Ms. magazine honored a group of outstanding women today as Ms. “Women of the Year.” “All of these women are heroes. As we recognize them, we find ourselves marveling at their courage and their commitment to excellence, to do and be the best for themselves and their communities and families,” said Ms. magazine Editor-in-Chief Elaine Lafferty. “This year, another common thread revealed itself: All of these women displayed uncommon determination to accomplish specific goals that had global consequences.”
Honorees included actor/activist Kathy Najimy; Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA); writer and human rights activist Samantha Power; Saudatu Mahdi, Secretary General, Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative in Nigeria; Betty Dukes, lead plaintiff in the class action sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart; Olympic athlete Lisa Fernandez; and the “Jersey Girls,” the 9/11 widows who pushed for an independent investigation into 9/11.
“Remarkably, as we meet to recognize the work of the ÔJersey Girls,’ whose leadership inspired the creation of the 9/11 commission, Congress is meeting still to determine if they will pass the commission’s recommendations,” said Eleanor Smeal, Ms. magazine Publisher and Feminist Majority Foundation President.
Ms. editors past and present also awarded writer Suzanne Braun Levine the Ms. Legend Award. Braun Levine, a founder of Ms., was the editor-in-chief of Ms. for 17 years, longer than anyone since. Her most recent work, Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood, is excerpted in the Winter issue of Ms..