New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) opened Monday evening’s 2011 Glamour Women of the Year Awards, calling them “a New York institution” for bringing together so many women “who’ve changed the world.”
The annual awards show at Carnegie Hall, now in its 21st year, celebrates accomplished and respected women in fields as disparate as social advocacy, politics, entertainment and art. Notable political names included Arianna Huffington, Laura Bush and her daughters, Jenna and Barbara, and Gloria Steinem, who won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Anita Hill presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Steinem. Hill was honored as a Glamour Woman of the Year in 1991 after she shined a spotlight on workplace sexual harassment by alleging during Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings that he had made sexually harassing statements. Steinem remarked, “There is no one that I'd be more honored to get this award from than Anita Hill.”
Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice presented the award to Laura Bush and her daughters, saying she’s enjoyed watching Jenna and Barbara Bush “evolve from curious teenage girls to empowered women.”
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was honored by ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer, although Giffords, who is recovering from injuries in a shooting this year, did not attend the awards.
Some of the most moving honorees were the unknown names. Newark Mayor Cory Booker presented an award to Withelma “T” Ortiz-Macey, a spokeswoman for the Rebecca Project for Human Rights who escaped a life of sex trafficking at age 17. “Facebook Girl” Esraa Abdel Fattah, a 2011 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, also received an award for helping to lead the January nationwide protests in Egypt that resulted in the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
As with any awards show, attendees walked a short red carpet outside Carnegie Hall before the awards. Notable dresses included Jennifer Lopez’s skin-toned Versace gown, Laura Bush in a teal tea-length dress, and Huffington, who wore a gold Carolina Herrera gown with a two-foot train.