It’s been a year.

It’s hard to fathom that at the start of 2020, coronavirus wasn’t a huge part of the average American’s vocabulary. It’s hard to fathom that in February, we were talking about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ripping up a copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address — rather than wondering, endlessly, how long the president would attempt to overturn the election results. It’s difficult to fathom that in March, while many remote workers and faraway friends and relatives were attempting to navigate Zoom, George Floyd was still living and breathing.

It may be a challenge to wrap our heads around this endless year, but you can lay your eyes on these interesting, illuminating photos. Find 12 images below, one from each month, either taken by a female photographer or capturing the lives of women (or both), during moments big and small.

Hang in there. 2020 is nearly behind us.

January

Sister Tracy Kemme, 33, is seen in Chicago. (Lucy Hewett for The Lily)
Sister Tracy Kemme, 33, is seen in Chicago. (Lucy Hewett for The Lily)

A large percentage of millennials have turned away from religion (or perhaps never embraced it at all). Still, for the last decade, roughly 100 women have professed final vows each year, which is part of the process of becoming a nun or sister, writes Rachael Allen in The Lily. With college degrees and work experience, newly vowed women of today are more diverse than generations prior. Here’s a look at the lives of millennial nuns.

February

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tears up her advanced copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address before members of Congress on Feb. 4. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tears up her advanced copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address before members of Congress on Feb. 4. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

One might argue that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) knows the power of an image (and body language) better than most politicians, Amber Phillips writes in The Washington Post. The Post put together a piece highlighting Pelosi’s most iconic power moves, including the moment when she tore apart a copy of President Trump’s State of the Union speech.

March

Emma Alterman organized an online game of Codenames for 10 college friends. (Emma Alterman)
Emma Alterman organized an online game of Codenames for 10 college friends. (Emma Alterman)

Remember the early days of the pandemic, when Zoom offered a new way to have happy hours and game nights with old friends you hadn’t seen since middle school? The Lily’s Caroline Kitchener spoke with women on how to host the perfect virtual get-together. In these early days, we were blissfully unaware of the impending “Zoom fatigue.”

April

“Belén turned out to be the most fantastic neighbor. We leave homemade food outside each other's door and chat from our balconies,” writes Erica Canepa, who lives in Buenos Aires. (Erica Canepa for The Washington Post)
“Belén turned out to be the most fantastic neighbor. We leave homemade food outside each other's door and chat from our balconies,” writes Erica Canepa, who lives in Buenos Aires. (Erica Canepa for The Washington Post)

As the reality of self-quarantining for the long haul set in, By The Way, The Post’s travel initiative, asked three of their City Guide photographers to show readers what life was like for them during the pandemic. Erica Canepa in Buenos Aires noticed her neighbors taking advantage of any small outdoor space they had. She even formed a new friendship with a woman a few apartments over.

May

A medical worker passes a tube, which contains samples taken from photographer Yan Cong’s throat as part of a covid-19 swab test, to a colleague outside of the hotel room where Cong was quarantining in Beijing. (Yan Cong for The Washington Post)
A medical worker passes a tube, which contains samples taken from photographer Yan Cong’s throat as part of a covid-19 swab test, to a colleague outside of the hotel room where Cong was quarantining in Beijing. (Yan Cong for The Washington Post)

Photographer Yan Cong and her partner, comic artist Krish Raghav, spent two weeks quarantining in separate hotel rooms after returning to Beijing, where they live, after traveling. They documented the bizarre experience for By The Way.

June

Sergine Lucien looks out from her RV in Kissimmee, Fla. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)
Sergine Lucien looks out from her RV in Kissimmee, Fla. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

The pandemic forced Sergine Lucien, Dave Marecheau and their two children out of their home. After a story about Lucien and her family was published in The Post, the chief executive of Camping World donated a new RV for them to live in. Photographer Eve Edelheit followed the family’s story.

July

Sara Fatell, of Rainbow Doula, poses for a portrait outside of her home in Mount Rainier, Md. (Alyssa Schukar for The Washington Post)
Sara Fatell, of Rainbow Doula, poses for a portrait outside of her home in Mount Rainier, Md. (Alyssa Schukar for The Washington Post)

When pregnancy is treated as a heterosexual or cisgender experience, lesbian, gay, transgender, nonbinary and queer families can be left feeling othered, excluded or diminished, writes Madeleine Thomas in The Lily. At Rainbow Doula DC, which its founder says is the only queer-specific doula collective in the Washington, D.C., area, parenthood is far from binary.

August

Ju’Niyah Palmer, the sister of Breonna Taylor, poses for a portrait surrounded by photos and paintings of her sister at her mother’s apartment. (Joshua Lott for The Washington Post)
Ju’Niyah Palmer, the sister of Breonna Taylor, poses for a portrait surrounded by photos and paintings of her sister at her mother’s apartment. (Joshua Lott for The Washington Post)

Before Breonna Taylor’s name became a rallying cry chanted in protests and scrawled on signs, she was Ju’Niyah Palmer’s sister — her companion, role model and confidante. Palmer talked to Post reporter Caitlin Gibson about the weight of losing her sister. “She was my person. I was her shadow,” she said.

September

Mourners gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court to pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)
Mourners gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court to pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the high court, died Sept. 18 at age 87. For a story in The Lily, previous clerks and colleagues of the justice remembered her profound impact.

October

Candace Valenzuela ran in Texas’s 24th Congressional District. (Allison V. Smith for The Washington Post)
Candace Valenzuela ran in Texas’s 24th Congressional District. (Allison V. Smith for The Washington Post)

Ahead of the election, Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener profiled six women around the country who were attempting to flip their congressional districts. Candace Valenzuela, shown here, narrowly lost in Texas’s 24th Congressional District.

November

Volunteer Aparna Raj, 26, right, helps first-time voter Binta Nyan, 18, sign in at the Raymond Recreation Center and Playground. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)
Volunteer Aparna Raj, 26, right, helps first-time voter Binta Nyan, 18, sign in at the Raymond Recreation Center and Playground. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

A record number of Americans tracked down ballot boxes and stood in long lines to vote in this year’s election; volunteers all over the country worked to ensure their votes were counted. The Lily shadowed two women working at polling sites in Washington, D.C., to see what their days looked like.

December

Jeremiah Graham greets Santa, who wears a face shield and sits behind a clear protective barrier, at the holiday photo station at the Bass Pro Shops store in Bridgeport, Conn. (Amy Lombard for The Washington Post)
Jeremiah Graham greets Santa, who wears a face shield and sits behind a clear protective barrier, at the holiday photo station at the Bass Pro Shops store in Bridgeport, Conn. (Amy Lombard for The Washington Post)

Closing out a year like no other, mall Santas still greeted children — behind face shields. Photographer Amy Lombard highlighted the surreal interactions.

Trump left international abortion rights in shambles, activists say. Can Biden undo the damage?

Biden vowed to repeal the ‘global gag rule,’ but Trump’s ‘anti-woman rhetoric’ isn’t necessarily going away

A Black woman is set to make history as Boston mayor. ‘Her win is my win,’ these residents say.

Kim Janey is poised to shake up ‘an old-boys’ network’

After a relentless year, these Black women are prioritizing self-care on MLK Day

‘We deserve to just take a break’