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Eve Ensler Picks The World's Seven Most Powerful Feminists (Forbes)
Originally published in:
Forbes asks V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler to share her list of the world's seven most powerful feminists:
It is actually an oxymoron to identify the world's seven most powerful feminists--the exclusionary nature of that determination is a patriarchal construct in itself. Still, I simply couldn't resist the chance to highlight the great and often invisible work of grassroots feminists. Driven to make sure the oppression they witnessed or experienced is not repeated, they are breaking the silence, speaking truth to power, exposing atrocities and reminding us that women's rights are inherently connected to the future of our world.
A leading European feminist activist and thinker who was one of the architects of the Center for Women War Victims, which worked with Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian rape survivors throughout the Bosnian war, creating a safe place where women could refuse to be drawn into ethnic divisions so that their healing was possible.
Founder of The Tasaru Ntomonok Centre, a safe house for girls, is an African leader on the front lines of the fight to end the practice of female genital mutilation and early childhood marriage in Massailand. She has saved hundreds of girls from the cut, enabled their education, and created an alternative coming of age ritual, allowing a generation of girls to transition to adulthood with their bodies and spirits intact.
A powerful grassroots activist for women in the Congo, and the director of V-Day's City of Joy--a revolutionary center for survivors of violence where pain is turned into leadership and power--she has been on the front lines for 13 years, fighting for women and girls in the rape capital of the world.
As President & CEO of the Paley Center for Media and the former head of PBS, Pat has blazed the trail for many women in media, all the while being guided by the propelling agent of her life--the need to move women forward in front of and behind the lens. She is the greatest connector of women across sectors, and will once again provide women a platform to dialogue about their roles as change agents, intellectual innovators, and idea champions as the producer of TEDWomen, scheduled for December 2010.
The co-director of AIDS Free World, former deputy executive director of UNICEF and the U.N.'s first Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen believes that women's rights are inherently connected to the future of our world. Be it in the race against AIDS, or the fight against gender-based violence in conflict zones, Stephen champions women's voices and perspectives and has spent his entire career helping to undo institutional patriarchy.
A writer and outspoken activist who, in the face of ongoing oppression of Afghan women, risked her life to courageously call out tyrannical warlords in the Loya Jurga and demand justice for the Afghan people. With great threat to her own safety, she has served in office and traveled the world to advocate for her country.
An environmentalist and leading thinker of our time, Shiva argues that women must be front and center in order to solve the issue of food security in the developing world. By integrating women, as both farmers and decision makers in places like India, Shiva's writings have shown that a more sustainable, productive and efficient agricultural system is possible.