The Feminist Majority Foundation honored award-winning television producers Shonda Rhimes and Jenji Kohan at the 10th annual Eleanor Roosevelt Global Women’s Rights Awards in West Hollywood, California.

From Left: Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, and FMF President and Founder Eleanor Smeal at the Global Women's Rights Awards.

From Left: Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, and FMF President and Founder Eleanor Smeal at the Global Women’s Rights Awards.

Yesterday’s Global Women’s Rights awards, hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and co-hosted by Mavis and Jay Leno, recognized Rhimes and Kohan as two of the most influential showrunners in television today. They were honored for “changing the face of media.” The awards were attended by casts of Rhimes’ shows Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal, as well as Kohan’s hit show Orange is the New Black.

“Women like Shonda Rhimes and Jenji Kohan are pushing forward cultural change by creating powerful characters and portraying women’s realities,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “At the same time, the feminist movement is pushing for women’s increased political power and full legal equality. The two go hand-in-hand.”

Rhimes, when accepting this award, spoke of her assistant, who expressed the desire to walk through this world male to see what it was like “to have it all.”

“She wants to no longer make 70 cents on the dollar,” Rhimes said. “She wants to not have old men legislate her vagina’s rights. She wants to not know that a glass ceiling ever existed. She wants to not believe that having a baby would end her career. She wants everything in the world to be made for her, be about her and speak mostly to her. Because that’s how it is for men.”

“Both Rhimes and Kohan are defying the odds at a time when women occupy only 15 percent of critical executive producer positions in television,” said Katherine Spillar, FMF Executive Director and Executive Editor of Ms. magazine, which is published by the FMF.

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