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Woman of the Year Awards: Rihanna, Serena and more

Last updated on: November 11, 2009 18:27 IST

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Glamour Magazine held its annual Woman of the Year Awards function in New York on November 9. Honouring ladies who have made their mark in the fields of entertainment, fashion, philanthropy, sports and more, big names like Michelle Obama, Serena Williams and Stella McCartney ranked among the recipients, while stars like Catherine Zita Jones and Andie MacDowell were . Take a look.


The young chanteuse, who has seen unprecedented success in the field of music at the age of 21, was honoured not only for her contribution to the entertainment industry, but for bringing hope and encouragement to victims of domestic violence.

Rihanna recently opened up about her abuse at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown earlier this year, an incident that created a media explosion and kept her in the spotlight at a time when she was desperate to withdraw from all the attention. She also runs the Believe Foundation, a fund that provides education and medical attention for underprivileged children.

Maria Shriver

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

She is the wife of Hollywood superstar and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the niece of late US President John F Kennedy, but Maria didn't recieve an award because of her family connections.

This remarkable lady heads the California's Women's Conference and was also involved in helping US First Lady Michelle Obama start up United We Serve, a venture to get Americans to take up volunteer work. Her latest effort is A Woman's Nation, a study directed at getting the government and corporate world to aid women when it comes to balancing their lives.

Stella McCartney

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
She may be the daughter of legendary Beatle Paul McCartney, but Stella is also one of the most famous, influential fashion designers in the world today. Starting off as an apprentice with label Savile Row, she was chief designer for exclusive fashion house Chloe at the age of 25 and now runs her own company. Moreover, Stella is a strict vegetarian and avid animal rights activist -- she does not use leather or fur in any of her designs or accessories. No wonder then, that she was honoured as Woman of the Year in the fashion category.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

These brave journalists made headlines when they were imprisoned in North Korea earlier this year while trying to bring to light the plight of women in that country who are victims of human trafficking. Sentenced to 12 years' hard labour and having spent 140 days in jail, they were released in August this year, only after former US President Bill Clinton flew to North Korea to negotiate their release.

Lee and Ling have also done other remarkable work, investigating grave issues like slave labour in Brazil and India's HIV crisis.

Marissa Mayer

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
She's the Vice President, Search and User Experience at Google and has been with the company for 10 years, helping to make it the highest-rated search engine in the world. She's brought together the teams that have innovated some of Google's best technologies and practically nothing is done without her approval. Anybody who uses Google -- and that's a lot of people (!) -- is sure to agree that Marissa deserves a Woman of the Year Award.

Serena Williams

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

This tennis champ has won 11 Grand Slam titles, two Olympic gold medals and become a household name the world over. But she has also seen a lot in her personal life, from the murder of her sister to injuries that threatened to end her career three years ago. And despite it all, Serena Williams is still going strong. For her accomplishments, Glamour Magazine honoured her in the sports category.

Amy Poehler

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Don't let her looks fool you -- this pretty, petite comedienne has had her audiences in splits for years. Performing on sketch comedy Saturday Night Live from 2001-2008, Amy is now the producer and star of a new funny series, Parks and Recreation. She was honoured in the Woman of the Year entertainment category.

Susan Rice

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
The first ever African American woman to become US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice is a fearless leader who is working towards the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual violence in the UN. Unafraid to speak up on sensitive topics like the North Korean missile threat and the Darfur genocide, she is fulfilling her duties with guts and zeal. Any wonder then, that Glamour christened her 'The Peacemaker'?

Jane Aronson

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
This philanthropic paediatrician started up the Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) in 1997, which supplies AIDS drugs to HIV positive children in Ethiopia and Vietnam, encourages and organises volunteer work in orphanages and is currently building a school in Ethiopia. Her pro-adoption stance has changed the lives of many and Aronson continues to tirelessly take up venture upon venture aimed at the betterment of underprivileged children's living conditions.

Maya Angelou

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
A writer, lecturer and teacher at 81, Angelou was facilitated by former US President Bill Clinton at the Woman of the Year Awards. Her bestselling books, poetry and memoirs recall a childhood and young adult life fraught with personal trauma, but this remarkable old lady has survived it all. And her message to readers is that if she can survive, so can you.

Michelle Obama

Photographs: POOL New/Reuters
The magazine awarded the First Lady of the USA a Special Recognition. Catapulted to fame when her husband became President, Michelle is the first ever African American First Lady, a tireless Obama supporter, a political speaker, a doting mother and a style icon. She also finds time for charitable and educational causes, public service and advocating for military families.

Activists of the The Women of Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
The One Million Signatures Campaign is a three-year-old initiative that is campaigning for women's rights in Iran. Facing constant threats of jail and beatings, the brave advocators of this cause are pursuing it at all costs and plan to petition the Iranian Parliament once they come up with the required number of signatures. In a country where the law dictates that a woman's life is worth only half a man's, this struggle is fraught with hardship and the activists of the One Million Signatures Campaign were deservingly honoured by the award.

In attendance

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
A lot of big names turned up to show support for those honoured at the awards. Seen here is actress Catherine Zeta Jones, who facilitated journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.


Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
A very pregnant Padma Lakshmi also turned up, looking lovely in a low-key black number that highlighted her swollen belly.

Mother and daughter

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Andie MacDowell also attended, with her daughter and upcoming actress Rainey Qualley.  

Glam quotient

Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
And adding to the glamour was former model Iman, looking stunning on the red carpet even at 54. She presented Rihanna with her award.