For 72 years, TIME annually chose a “Man of the Year” for its cover; and even after changing the title to “Person of the Year” in 1999, TIME’s choice was almost always a man.
In an effort to combat its heavily male-centric and exclusionary history, and in a celebration of women’s history month, TIME just released a list of 100 Women of the Year, dedicating a cover to a woman for every year in the past century, and it features two Arab women: Egyptian feminist and novelist Nawal El Saadawi, and Yememi activist and politician Tawakkol Karman.
Karman was one of the few women to actually be chosen as Person of the Year in 2011, and the cover used in this list is the original cover released that year. Saadawi’s cover, however, like most of the others in the list, is a recreation of one of her iconic portraits.
Nawal Al Saadawi was chosen to represent the year 1981, almost a decade after the publication of her seminal work Women and Sex, which among many things, delves into the reality of female genital mutilation in Egypt.
Portrait by Sarah Jane Moon for TIME.
Karman, on the other hand, was chosen in 2011 for her impact during the Arab Spring on the frontlines of the Yemeni uprising. Karman also earned a Nobel Peace Prize the same year, sharing it with two others, for her “leading part in the struggle for women’s rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen.” She was the first Yemeni and Arab woman to receive the prestigious award.