Glamour Women of the Year Awards

Last night Glamour hosted the twenty-third annual Glamour 2013 Women of the Year awards. According to GlamourGlamour’s Women of the Year Awards, “honors the celebrities, politicians, local leaders, and athletes who helped empower and inspire women this year.” This years honorees were: Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai (Women of the Year Fund Honoree), Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly (Couple of the Year), Catherine Martin, Kerry Washington, Liya Kebede & Christy Turlington Burns, Natalie Massenet, Carissa Moore, Barbra Streisand (Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Winner), Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis and Melinda Gates.

NY Mag’s The Cut interviewed Glamour editor Cindi Leive who said, “It’s very easy to sit at these events and see these amazing overachievers onstage and think, ‘They’re incredible, they’re amazing, they’re extraordinary, and that could never be me.’ [But] I think the message of tonight is that a lot of these women were regular women who pushed themselves. We all probably have it in ourselves to do that. Every woman has a little bit of that power.”

Each year, The Women of the Year awards features one Women of the Year Fund Honoree and this year’s fund is The Malala Fund.The Malala Fund was founded by Malala Yousafzai, a sixteen year old young Pakistani woman who was shot by the Taliban because of her advocacy for educating girls. The fund, “provides funds and support for programs that work towards Malala’s mission to make sure all girls have access to the education they deserve. Worldwide, 66 million girls are not in school, and when girls are denied an education, society loses one of its greatest and most powerful resources.”

Malala Yousafzai

Learn a bit about why each Women of the Year was selected and then click to read the detailed feature:

  • Lady Gaga is a Women of the Year because…  “When you interact with her, you become very aware of your life, your possibilities. You walk away thinking, OK, let’s do it.” —Jeff Koons, artist
  • Malala Yousafzai is a Women of the Year because…”By targeting her, extremists showed what they feared most: a girl with a book. Malala embodies the power of education to build peace. She is truly a role model for the world.”—Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations
  • Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly are the Couple of the Year because… “They have inspired our nation with their commitment to making America a safer place. And their devotion to each other is an example to us all.”—Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.)
  • Catherine Martin is a Woman of the Year because… “She brings warmth and humor and energy to every story and character—and inspires me constantly.” —Carey Mulligan, actress
  • Kerry Washington is a Woman of the Year because… “Her rare combination of talent, humility, strength, and selflessness defies limits. She is a gift to us all, and I’m proud to call her my friend.”—Alicia Keys, singer and 2004 Woman of the Year
  • Liya Kebede and Christy Turlington Burns are Women of the Year because… “It’s maddening that women are dying for no good reason. When women like Christy and Liya get organized on their behalf, things change.” —Bono, singer and activist
  • Natalie Massenet is a Woman of the Year Because…”She started a $500 million company with a business plan that didn’t exist before. She changed the fashion industry—in heels.” —Jenna Lyons, president and executive creative director of J. crew and 2012 Woman of the Year
  • Carissa Moore is a Woman of the Year because… “She’s the best in the world right now. And what’s scary is, she just keeps improving.” —Kelly Slater; 11-time surfing world champion
  • Barbra Streisand is a Woman of the Year Lifetime Achievement Winner because… “She’s such a pivotal figure in music. As a performer, she’s always been so different from everybody else around.”—Lady Gaga, singer, artist, and fellow 2013 Woman of the Year
  • Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis is a Woman of the Year because… “No teacher expects to have to rescue her students from a deadly attack. But Kaitlin’s quick thinking at Sandy Hook saved 15 lives.” —Laura Bush, former teacher, First Lady, and 2011 Woman of the Year
  • Melinda Gates is a Woman of the Year because… “As an effective and strategic leader, she’s dedicated to solving the world’s toughest problems.” —Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and 1992 and 2008 Woman of the Year.

I didn’t attend the event but I loved getting a behind-the-scenes look from the Huffington Post article, 7 Pieces Of Wisdom From Malala Yousafzai, Lady Gaga And The Rest Of Glamour’s 2013 Women Of The Year by Emma Gray. Here is a recap from her article:

1. The pen is truly more powerful than the sword — or the gun. So be sure to use it.
Sixteen-year-old Yousafzai stole the show with her eloquent and passionate speech about the importance of education. “I believe that a gun has no power at all,” she said. “Because a gun can only kill. A pen can give life, a pen can save life.”

2. Acknowledge your privilege, and leverage it to do good in the world.
Lady Gaga didn’t shy away from addressing the audience — and Glamour magazine – directly and urging them to do better. “A lot of people in this room have a lot,” she said. “When you go home, ask yourself: How can I do more?”

3. Never doubt the impact you can have by speaking up when there’s something worth talking about.
“I don’t think anyone should underestimate the power of their own voice. Because that voice can affect change,” Streisand said. She pointed out that battles for women’s rights that were won decades ago, such as the right to terminate a pregnancy, are currently “under attack,” and that “to achieve change we must speak out. Every voice is important.”

4. Your mom probably does know best. 
“Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me,” said Lady Gaga. Those are some solid lessons. You probably learned some excellent ones from your mother as well.

5. We need more women in positions of power. “Use your signature” to make it happen.
Streisand reminded everyone that women still make only 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, and that our boardrooms and government legislatures are still dominated by one sex. She urged the women in the room to use their voting power, ability to write letters and their checkbooks to change those abysmal numbers. “Of course there’s never been a woman president,” she quipped. “But I hope that will change very soon!”

6. Hope can exist in even the most dire of situations.
“There is no freedom, but still there is hope,” Yousafzai said in reference to the limited opportunities of young women in Pakistan. “We are not toys. We are not stickers you put on magazines. We are not puppets. We are human beings with capabilities and potentials.”

7. “Strong women get things done.”
Gabby Giffords managed to sum up the message of the night in that one simple sentence. “Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best,” she said.