Women of the Year 2012

5 years ago

As 2012 draws to a close, we're looking back at women who've done amazing things throughout the year. There are too many of them to pick just one -- enough to fill a binder, you might say. Many of them are names you're already familiar with, and a few are newer faces -- but we think this won't be the last time you hear about them.

Keep reading to find out why our editors and writers were inspired by these awesome women.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Image Credit: Zumapress

“This year she set a record – she is the first Secretary of State to visit more than 96 countries – she has visited 100. She is greatly respected in her role by her peers and abroad and has done a great job of representing the U.S. abroad.” –Rita Arens, Senior Editor

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Malala Yousafzai

20091026;OR;News;A1 -- Malala Yousafzai, a 12-year-old girl living in Mingora in Pakistan's Swat Valley (Credit Image: © The Toronto Star/ZUMA Press)

"Malala Yousafazai was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban because she was an outspoken and fearless advocate of educating girls. The 15-year-old is recovering in a British hospital, and has become an international symbol of the obstacles many girls face just to go to school." –Mona Gable, Feminism Editor

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Marissa Mayer

(Credit Image: © Martin Klimek/ZUMA Press)

"Marissa Mayer who took over as CEO of Yahoo and inspired millions of women last year." –Virginia DeBolt, Tech Editor

"Is Marissa Mayer forgiven for saying she had an easy baby yet? Because, her. –Laurie White, Contributing Editor

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Gabrielle Douglas

Aug. 2, 2012 - Londres, Reino Unido - Gabrielle Douglas of the US poses with the gold medal after the women's All-Around Individual event of the London 2012 Olympic Games Artistic Gymnastics competitions, London, Britain, 02 August 2012. (Credit Image: © Felipe Trueba/EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)

"While 16 year-old Gabby Douglas will go down in history as the first African-American woman to win the prestigious individual all-around gold in gymnastics, seven months before the Olympic Games she almost called it quits. Overcoming financial troubles, homesickness, self-doubt and racism, Douglas went on to win two gold medals in London along with millions of hearts." –Jane Schonberger, Sports Editor

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Sandra Fluke

Sept. 6, 2012 - Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S - Attorney and women's rights activist SANDRA FLUKE addresses the delegates during the second day of the Democratic National Convention. (Credit Image: © Sean Meyers/ZUMAPRESS.com)

“In speaking to the House Democrats, smart handling of the Republican pushback and excellent speech during the Democratic Convention, she did a lot of the heavy lifting needed to keep women's reproductive issues at the forefront of the election.” –Deb Rox, Contributing Editor

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Anne-Marie Slaughter

Image Credit: poptech via Flickr

“This year I was inspired by the courage of Anne-Marie Slaughter. Her midsummer article Why Women Still Can't Have It All went viral because she wrote what so many of us who struggle with work-family balance know in our hearts.” ~ Aimee Whetstine, everyday epistle

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Stephanie Rawlings-Blake


Image Credit: USDAgov via Flickr

"Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the mayor of Baltimore, for her leadership on urban agriculture and urban food systems issues. Under her leadership in 2012, Baltimore became the first US city to approve a food desert map, launched an initiative to help food vendors in the Lexington public market sell healthier food options and backed that up with consumer education to increase demand for those options, and connected new urban farms with corner stores so communities with less access now have more opportunities to buy fresh, healthy food." –Genie Gratto, Food Editor

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Nikki Haley

Aug. 28, 2012 - Tampa, FL, USA - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, August 28, 2012. (Credit Image: © Harry E. Walker/Mct/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)

"As the first woman and first person of Indian descent elected governor of South Carolina, Haley stepped into the national spotlight during a prime-time slot at the Republican National Convention main stage this year. Most recently, she's show her humorous side when talk show host Stephen Colbert called on Haley to appoint him to replace resigning Senator Jim DeMint. Referring to her past appearance on his show for a "South Carolina Palmetto-off," the governor tripped up Colbert on trivia. 'Thank you for your interest in South Carolina's U.S. Senate seat and for the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me. But you forget one thing, my friend. You didn't know our state drink. Big, big mistake.'" -Erica Holloway, Contributing Editor

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Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis

Oct. 11, 2012 - Montclair, New Jersey, U.S. - EMMA AXELROD, ELENA TSEMBERIS and SAMMI SIEGEL (l to r), the three Montclair High School students who gathered more than 180,000 signatures and successfully petitioned the Commission on Presidential Debates to include a female moderator in one of the presidential debates, chat with CHETANA GULIANI prior to being honored at the ''Girl Power'' vice-presidential debate watch party hosted by The Women's Fund of New Jersey.(Credit Image: © Brian Cahn/ZUMAPRESS.com)

"Martha Raddatz and Candy Crowley's pointed moderation of the Presidential Debates were definitely turning points in the tight campaign season. And we can thank three high school sophomores --
Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis -- for starting an online petition calling for a woman to moderate." --Grace

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.