Women played some significant roles this past year, from making peace to crafting economic policy in the midst of a crisis. Here are seven who shaped 2011:
The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was wisely given to the body trying to rid the world of chemical weapons. But who will divert the scientists who know how to make such weapons into peaceful pursuits?
Merit trumped politics this year when modest, retiring, universally admired Canadian author Alice Munro received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Chinese writer Mo Yan's comments on censorship and his unwillingness to sign a petition for the release of Noblist Liu Xiaobo have angered some fellow writers.
Nobel Prize laureate Herta Muller accuses Mo Yan of praising his country's censorship laws and calls his win 'a slap in the face for all those working for democracy and human rights.'