Sandra Fluke (LAW ’12) was named one of the 2012 Women of Distinction last week for her work in helping to promote equity for women and girls.

The award, given by the American Association of University Women and NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, honors five to six women each year in recognition of their work to help women overcome boundaries.

“I’m very honored to received the Women of Distinction award,” Fluke wrote in an email. “I think it’s really important that student leadership and activism be recognized with awards like this one. So much great activism is happening on our campuses, and we need to encourage students to engage in more of it.”

According to Kate Farrar, AAUW’s director of leadership programs, Fluke was chosen to receive the award for her efforts to promote discussion about insurance coverage for contraception as well as for her previous work with domestic violence and human trafficking.

“[Fluke was] chosen by the committee … in representing a woman leader this year because she … falls into what we really look into honoring, which is the ability to overcome barriers that exists for women still today,” Farrar said. “We felt that she would really be a great role model, as a peer in many ways, for the college women that would be attending.”

Fluke became an icon in the national debate about whether religiously affiliated institutions like Georgetown should be required to include contraception in their health insurance plans when she was barred from testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March.

Fluke will receive the award, along with five other women, during the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the end of the month. The conference honors female leaders who have made important contributions through their work and personal lives.

Past recipients of the award include writers, politicians, Olympic medalists and the former director of the Peace Corps.

“We definitely try to honor women who [represent] a diversity of fields and life experiences, and Sandra really has something to offer to that diversity,” Farrar said.

Fluke stressed that this recognition does not mark the end of her pursuit of justice for women.

“I’m continuing to speak out on issues that are important to me and that affect young women,” she wrote. “I’ve been talking about the need to keep student loan interest rates low, and the need to keep specialized services for teens and young women in the Violence Against Women Act.”

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