Twenty-One Leaders Shaping the 21st Century

Women's Enews follows the time-honored, daunting tradition of gazing back over the year with its achievements and frustrations and identifying the leaders who will move and shape this century on behalf of all women.

(WOMENSENEWS)-As one year closes and another opens, we look back, reflect on the past and consider what we want from the future, where we want to go and who will help us get there.

We at Women's Enews decided on 21 points for our compass, 21 leaders shaping the future.

We wanted to identify women who will lead us, help us get our bearings, point the way. Women who will push, tug, nag, perhaps drag us, always inspire and remind us of the best that women can be on behalf of us all.

We polled our correspondents, more than 50 nationwide, who day in and day out deliver news stories constructed as if what women experience, believe and desire were primary. We turned to our advisory board, all members of the highest echelon of journalists and media professionals.

We asked for women who made news and deserved our recognition. Some of them made big headlines, others did not. Some sought the limelight, others did not. All of them, we think, will become better known to us in 2001, and beyond, for what they believe in and what they accomplish.

We looked for women who made, are making and will continue to make a difference, contribute to durable change.

We looked for a range of fields: science, politics, social activism, human rights, athletics.

We sought women who stand for our values: economic equity, full reproductive rights, affirmative action, freedom from violence, full political and legal participation, joyful acceptance of humanityís differences.

And we sought diversity: racial, ethnic, age, sexual orientation.

The list includes the four new U.S. senators, all of them pro-choice; a Florida coalition builder among women and minority men; a strong-willed pro-choice Republican; a Native American writer who crafted truth and relevance for young readers; an iconoclastic anthropologist who's shaking up our ideas about sex and motherhood; a student who braved death threats to campaign for a new university policy on sexual misconduct; a visionary Latina publisher who wants to empower her staff and support women within her community; a Rwandan official mobilizing women for peace; an academic working for humane welfare reform; a former drug-addicted mother who became a plaintiff in a Supreme Court case on women's rights, civil rights and racism; the founder of the Million Mom March against gun violence. ...

All of them are women of courage and leaders who will shape our future.

All of them, women to watch.

As for the women we were not able to mention, send us an e-mail. Women's Enews loves hearing from its readers.

To see the full story, go to