150 Fearless Women


They've started revolutions, opened schools, and fostered a brave new generation. From Detroit to Kabul, these women are making their voices heard.

IN MEMORIAM

Marie Colvin, 1956-2012

Marie Colvin of the London Sunday Times was legendary among foreign correspondents as the bravest of the brave. A Yale-educated Long Island native, she started covering the world's most harrowing conflict zones in the 1980s, convinced that the only way to understand the evil of war was to witness it. Whatever it took to get to the killing fields--night treks along mine-strewn paths, bone-rattling rides in the backs of trucks, sprints under sniper fire--she did it. When she was young, her warm smile, affable intelligence, and penetrating green eyes charmed many a dictator or terrorist into sharing his thoughts--and sometimes his secrets. Later on, she was renowned for the depth of her experience. Who else had seen so much?

In 2001, while Colvin was covering the Tamils' guerrilla war in Sri Lanka, a piece of shrapnel cost her the sight in one eye, and left her deeply shaken. She was 45 years old. But she went back to the front lines. The "global war on terror" had begun, a decade of thankless combats. And now she wore a patch over her blind eye like a badge of honor. Last year, Colvin was in Egypt's Tahrir Square watching the Middle East turn upside down. She was in Libya at the white-hot center of the fight for Misrata. And last month, after long deliberation about the risks, she slipped into the Syrian city of Homs, where residents suffered relentless artillery bombardment from government troops. And yet, through it all, Colvin held on to her wry sense of humor. Writing to colleagues on Facebook, she joked that "reports of my survival may be exaggerated." Shortly thereafter, several shells rained down on the building where she was staying. Colvin was among the dead. She is missed terribly by those of us who adored her. She will be missed still more by those victims of war whose lives she championed. --Christopher Dickey

Jill Abramson

Climbed to the top of The New York Times as its first female executive editor.

Lynsey Addario

Pulitzer-winning photographer held hostage for six days by Gaddafi's forces.

Adele

Won six Grammys this year and endured throat surgery to save her voice.

Pegah Ahangarani

Actress spent 17 days in Iran's Evin Prison for supporting the opposition.

Molly Melching

For nearly 40 years, Melching has waged a one-woman war against the deeply rooted practice of female genital mutilation in Africa--and she aims to win.

Claressa Shields

The 16-year-old middleweight sees the sport as her way out of poverty-stricken Flint, Mich. Now she's vying to become one of the first female boxers to compete in the Olympic Games.

Masha Gessen

In her book about Putin, The Man Without a Face, Moscow-based author Gessen merci-lessly chronicles a despot's rise, despite threats and intimidation.

Mona Eltahawy

When police in Tahrir Square arrested her and broke her bones, Eltahawy tweeted from captivity.

Noorjahan Akbar

Young Kabul activist is launching an Internet cafe as a safe space for women.

Sue Akers

A Scotland Yarder, she's leading the probe of the U.K. phone-hacking scandal.

Zainab al-Khawaja

Brushing off a brutal arrest, she blogs for democracy in Bahrain.

Tal al-Mallohi

Student arrested in Syria as U.S. spy. Years later, her whereabouts still unknown.

Iman al-Obeidi

Burst into a Tripoli hotel and told the press of gang rape by Gaddafi's troops.

Nadia al-Sakkaf

Facing guns, she fought to keep the Yemen Times a voice of truth.

Asenath Andrews

Founded a Detroit school for pregnant teens, complete with an inner-city farm. …

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