BBC Top 100 Women Highlights

Every year, The BBC releases a list of the top 100 influential women from around the world. This year the question being asked is: What would the future look like if it were driven by women? The BBC breaks the list down into the categories of Earth, Knowledge, Leadership, Creativity, Sport and Identity. This week, Her Campus is spotlighting one woman from each category who is working towards a more inclusive world for women and minorities!  

 

Earth: Judith Bakirya    

Judith Bakirya grew up working on her family farm in Uganda and was the first of her peers to gain a scholarship to an all girls boarding school. She then attended college in the UK. After graduating from Birmingham University, she decided to go home to Uganda where she founded an organic fruit farm called Busaino Fruits & Herbs. Bakirya won the national agriculture award and has used the platform to advocate for women’s rights, such as lack of access to education, land ownership, and domestic violence. 

 

Knowledge: Mimi Aung

Mimi Aung is a project manager at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. She is in charge of a team that is currently designing a helicopter that will fly to Mars. This project is especially difficult because she is faced with the challenge of building a helicopter light enough to fly through Mars’ thin atmosphere. Mimi’s Mars helicopter should reach the planet's surface in February 2021! 

 

Leadership: Alanoud Alsharekh

Dr. Alsharekh is the director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, which heads up the "Empowering Kuwaiti Women in Politics" training program. Dr. Alsharekh has held respectable positions in academic, non-governmental, and governmental realms, but one of her most note-worthy positions is being the director of the Abolish153 campaign to end honour-killing legislations. Honor Killing Laws include the act of someone being killed for their perceived immoral behavior.  Dr. Alsharekh was awarded the knighthood of the National Order of Merit by the French government in 2016 because of her involvement in improving women’s rights. 

 

Creativity: Yalitza Aparicio

Yalitza Aparicio walked into an audition for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma with no prior acting experience. She earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for which she learned a new language and faced her fear of the ocean for one of the most important scenes of the film. Aparicio became the first Indigenous Mexican woman to be nominated for this award and with this platform she advocates for gender equality rights for Indigenous communities and constitutional protection for domestic workers.

 

Sport: Kimia Alizadeh 

Kimia Alizadeh is a 21 year-old martial artist who, at the age of 18, became the first Iranian woman to win a medal at the Olympics. Iranian women have been restricted in almost every aspect of their life by their families and the larger society. Women have fewer marriage, divorce, and inheritance rights in Iran and the rules about wearing hijab limit the sports that women can participate in. UK’s Financial times stated that Kimia is "emboldening Iranian girls and women to push the boundaries of personal freedom."

 

Identity: Piera Aiello 

Piera Aiello is known as Italy’s “Ghost” politician, who kept her face veiled during her political campaign. However, once winning a seat as an anti-mafia politician, she showed her face to the public.  Piera Aiello was forced to marry Nicolò Atria, the son of a mafia boss in Partanna Italy, at 18 years-old. Aiello was told that if she didn't marry Atria that her parents would be killed. Aiello didn’t want to carry Atria’s child, so she started taking the pill. However, once Atria found out, he beat and raped her. Years later Nicolò Atria was murdered. Out of fear of the mafia, Piera Aiello, changed her name and moved to Northern Italy. She ran for parliament under the Five Star Movement and she now uses her experiences to advocate for the rights of police informants and their children.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.aecnext.com/speaker/mimi-aung/

http://sheinspiresher.com/judith-bakirya-the-ugandan-farmer-cultivating-more-than-just-fruit/

https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/dr-alanoud-alsharekh

https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2019/5567863/yalitza-aparicio/

https://www.ft.com/content/cf502dd6-7c26-11e7-ab01-a13271d1ee9c

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/23/i-was-tired-of-covering-my-face-to-hide-from-the-mafia-italian-mp-piera-aiello