Extraordinary women have been pioneering new roles in Asia and few of them or their accomplishments are known in the West. The nine women chosen span the geographic area, having been born in and devoted themselves to their work in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. They span the Asian religio-cultural spectrum as well, coming from Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Muslim, and Shinto societal backgrounds. They have achieved excellence in seven discrete fields of endeavor: women's suffrage, environmental protection, education, women's familial legal rights, health, rural development, and social welfare. Their common link is that all were recognized for their accomplishments by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, a Philippine foundation which honors men, women and organizations in Asia that have made significant contributions to Asian societies.