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Princess of Asturias Awards

05/19/2021

Gloria Steinem, Princess of Asturias Award for the Communication and Humanities

Journalist and writer Gloria Steinem has been bestowed with the 2021 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, as announced today by the Jury responsible for conferring the aforementioned Award 

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Journalist and writer Gloria Steinem has been bestowed with the 2021 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, as announced today by the Jury responsible for conferring the aforementioned Award.

The Jury for the Award –convened by the Princess of Asturias Foundation– was chaired by Víctor García de la Concha and composed of Luis María Anson Oliart, Rosa María Calaf Solé, Irene Cano Piquero, Gabriela Cañas Pita de la Vega, Emilio Casares Rodicio, Aurora Egido Martínez, Miguel Falomir Faus, Elsa González Díaz de Ponga, Álex Grijelmo García, Alma Guillermoprieto, José Guirao Cabrera, Miguel Ángel Liso Tejada, Emilio Lledó Íñigo, Helena López de Hierro d’Aubarède, Emilio Morenatti Fernández, Enrique Pascual Pons, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, Ana Santos Aramburo, María Sefidari Huici and Alberto Anaut González (as acting secretary).

This candidature was put forward by Socorro Suárez Lafuente, full professor and member of the TRANSLIT Research Group at the University of Oviedo.

Due to the situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held online via video conference.

Gloria Steinem was born in Toledo (Ohio, USA) on 25th March 1934. She graduated from Smith College (Northampton, Massachusetts) in 1956, after which she spent two years in India on a fellowship. In 1960, she settled in New York and began working for Help! Magazine. In 1968, after having worked at the Playboy Club, New York in order to write an exclusive on the working conditions and wages of those women, she collaborated in the founding of New York Magazine. As a freelance journalist, she wrote for Esquire and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. In 1972 she co-founded Ms., the first feminist magazine, which was also the first to be created and run exclusively by women. She was one of its editors for fifteen years and still serves on its advisory board, a position that allowed her to play a prominent role in the sale of the magazine to the Feminist Majority Foundation in 2001. Over and above her articles and journalistic works, she has also been a dedicated feminist activist, taking part in different forums and in the founding of women’s organizations, such as the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women (of which she is a “founding mother”), the Women’s Action Alliance, the Women and AIDS Fund, and the Women’s Media Center.

A prominent member of the American feminist movement since the late 1960s and early 1970s, Gloria Steinem gained notoriety with the 1969 publication of the article “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation” in New York Magazine. As a journalist, Steinem has written about labour issues and minority rights and has covered demonstrations whose causes she has also publicly supported.

In her role as an activist, Steinem –who is currently considered in her country as one of the most significant and iconic figures of the women’s rights movement– has also stood out for her efforts in favour of the legalization of abortion, equal pay for men and women and the approval of the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as her fight against the death penalty, female genital mutilation and child abuse.

Gloria Steinem is also the author of several best-sellers, including The Beach Book (1963), Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983), Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem (1992), Marilyn (1997), Doing Sixty & Seventy (2006) and My Life on the Road (2015). Based on this last book, the biographical film The Glorias was released in 2020. That same year, the HBO network premiered the series Mrs. America, which narrates some of the main episodes of the beginnings of the feminist struggle in the US featuring Steinem.

Among other distinctions, she has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award (1970), the Women’s Sports Journalism Award (2004) and the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award (USA, 2015). Holder of honorary degrees from several universities, she has been distinguished with the first doctorate in Human Justice from Simmons College (USA, 1973), the National Gay Rights Advocates Award and the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal (2013). Furthermore, in 1993 she was included in the National Women’s Hall of Fame, while the Library of Congress of the United States included her among its Living Legends in 2000. She was bestowed with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2013. Rutgers University created the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies in 2017. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed March 31, 2019 as Gloria Steinem Day.

As stated in their Regulations, the Princess of Asturias Awards are aimed at rewarding “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions”. In keeping with these principles, the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities is to be granted to “the work of fostering and advancing the sciences and disciplines considered humanistic activities or any activity related to social communication in any of its forms.” This year, a total of 36 candidatures from 16 countries were put forward for the Communication and Humanities Award.

This has been the second of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards to be bestowed in what is now their forty-first edition. Previously, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts was granted to the performance artist Marina Abramović. The coming days will see the announcement of the following Awards (in this order): Social Sciences, Sports, Literature, International Cooperation, Technical and Scientific Research, and Concord.

Each Princess of Asturias Award comprises a Joan Miró sculpture representing and symbolizing the Award, a diploma, an insignia and a monetary prize of €50 000.

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