizen who can meet the qualifications of service should have that opportunity.”

"If they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve," he declared.

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Defense chief Panetta to clear women for combat roles

(Photo: Karim Sahib / AFP - Getty Images file)

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to clear the way for women to serve in many combat positions in the U.S. armed forces, a senior defense official told NBC News on Wednesday afternoon.

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'It pains me': Clinton decries plight of women in male-dominated countries

(Photo: Kevin Lamarque / AFP - Getty Images)

In an emotional speech as she nears the end of her term of office, Hillary Clinton warned there would be “many sacrifices and losses” before daughters were “valued as sons” across the world, according to reporters traveling with the secretary of state.

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Honda introduces car designed just for women

The auto industry has traditionally been male-dominated but Honda has rolled out a new model it claims to have specifically designed with women in mind.

The new Honda Fit She’s is a pretty-in-pink version of the maker’s familiar subcompact that offers a few niceties the maker believes will specifically appeal to distaff buyers, such as a windshield designed to block skin-wrinkling ultraviolet rays.

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What do you think of this idea? Is it smart or sexist?

Ikea’s Saudi Arabian catalog is missing something: women

(Photo: Ikea)

Scrubbing the bathroom got a whole new meaning in the Saudi Arabian Ikea catalog. The Swedish home and furnishings retailer faced criticism after reports surfaced that Ikea digitally erased women from pictures in the Saudi version of the catalog.

In one picture of a family in a bathroom, the mother standing at the sink with her son was removed. Even one of the retailer’s own designers, Clara Gausch, was erased from a photo featuring four of the brand’s designers.

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Record-setting female astronaut takes command of space station

(Photo: NASA)

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, who holds the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, took charge of the International Space Station Saturday, becoming only the second female commander in the orbiting lab’s 14-year history.

For first time, women from every nation ready to rock Olympics

(Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

When Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin spearheaded the first modern Olympics in 1896, he excluded female competitors, saying it would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.’’

It may have taken 116 years, but every nation participating in this year’s Olympics has offered a direct rebuttal to that antiquated opinion. “The Year of the Women’’ may be upon us in London.

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When economy gets bad, women dress to impress

When the economy goes sour, women stock up on products that can enhance their looks, a new study shows.

The reason is that women, consciously or not, are seeking to make themselves more attractive to the dwindling supply of men with good jobs, researchers say.

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