Two Nigerian women, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo and Ibijoke Faborode have; joined global music phenomenon, Billie Eilish and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas on the BBC’s list of 2022 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.
BBC’s 100 Women celebrates the achievements of women internationally, from grassroots volunteers to global leaders.
According to the programme, the announcement of the list kicks off the BBC’s 100 Women 2022 season which focuses on women’s experiences around the world with a week of special interviews, documentaries, features, and digital content across the BBC’s UK and international TV and radio services, BBC iPlayer and online.
The Nigerian female icon, Ezeilo, is a leading authority in the field of international human rights Emeritus Dean of Law at the University of Nigeria, and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons.
As founding director of the Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Ezeilo has provided free legal aid and shelter to at least 60,000 vulnerable women in Nigeria within the last 25 years. She also founded the Tamar Sexual Assault Referral Centre, through which she provides a rapid response to victims and survivors of abuse.
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Through ElectHER, Faborode is disrupting the women’s political movement in Nigeria. Her organization works to bridge inequality gaps in political representation and has engaged more than 2,000 women in politics across Africa. With the #Agender35 campaign, her organization is; directly backing 35 women running for local or federal office in the 2023 general election, providing human and financial resources.
She is also behind the first African feminist mobile app for election data analysis. Faborode currently serves in the Leadership Council of The Democracy and Culture Foundation, which identifies new ways to improve democratic processes.
For Ons Jabeur, she became the first Arab or African woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era. Months later, she reached the final of the US Open. She also made it to number two in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking which is the highest position ever held by an African or Arab person. Jabeur has won three career singles titles.
Also, Salima Rhadia Mukansanga was; picked by FIFA as one of the first three women referees to officiate at a men’s World Cup in Qatar 2022. This is the first time the tournament had women in the role in its 92 years.
Last January, Mukansanga became the first woman to officiate a match as a referee at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations, and she also officiated at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Before working in sports, she trained as a midwife.
Other African’s on the BBC’s 2022 100 Women list include a Humanitarian aid worker from Tigray, Ethiopia, Wegahta Gebreyohannes Abera; NBA scouter from South Sudan, Sarah Chan; Co-founder of ElectHER from Nigeria, Ibijoke Faborode, Tech entrepreneur from Ethiopia, Samrawit Fikru; Dentist and humanitarian from Egypt, Gehad Hamdy; Sign language interpreter from Kenya, Judy Kihumba and Climate entrepreneur from Madagascar, Marie Christina Kolo.
Also on the list are a Tech entrepreneur from South Africa, Asonele Kotu; an Anti-slavery campaigner from Niger, Hadizatou Mani; Businesswoman from Zambia, Monica Musonda; an Author from Ghana, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah; an Educational entrepreneur from Eritrea, Kisanet Tedros and a Dancer from Algeria/US, Esraa Warda.
Other notable names on the BBC 100 Women list include actress and disability activist, Selma Blair; as well as ‘West Side Story’ Hollywood icon, Rita Moreno.
Ezeilo was nominated by 2021 100 Women laureate, writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who said; “Professor Ezeilo has impacted many lives through the provision of free legal aid to the poor; especially to women and girls whose human rights have been violated.”
The 2022 season is a special year for BBC 100 Women as it celebrates its tenth season; as well as the 90th anniversary of the BBC World Service and the centenary of the BBC. As such, the theme for 100 Women 2022 is Progress. The season will take the opportunity to look back at what’s changed over the past decade; as well as highlight the inspiring women who have made a difference.