"An event like this can really make a difference. I have seen it in the faces of those women who know that they're not laboring in vain. I've seen it in the networks that have been created to support them. And I've seen it in the changed attitudes of governments and leaders."

- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

"As long as violence against women, sexual or otherwise, remains strictly and exclusively a women’s issue, it will always be an issue. We men must own this and we must recognize it as vital to our own survival. And we must help our brothers see it as such."

- Ben Affleck, 2009 Presenter

"In honoring me, you are honoring the 700,000 women who are standing behind me. You may not see them, but they are here in spirit — their stories, their struggles and their triumphs echo throughout this hall."

- Jaya Arunachalam, 2005 Honoree

"It is an award to recognize the full human rights of our girls and of our women, but most of all, it is a reminder of the remaining task for equality, development and peace in our respective nations."

- Mu Sochua, 2005 Honoree

"This award, you must know, is going to protect my life...No one can silence me because I have new friends — you are my friends — and you are watching over me."

- Anabella de Leon, 2003 Honoree

Past Global Leadership Awards

2016 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

2015 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

2014 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

2013 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards


2012 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

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2011 A Decade of Investing in Women to Improve Our World 

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View video highlights

2010 Impact through Innovation: Women Inspiring Change 

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View video highlights

2009 Women Leading Change Across the World 


2008 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards


2007 Women Changing Our World


2006 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

  • Economic Opportunity Award: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria
  • Fern Holland Award: Mukhtaran Mai, Pakistan
  • Global Trailblazer: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia
  • Human Rights Award: Rita Chaikin, Israel
  • Special Recognition: The Women of Kuwait


2005 A Call to Action


2004 Changing the Face of Leadership


2003 Honoring Voices of Hope in a Time of Global Challenge

2002 Honoring the Vital Voices of Global Women Leaders 

  • Economic Opportunity Award: Dawn Marole, South Africa
  • Human Rights Award: Oksana Horbunova, Ukraine
  • Political Participation Award: Inez McCormack, Northern Ireland
  • Special Recognition: The Women of Afghanistan

Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards nomination process:

Vital Voices has established a nomination process that allows both internal experts and key external advisors to suggest potential honorees. In partnership with our Board, senior management and staff, we select women who have a track record with Vital Voices and have been closely engaged in our programming and initiatives. We also seek awardees who represent key issues in the world that affect women and girls, women who are making waves and addressing seemingly improbable challenges — such as combating corruption, advocating for human rights in war-torn countries and creating hope in some of the most trying circumstances. All honorees undergo vetting and have been recommended by those who know them and/or have worked with them.

By highlighting all of these women at the Global Leadership Awards, we hope to lend greater credibility to their work and show both the audiences present at the Global Leadership Awards and around the world that these women are the answers to creating sustainable positive change in their countries and beyond.