On Our Shelf | Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower

vital voices 100 women using their power to empower portraits by gayle kabaker

In 1997, Vital Voices was created to make space for women to be heard. The founders knew then what has now become a universal truth: that women are essential to progress in their communities. Our world cannot move forward without their full participation! Today, the Vital Voices organization is on a mission to invest in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges. And what better way to celebrate 100 global women leaders redefining power, than with a book and companion art exhibition.


Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower


The Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower book and exhibition feature a selection of original portraits by Gayle Kabaker, accompanied by thought-provoking excerpts of first-person narratives from some of the most influential and insightful women in the world.

The Book

vital voices 100 women using their power to empower book cover assouline

Masterfully edited by Alyse Nelson, co-founder, president, and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, the book publisher is the fabulous Assouline. It also features an inspiring foreword by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.

a tipping point will be reached when the diversity of the people in power reflects the diversity of the world that they are leading

Throughout its 220 – 7.5×11” pages are candid and compelling personal stories, wisdom, and ideas from leaders including; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, Bozoma Saint John, Jacinda Ardern, Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, Diane Von Furstenburg, Joy Buolamwini, Megan Rapinoe and so many more. These powerful ladies show us that women lead differently and that we need this difference sorely in our world today.

Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower book spread featuring Manal Al-Sharif, Illustration by Gayle Kabaker
Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower book spread featuring Manal Al-Sharif, Illustration by Gayle Kabaker

Award-winning illustrator, writer, and visual storyteller, Gayle Kabaker is the woman behind the 100 beautiful original portraits. No stranger to stunning portraiture, Gayle has also had five New Yorker magazine covers. Her first in 2012 being “June Brides,” an illustration celebrating the legalization of marriage equality.

Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower book spread featuring Xiye Bastida, Illustration by Gayle Kabaker
Book spread featuring Xiye Bastida, Illustration by Gayle Kabaker

empowering scent perfume by koket

The Art Exhibition

The Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower art exhibition debuted at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in March 2020. The exhibition was in conjunction with the Kennedy Center’s DIRECT CURRENT 2020. A celebration honoring the milestone centennial of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution by shining a light on female artists and collaborating with D.C.-based organizations like Vital Voices.

Fashion designer and women empowerment powerhouse Diane Von Furstenburg illustrated by Gayle Kabaker
Fashion designer and women empowerment powerhouse Diane Von Furstenburg illustrated by Gayle Kabaker for Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower

The Vital Voices Message

While each woman is path-breaking in her own right. It’s together that these 100 voices illustrate the transformative power of women’s leadership across cultures, sectors, and generations.

2020 has laid bare the critical value of leadership at every level; from heads of state to community healthcare workers and racial justice activists, we have witnessed remarkable courage and compassion in the face of historic challenges. Global crises have shown us that the solutions we seek already exist. And so often they are being championed by women leaders like those featured in this book.

This year also commemorates the 25-year anniversary of the historic United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, which sparked a new wave of activism in pursuit of gender equality. As we look to the future, and the great unfinished business that remains, join Vital Voices in turning to 100 of the most daring and creative leaders of our time, who share their vision and solutions in Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower.

Get your copy today!


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