Billboard’s Woman of the Year Selena Gomez wants everyone to know that this year was a year for great progress.
As part of Billboard‘s Women in Music coverage, Gomez talked about the strides that she’s seen women in the music industry make this year and how proud and honored she is to be a part of that progress. One thing in particular Gomez is especially proud of is women using their newfound power to talk about the struggles they face and showing that they’re just as powerful as their male counterparts.
“The women have really defined their voices,” Gomez says, “and I feel most comfortable because I see all the women I look up to feeling comfortable enough to talk about the struggles or things that they’ve gone through.” Earlier this year, Gomez underwent a kidney transplant from actress and friend Francia Raísa as a result of her ongoing battle with lupus. “Being able to talk about that confidently… I feel like I can make a positive impact by sharing my story.”
Watch the moving video above, and stream Billboard’s Women in Music event live Thursday via Twitter starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.