Myanmar president Thein Sein (L) and legislator Aung San Suu Kyi (R) speaking at Asia Society events in 2012. Aung San Suu Kyi was last year’s winner of our reader poll for Asia’s Person of the Year — will her countryman take her spot this year? (Kenji Takigami/Joshua Roberts)
Who grabbed the headlines in Asia in 2012? What Asia-related people made waves? Who, for better or worse, had the biggest impact during the past calendar year?
We want you to tell us — please vote below in 2012’s version of our (unscientific and unofficial) reader poll for Asia’s Person of the Year.
For 2012 we have selected 12 nominees from all walks of life, and you can read their descriptions below. Now, we are well aware that Asia is a huge place, filled with billions of people. Undoubtedly many deserving names failed to make this list (including newly anointed leaders like Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Park Geun-hye — we figured we’d check back in on them next December).
This is why you are welcome to write-in your own candidates, as well. We encourage you to do so.
Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar)
Bo Xilai (China)
Chen Guangcheng (China)
Aamir Khan (India)
Imran Khan (Pakistan)
Kim Jong Un (North Korea)
Jeremy Lin (United States)
Mo Yan (China)
Psy (South Korea)
Vinod Rai (India)
Thein Sein (Myanmar)
Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan)
The fact that so many Asian countries have accepted women as political leaders and heads of state long before Americans have managed to put a woman in the White House has led some observers to believe that it must mean Asian societies are ahead of the Western world in accepting women in leadership roles. The truth is far more complex than the simplistic observation that this automatically means women will benefit from such role models at the pinnacle of their power. In the case of Park, she may have earned the position on her own merits more than other female counterparts, but that doesn’t mean her leadership will bode well for women’s rights in South Korea or the region during her tenure.
As Park Geun-hye becomes the latest Asian female head of state, Vishakha Desai wonders what, if anything, this means for women’s issues in the region.
Read the full story here.