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BBC Inspirational Women List 2017: Out Of The 100 Iconic Women, How Many Africans Made It?

This year, the ladies on the list will be a piece of the 100 Women Challenge, handling a portion of the most tugging issues confronting ladies around the globe.

Meeting up in four groups, the ladies will share their encounters and make imaginative approaches to handle:

  • The glass ceiling
  • Female illiteracy
  • Street harassment
  • Sexism in sport

This year, out of the sixty women listed, seven are Africans. The women from the continent on include:

Adelle Onyago – a radio and television host from Kenya seeking to empower young women through mentorship and apprenticeship programmes

Anita Nderu – a TV presenter and radio news anchor at Capital FM based in Nairobi, Kenya who is passionate about mentoring youth

Ellen Johnson – the 24th and current President of Liberia since 2006 and the first elected female head of state in Africa

Marieme Jamme – taught herself to read and write at the age of 16 and is now a self-made businesswoman in Senegal

Naomi Mwaura – a lead organiser of the anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice, which changed the law around harassment inKenya

Talent Jumo – supports victims of revenge porn, giving them counselling and legal advice and fighting for sexual and reproductive health rights for women in Zimbabwe

Tiwa Savage – a Nigerian singer, songwriter and philanthropist Tiwa Savage is an integral member of the Afro beats scene and plans to open a music school

Taken from across all spheres of modern life – from engineering to the creative industries, from sport to business – they represent the global wealth of female talent. But in a new twist the list launched today is only part of the story.

The list has been inspired by the BBC 100 Women Challenge. New for 2017 this is a unique celebration of female talent which sees four teams of women tasked with finding solutions to everyday problems currently blighting female lives across the globe.

Today these women who are working or campaigning in these fields or who have inspired others through their actions are being celebrated.

These include:

  • Astronaut Peggy Whitson (57) – Having made three trips to the International Space Station, Peggy has spent more time in space than any other United States astronaut.
  • President of Chile Michelle Bachelet (65) – The first female to hold office in the history of her country.
  • President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (78) – the 24th and current President of Liberia since 2006 and the first elected female head of state in Africa.
  • Dancer, TV star and business owner Jin Xing (50) – Known as China’s answer to Oprah Winfrey, Jin Xing was the first transgender woman in China to receive government approval for gender reassignment.
  • Footballer Steph Houghton (29) – Captain of Manchester City FC and the England women’s football team.
  • Acid attack survivor Resham Khan (21) – UK student blogging about her recovery
  • Harvard social psychologist and bestselling author Amy Cuddy (45) – known for her research on body language. She delivered the second most-viewed TED talk of all time.
  • Politician and entrepreneur Susi Pudjiastuti (52) – A successful entrepreneur, Susi is also Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
  • UK activist Liz Kelly (65) – active in the field of violence against women and children for 40 years, professor of sexualised violence at London Metropolitan University, where she is also director of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit.
  • Education entrepreneur Anne-Marie Imafidon (28) – CEO & ‘Head Stemette’ at Stemettes seeking to inspire the next generation of women to go into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell (37) – winner of the US $1million Global Teacher Prize 2017.
  • Singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage (37) – integral member of the Afrobeats scene and Nigerian philanthropist.
  • Broadcaster and activist Adelle Onyango (28) – Kenyan radio and television host seeking to empower young women through mentorship and apprenticeship programmes.
  • Author and poet Rupi Kaur (24) Canadian-Indian author and illustrator writes on themes including love, loss, trauma, healing and femininity.
  • Cricketer Mithali Raj (34) – Captain of Indian Women’s Cricket Team
  • Disability Rights Activist Virali Modi (25) – campaigning to make railways more accessible to disabled women in India.
  • Comedian, model and disability rights campaigner Nawaal Akram (18) – founder of Muscular Dystrophy Middle East, and promotes rights for women with disabilities in the Middle East.

The remaining 40 places will then be decided as the challenge progresses, drawn from those who have supported, inspired and helped the teams on the ground over the course of the weeks. They might be someone working on a solution on the other side of the world; the woman who suggested the piece of code; the woman who named the campaign; or the woman who, by courageously sharing her story, inspired the solution.

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