Every year since 2002 Women’s eNews has held a gala to celebrate the achievements 21 people have bettered the lives of women and girls worldwide. Why 21 Leaders? The fact that 21 is the smallest number we could use says so much about the vitality of women’s movement worldwide, whittling the nominations down that much is such a hard task!
During the autumn, Women’s eNews asks its readers and previous nominees to nominate leaders committed to improving the lives of women. Staff and the board of directors review the nominees submitted and winnows the list—looking to fully diversify the leadership class: someone in her 80s; another in her teens; many women of color; women of different faiths; some women of means; others grass roots activists; and international activists. Finally, each year, at least one man—a very competitive spot.
The decisions have been made, and this year we announce the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2010 on January 1, 2010 on our Web site and post the biographies over the next four days.
Previous 21 Leaders include two Noble Peace Prize Laureates (Wangari Maathai and Shirin Ebadi), and such outstanding leaders as Lilly Ledbetter; Esther Hewlett; Anita L. DeFrantz, Abigail Disney, Leymah Gbowee and Patrick Lynch, president of the National Association of Attorneys General.
21 Leaders for the 21st Century, 2010