Many, many women have emerged as powerful role models in 2012. Here are my five top picks for kick-ass women of the year (with Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi coming in a close sixth and seventh.)
1. Aung San Suu Kyi
My hero of 2012 is Aung San Suu Kyi. As General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the world’s most famous political dissidents, as well as a 1991 Nobel Laureate.
In the 1990 general election in Myanmar, the NLD won 59 percent of the national votes and 81 percent of the seats in Parliament. But the despotic sitting government arrested Suu Kyi, the election results were discounted and Kyi remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the next 21 years until her most recent release on 13 November 2010.
It seemed like a miracle when in April of this year, less than two years after being released from nearly two decades under house arrest, the Nobel Laureate hailed “the beginning of a new era” in Burma’s politics after the country’s Election Commission confirmed that her party had won a spectacular 40 out of 45 parliamentary seats.
What a remarkable journey from dissident to lawmaker.
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