U2’s Bono nabs unique award for women’s rights activism

Irish rock star Bono, long recognized for his humanitarian work around the globe, just got a new accolade: Glamour magazine’s first Man of the Year.

The U.S. women’s magazine, known for its annual Women of the Year list, said on its website that Bono was singled out for his activism on behalf of women’s and girls’ rights worldwide.

In 2015, Bono launched the Poverty Is Sexist movement to help the world’s poorest women gain better access to education, health care and business opportunities. The movement is part of Bono’s ONE campaign, founded in 2004, to combat poverty and disease in Africa.

Bono, 56, thanked Glamour for the award and issued a statement saying that “the battle for gender equality can’t be won unless men lead it along with women.”

“We’re largely responsible for the problem, so we have to be involved in the solutions,” he said.

As frontman for the band U2, which has sold millions of albums and won 22 Grammy awards, Bono is no stranger to publicity. In accepting his Glamour award, he acknowledged that the other honorees had encountered more obstacles than he had.

He spoke about the injustices facing women, particularly in countries where laws grant women fewer rights than men. It’s important to demand change, he said.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, ONE campaign organizers will urge politicians to make equality a priority. “It is the only way forward,” Bono said. “The train is leaving the station. Be on it or be under it.”

These are Glamour’s Women of the Year for 2016:

  • Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund
  • U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles
  • Yezidi human rights activist Nadia Murad
  • Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors (founders of the Black Lives Matter movement)
  • Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada
  • Plus-size model Ashley Graham
  • Emily Doe (Stanford University sexual-assault survivor)
  • Video producer Brandon Milbradt
  • Singer Gwen Stefani
  • Singer/dancer/actress Zendaya

Bono and his fellow honorees will be featured in the December issue of Glamour.