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100 Women (BBC)

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100 Women
Years active2013–present
Inaugurated22 October 2013 (2013-10-22)
Most recentNovember 2023 (2023-11)
Website100 Women

100 Women is a BBC multi-format series established in 2013. The annual series examines the role of women in the 21st century and has included events in London[1] and Mexico.[2][3] Announcement of the list is the start of an international "BBC's women season", lasting three weeks including broadcast, online reports, debates and journalism on the topic of women.[4] Women around the world are encouraged to participate via Twitter and comment on the list, as well as on the interviews and debates that follow release of the list.[5]



After the 2012 Delhi gang rape, then BBC Controller Liliane Landor,[6] BBC editor Fiona Crack[7] and other journalists, were inspired to create a series focusing on the issues and achievements of women in society today.[8] They felt that many of the issues women faced were not getting in-depth coverage, and in March 2013 a "flood of feedback from female listeners" was received by the BBC to the effect that the corporation should provide more "content from and about women."[9]

The BBC launched this series in 2013 to address the under-representation of women in the media.[8][10] Women to participate in the first programme were chosen by survey in 26 different language services.[9] Programming ran over the course of a month, culminating in a conference held on 25 October, in which 100 women from across the world discussed issues they shared. A wide range of topics were debated covering employment challenges, feminism, motherhood, and religion,[11] to examine both the cultural and social challenges women faced in living their lives.[12]

The series has since covered many topics, including education, healthcare, equal pay, genital mutilation, domestic violence, and sexual abuse[13] and seeks to provide women with a platform to discuss how to improve the world and eliminate sexism.[14] Women included on the list are from around the globe, and involved in diverse fields of endeavour.[15] Women who are already famous are included, as well as people who are less known.[16][17]





The 2023 list was released on 21 November and it included 21 women involved with climate change. The laureates included the Indian cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur, Aitana Bonmatí, Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, Timnit Gebru, Trần Gấm and Huda Kattan. The list was subdivided into four categories: Culture & Education, Entertainment & Sport, Politics & Advocacy and Science, Health & Tech, with 28 of the laureates dubbed climate pioneers (shown as green rows below).[18]

Politics & Advocacy

Image Name Country of birth Description
Maryam Al-Khawaja  Bahrain (also a citizen of  Denmark) Human rights campaigner, board member of Civicus and the International Service for Human Rights
Shamsa Araweelo  Somalia (also a citizen of the  UK) Anti-FGM campaigner
Yasmina Benslimane  Morocco Founder of Politics4Her and gender equality campaigner
Yael Braudo-Bahat  Israel Peace activist and co-director at Women Wage Peace
Alicia Cahuiya  Ecuador Indigenous rights activist
Amal Clooney  Lebanon (also a citizen of the  UK) Human rights lawyer
Dehenna Davison  UK Member of Parliament
Christiana Figueres  Costa Rica Diplomat and climate policy negotiator with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Bella Galhos  East Timor Political activist and LGBTQ+ rights advocate
Rina Gonoi[19]  Japan Former military officer and anti-sexual harassment activist
Sonia Guajajara  Brazil State minister for native peoples and indigenous rights campaigner
Renita Holmes  USA Housing rights campaigner
Nataša Kandić  Serbia Lawyer and human rights activist. Founder of the Humanitarian Law Center
Rukshana Kapali    Nepal Housing rights campaigner and transgender human rights activist
Sofia Kosachyova  Russia Firefighter
Monica McWilliams  UK Former politician and peace negotiator during the Good Friday Agreement talks. Co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition
Najla Mohamed-Lamin  Western Sahara Women's rights and climate activist in the Saharawi refugee camps
Ulanda Mtamba  Malawi Campaigner against child marriage
Tamar Museridze  Georgia Investigative journalist
Neema Namadamu  Democratic Republic of Congo Disability rights campaigner
Michelle Obama  USA Attorney, author and campaigner
Sepideh Rashnu[20]  Iran Writer and artist
Bernadette Smith  Canada Advocate for families of missing indigenous women and girls. Co-founder of Drag the Red
Iryna Stavchuk  Ukraine Climate policy adviser at the European Climate Foundation
Gloria Steinem  USA Feminist leader and co-founder of Ms. magazine
Summia Tora  Afghanistan Refugee rights campaigner
Xu Zaozao  China Egg freezing campaigner. Advocate for single women's reproductive rights and bodily autonomy

Entertainment & Sport

Image Name Country of birth Description
Aitana Bonmatí  Spain Footballer, winner of the Ballon d'Or and former UEFA player of the year
Antinisca Cenci  Italy Equestrian vaulter
Andreza Delgado  Brazil Curator and cultural manager. Co-founder of PerifaCon
Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi  Indonesia Speed climber
America Ferrera  USA Actor and Latino rights advocate
Anne Grall  France Comedian
Georgia Harrison  UK TV personality. Anti-revenge porn campaigner
Harmanpreet Kaur  India Cricketer
Dayeon Lee  South Korea Climate change campaigner for Kpop4Planet
Justina Miles  USA Deaf performer
Dia Mirza  India Actor. Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme and a board member of the Sanctuary Nature Foundation
Zandile Ndhlovu  South Africa Freediving instructor
Alice Oseman  UK Award-winning author, illustrator and screenwriter
Paramida  Germany DJ and music producer
Camila Pirelli  Paraguay Olympic heptathlete and EcoAthlete Champion
Aziza Sbaity  Lebanon Sprinter
Khine Hnin Wai  Myanmar Actor and activist
Bianca Williams  UK Athlete

Culture & Education

Image Name Country of birth Description
Afroze-Numa  Pakistan Shepherdess
Hosai Ahmadzai  Afghanistan TV presenter on Shamshad TV
Esi Buobasa  Ghana Fishmonger
Chila Kumari Burman  UK Artist
Paulina Chiziane  Mozambique Writer. Winner of the Camões Prize
Susanne Etti  Australia Sustainable tourism expert
Licia Fertz  Italy Anti-ageism, feminism and LGBTQ+ activist
Jannatul Ferdous  Bangladesh Burns survivor, film-maker, writer and disability rights campaigner
Natalia Idrisova  Tajikistan Green energy consultant
Vee Kativhu  Zimbabwe (also a citizen of the  UK) Content creator and YouTuber
Huda Kattan  USA Founder of Huda Beauty
Sophia Kianni  USA Student and social entrepreneur
Arati Kumar-Rao  India Photographer
Louise Mabulo  Philippines Farmer and entrepreneur. Recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme as a Young Champion of the Earth
Marijeta Mojašević  Montenegro Disability rights activist
Sarah Ott  USA School teacher and climate change ambassador with the National Center for Science Education
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo[21]  UK (citizen of  India) Bhikṣuṇī buddhist nun
Lala Pasquinelli  Argentina Artist, lawyer, poet, lesbian and feminist activist
Jess Pepper  UK Founder of Climate Café and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Matcha Phorn-in  Thailand Campaigner for indigenous and LGBTQ+ rights
Carolina Díaz Pimentel  Peru Journalist specialising in neurodivergence and mental health coverage
Shairbu Sagynbaeva  Kyrgyzstan Co-founder of For Life sewing shop
Daria Serenko  Russia Poet, writer and political activist. Member of Feminist Anti-War resistance
Kera Sherwood-O'Regan  New Zealand Indigenous rights and disability advocate
Sagarika Sriram  United Arab Emirates Educator and climate adviser
Clara Elizabeth Fragoso Ugarte  Mexico Truck driver
Oksana Zabuzhko  Ukraine Writer

Science, Health & Tech

Image Name Country of birth Description
Basima Abdulrahman  Iraq Green building entrepreneur
Bayang  China Diarist and sustainability advocate
Amina Al-Bish  Syria Volunteer rescue worker with the Syria Civil Defence
Rumaitha Al Busaidi  Oman Scientist
Sara Al-Saqqa  Palestine General surgeon
Susan Chomba  Kenya Scientist and director at the World Resources Institute
Leanne Cullen-Unsworth  UK Marine scientist
Canan Dagdeviren[22][23]  Turkey Scientist and inventor
Izabela Dłużyk  Poland Sound recordist
Marcela Fernández  Colombia Expedition guide
Anamaría Font Villarroel  Venezuela Particle physicist
Trần Gấm  Vietnam Biogas business owner
Timnit Gebru  Ethiopia (citizen of  USA) AI expert
Claudia Goldin  USA Economist and recipient of Nobel Prize in Economics
Anna Huttunen  Finland Carbon impact tech expert
Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka  Uganda Veterinarian and conservationist. Founder of Conservation Through Public Health. Recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme as a Champion of the Earth in 2021
Sonia Kastner  USA Wildfire detection tech developer
Astrid Linder  Sweden Professor of traffic safety
Neha Mankani  Pakistan Midwife
Wanjira Mathai  Kenya Environmental adviser. Former leader of the Green Belt Movement. Managing director for Africa & Global Partnerships at the World Resources Institute and adviser to the Clean Cooking Alliance and the European Climate Foundation
Isabel Farías Meyer  Chile Journalist and early menopause campaigner
Natalie Psaila  Malta Medical doctor
Olena Rozvadovska  Ukraine Children's rights advocate
Sumini  Indonesia Forest manager
Fabiola Trejo  Mexico Social psychologist
Jennifer Uchendu  Nigeria Mental health advocate. Founder of SustyVibes
Qiyun Woo  Singapore Storyteller and environmentalist
Elham Youssefian  Iran (citizen of  USA) Human rights lawyer, adviser on climate and adviser on disability to the International Disability Alliance



The list for 2022 was released on 6 December. Women included this year were Olena Zelenska of Ukraine, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, the singer Billie Eilish, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Selma Blair, Lina Abu Akleh, Alla Pugacheva, Elnaz Rekabi and Yulimar Rojas. The list was subdivided into four categories: Culture & Sport, Activism & Advocacy, Politics & Education and Health & Science.[24]

Politics & Education

Image Name Country of birth Description
Maeen Al-Obaidi  Yemen Lawyer and mediator
Fatima Amiri  Afghanistan Student
Nathalie Becquart  France (also a citizen of the  Vatican City) Nun in the Congregation of Xavières and first ever female Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops.
Taisia Bekbulatova  Russia Journalist. Founder of the independent media outlet Holod
Kristina Berdynskykh  Ukraine Journalist
María Fernanda Castro Maya  Mexico Disability rights advocate
Chanel[25] Contos  Australia Sexual consent activist
Eva Copa  Bolivia Politician and mayor of El Alto of Aymara descent
Joy Ezeilo  Nigeria Law professor and former United Nations special rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons
Ibijoke Faborode  Nigeria Founder of ElectHER
Erika Hilton  Brazil Politician and campaigner for black and LGBT rights. The first black trans woman ever elected to a seat in the National Congress of Brazil
Park Ji-hyun  South Korea Political reformer
Zahra Joya  Afghanistan Journalist and founder of Rukhshana Media
Ursula von der Leyen  Germany First ever female President of the European Commission
Naomi Long  Northern Ireland (uses a  UK passport) Politician and former Lord Mayor of Belfast
Ayesha Malik  Pakistan First female judge on the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Zara Mohammadi  Iran Kurdish language educator
Mia Mottley  Barbados First female Prime Minister of Barbados
Sepideh Qoliyan  Iran Political campaigner and workers’ rights advocate
Roza Salih  Iraq (active in  Scotland,  UK) Politician and member of activist group the Glasgow Girls
Simone Tebet  Brazil Member of the Brazilian Federal Senate
Kisanet Tedros  Eritrea Educational entrepreneur and Tigrinyan digital content creator
Cheng Yen  Taiwan Buddhist philanthropist, founder of the Tzu Chi humanitarian organisation
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe  Iran (also a citizen of the  UK) Charity worker
Olena Zelenska  Ukraine Incumbent First Lady, architect and screenwriter

Culture & Sport

Image Name Country of birth Description
Dima Aktaa  Syria Refugee and parathlete
Zar Amir Ebrahimi  Iran Actor and founder of Alambic Productions
Selma Blair  USA Actor and multiple sclerosis awareness campaigner
Ona Carbonell  Spain Olympic medal winning synchronised swimmer
Sarah Chan  South Sudan NBA scout and former professional basketball player. Advocate for education and sports
Priyanka Chopra  India Actor and producer. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, campaigning for children's rights and education for girls
Billie Eilish  USA Singer and songwriter
Ons Jabeur  Tunisia Tennis player
Sneha Jawale  India Social worker
Reema Juffali  Saudi Arabia Racing driver and founder of Theeba Motorsport
Kadri Keung  Hong Kong Fashion designer
Miky Lee  South Korea Producer, architect of KCON music festival and vice-chair of CJ ENM
Laura McAllister  Wales UK Professor and former footballer. LGBTQ+ sports ambassador
Milli  Thailand Rap artist
Rita Moreno  Puerto Rico USA EGOT winning actor
Salima Rhadia Mukansanga  Rwanda Football referee
Alla Pugacheva  Russia Musician
Elnaz Rekabi  Iran Climber, appeared at the Asian Championships without a hijab in violation of Iranian law and was arrested as her action was interpreted by the Iranian government as a silent protest against the law in the context of feminist protesters in Iran at the time
Yulimar Rojas  Venezuela Olympic medal winning triple jumper and LGBTQ+ rights advocate
Sally Scales  Australia Pitjantjatjaran artist
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah  Ghana Writer and feminist activist
Geetanjali Shree  India Author and winner of the International Booker Prize
Alexandra Skochilenko  Russia Artist, imprisoned by the Russian government for protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Velia Vidal  Colombia Writer and El Chocó cultural and education campaigner
Esraa Warda  Algeria USA Dancer and proponent of raï,a grassroots genre historically associated with social protest

Activism & Advocacy

Image Name Country of birth Description
Lina Abu Akleh  Palestine Human rights advocate
Velmariri Bambari  Indonesia Activist and women's rights campaigner
Tarana Burke  USA Activist. Started the MeToo movement.
Sanjida Islam Choya  Bangladesh Student
Heidi Crowter  UK Disability rights campaigner with an emphasis on Down syndrome
Sandya Eknelygoda  Sri Lanka Human rights activist
Gohar Eshghi  Iran Civil activist and Iranian Complainant Mother
Ceci Flores  Mexico Activist and member of the Madres Buscadoras de Sonora collective
Geraldina Guerra Garcés  Ecuador Women's rights and anti-femicide activist
Moud Goba  UK Refugee and LGBTQ+ rights activist. Founding member of UK Black Pride
Women cutting their hair  Iran Group protesting against Iranian laws against women, (especially the law mandating that women wear a hijab at all times) and against its restrictive laws and theocratic government in general
Gehad Hamdy  Egypt Dentist and humanitarian
Judith Heumann  USA Disability rights advocate
Jebina Yasmin Islam  UK Campaigner for women's safety
Layli (pseudonym)  Iran Protester
Hadizatou Mani  Niger Anti-slavery campaigner
Oleksandra Matviichuk  Ukraine Human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist at the Center for Civil Liberties. Helps Ukraine document proof of Russian atrocities resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Narges Mohammadi  Iran Journalist and human rights campaigner. Vice-president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center
Tamana Zaryab Paryani  Afghanistan Human rights activist
Alice Pataxó  Brazil Indigenous rights activist and climate campaigner
Roya Piraei  Iran Kurdish rights activist
Yuliia Sachuk  Ukraine Disability rights advocate
Suvada Selimović  Bosnia and Herzegovina Peace campaigner
Efrat Tilma  Israel Transgender volunteer and LGBTQ+ activist
Zhou Xiaoxuan  China Feminist activist

Health & Science

Image Name Country of birth Description
Aye Nyein Thu  Myanmar Medical doctor
Sirisha Bandla  India Aeronautical engineer
Victoria Baptiste  USA Nurse and vaccine educator. WHO Goodwill Ambassador for cervical cancer elimination
Niloufar Bayani  Iran Ecologist and programme manager at the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation
Sandy Cabrera Arteaga  Honduras Sexual and reproductive rights advocate
Samrawit Fikru  Ethiopia Tech entrepreneur
Wegahta Gebreyohannes Abera  Ethiopia Humanitarian aid worker
Dilek Gürsoy  Germany Heart surgeon
Sofía Heinonen  Argentina Conservationist
Kimiko Hirata  Japan Climate change activist. Recipient of Goldman Environmental Prize
Judy Kihumba  Kenya Sign language interpreter
Marie Christina Kolo  Madagascar Climate entrepreneur and ecofeminist
Iryna Kondratova  Ukraine Paediatrician at the Kharkiv Regional Perinatal Centre
Asonele Kotu  South Africa Tech entrepreneur
Erika Liriano  Dominican Republic Cocoa entrepreneur.
Naja Lyberth  Greenland Psychologist and trauma therapist
Nigar Marf  Iraq Nurse
Monica Musonda  Zambia Businesswoman and nutrition advocate
Ifeoma Ozoma  USA Public policy and tech specialist
Yuliia Paievska  Ukraine Paramedic and founder of Taira's Angels
Jane Rigby  USA Astronomer and astrophysicist. Advocate for equity and inclusion in STEM
Ainura Sagyn  Kyrgyzstan Computer engineer and ecofeminist
Monica Simpson  USA Reproductive justice activist. Executive director of SisterSong
Maryna Viazovska  Ukraine Mathematician. Winner of the Fields Medal
Yana Zinkevych  Ukraine Politician, front-line medical volunteer and military veteran



The 2021 list was published on 7 December with special focus on Afghanistan. The year's keyword is reset, covering women who have contributed to "playing their part to reinvent our society, our culture and our world". The list was subdivided into four categories: Culture & Education, Entertainment & Sport, Politics & Activism and Science & Health, with half the total laureates being Afghan.[26]

Not everyone's real name was used for their safety; pseudonymised laureates are marked in the table below with an asterisk.

Culture & Education

Image Name Country of birth Description
Lima Aafshid  Afghanistan Poet and writer
Oluyemi Adetiba-Orija[27]  Nigeria Lawyer and founder of the all-women law firm Headfort Foundation
Rada Akbar  Afghanistan Artist
Catherine Corless  Ireland Local historian
Pashtana Durrani  Afghanistan Teacher, founder and executive director of Learn Afghanistan
Saeeda Etebari  Afghanistan Jewellery designer
Sahar Fetrat  Afghanistan Feminist activist, writer and film-maker
Melinda French Gates  United States Philanthropist and businesswoman
Saghi Ghahraman  Iran Poet and co-founder the Iranian Queer Organization
Angela Ghayour  Afghanistan Teacher and founder of The Herat Online School
Najlla Habibyar  Afghanistan Entrepreneur
Shamsia Hassani  Afghanistan Street artist
Mugdha Kalra  India Autism-rights activist and co-founder of Not That Different
Freshta Karim  Afghanistan Children's-rights activist and founder of Charmaghz mobile library
Aliya Kazimy  Afghanistan Educator
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC  United Kingdom Director, International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute
Iman Le Caire  Egypt Contemporary dancer, choreographer and LGBTQ+ activist. Founder, Trans Asylias
Depelsha Thomas McGruder  United States Founder of Moms of Black Boys United, COO of the Ford Foundation
Fahima Mirzaie  Afghanistan Whirling-dervish dancer
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie[27]  Nigeria Writer
Lynn Ngugi[27]  Kenya Journalist
Rehana Popal  Afghanistan Barrister
*Rohila  Afghanistan Schoolgirl
Alba Rueda  Argentina Trans activist
Elif Shafak  France Novelist and advocate for women's and LGBTQ+ rights
Anisa Shaheed  Afghanistan Journalist
Mina Smallman  United Kingdom Priest and educator
Barbara Smolińska  Poland Founder of Reborn Sugar Babies
Adelaide Lala Tam  China Artist and food designer
Vera Wang  United States Fashion designer
Malala Yousafzai  Pakistan Nobel Peace Prize laureate, co-founder of the Malala Fund and girls’ education activist

Entertainment & Sport

Image Name Country of birth Description
Halima Aden  Kenya Humanitarian and former model. UNICEF ambassador for children's rights.
Leena Alam  Afghanistan Actor and human-rights activist
Sevda Altunoluk  Turkey Professional goalball player and Paralympic champion
Nilofar Bayat  Afghanistan Wheelchair basketball player and advocate for women with disabilities
Carolina García  Argentina Director, Netflix
Ghawgha Taban  Afghanistan Musician
Chloé Lopes Gomes  France Ballet dancer
Tanya Muzinda[28]  Zimbabwe Motocross champion
*Razma  Afghanistan Musician
Roya Sadat  Afghanistan Film-maker
Shogufa Safi  Afghanistan Orchestra conductor
*Sahar  Afghanistan Footballer
Fatima Sultani  Afghanistan Mountaineer and martial arts expert
Nanfu Wang  China Film-maker
Ming-Na Wen  Macau
( China)
Rebel Wilson  Australia Actress, writer and producer

Politics & Activism

Image Name Country of birth Description
Muqadasa Ahmadzai  Afghanistan Social and political activist. Recipient of N-Peace award
Abia Akram  Pakistan Disability rights activist
Dr Alema  Afghanistan Philosopher, campaigner and women's-rights advocate
Wahida Amiri  Afghanistan Librarian and protester
Natasha Asghar  United Kingdom Member of the Welsh Senedd
Marcelina Bautista  Mexico Activist and union leader
Crystal Bayat  Afghanistan Social activist and human-rights advocate
Razia Barakzai  Afghanistan Protester
Najla El Mangoush  United Kingdom
Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs
Shila Ensandost  Afghanistan Teacher and women's rights advocate
Fatima Gailani  Afghanistan Peace negotiator
Momena Ibrahimi  Afghanistan Policewoman
Hoda Khamosh  Iran Period campaigner, poet and journalist
Elisa Loncón Antileo  Chile President, Constitutional Convention
*Maral  Afghanistan Campaigner
*Masouma  Afghanistan Public prosecutor
Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa  Samoa Prime minister of the Independent State of Samoa
Salima Mazari  Iran Politician and former governor of Charkint district
Amanda Nguyen  United States Social entrepreneur, civil-rights activist and founder of Rise
Basira Paigham  Afghanistan Gender-equality and gender-minorities activist
Monica Paulus  Papua New Guinea Campaigner against sorcery accusation-related violence
Manjula Pradeep  India Lawyer and human-rights activist. Executive director of the Navsarjan Trust
Halima Sadaf Karimi  Afghanistan Campaigner for women's rights, politician and former MP
Soma Sara  United Kingdom Founder of Everyone's Invited
Mahbouba Seraj  Afghanistan Women's and children's rights activist. Founder, Afghan Women's Network
*Ein Soe May  Myanmar Pro-democracy activist
Piper Stege Nelson  United States Women's-rights activist and Public Strategies Officer at The Safe Alliance
Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng[29]  Myanmar Catholic nun
Emma Theofelus  Namibia Politician
Benafsha Yaqoobi  Afghanistan Disabled rights advocate
Zala Zazai  Afghanistan Policewoman

Science & Health

Image Name Country of birth Description
Mónica Araya  Costa Rica Emissions-free transportation advocate
Zuhal Atmar  Afghanistan Entrepreneur and founder of Gul-e-Mursal recycling
Jos Boys  United Kingdom Architect
Faiza Darkhani  Afghanistan Environmentalist and women's rights advocate
Azmina Dhrodia  Canada Safety policy lead at Bumble
Jamila Gordon  Somalia Chief Executive and founder of Lumachain
Laila Haidari  Pakistan Women's rights advocate and founder of Mother Camp, drug rehabilitation centre
Zarlasht Halaimzai  Afghanistan Co-founder and chief executive of Refugee Trauma Initiative
Nasrin Husseini  Afghanistan Veterinarian
Amena Karimyan  Afghanistan Astronomer
Mia Krisna Pratiwi  Indonesia Environmentalist and eco-activist
Heidi Larson  United States Anthropologist and Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project. Recipient of the Edinburgh Medal
Sevidzem Ernestine Leikeki  Cameroon Climate activist
*Mahera  Afghanistan Medical doctor
Mulu Mesfin  Ethiopia Nurse
Mohadese Mirzaee  Afghanistan Pilot
Tlaleng Mofokeng  South Africa Universal health access advocate and United Nations special rapporteur on the right to health
Natalia Pasternak Taschner  Brazil Microbiologist and science writer
*Ruksana  Afghanistan Surgeon
Sara Wahedi  Afghanistan Chief executive of Ehtesab
Roshanak Wardak  Afghanistan Gynaecologist and former Member of Parliament
Yuma  Turkmenistan Psychotherapist and LGBTQ+ activist



The 2020 list was described as "different" before it was scheduled to be announced on 24 November 2020,[30] but it was released the day before. One name on the list was left blank as a tribute to the countless women around the world who had made sacrifices to help others. The list was subdivided into four categories: Knowledge, Leadership, Creativity and Identity.[31]

Image Name Country of birth Description[32]
Unsung hero Worldwide Acknowledgement of the "countless women around the world" who "have made a sacrifice to help others" in this "extraordinary year," including those who "have lost their lives while making a difference."


Image Name Country of birth Description
Rina Akter  Bangladesh Bangladeshi sex worker turned humanitarian
Sarah Al-Amiri  UAE Chair, UAE Space Agency
Adriana Albini  Italy Pathologist and veteran fencer
Nisreen Alwan  Iraq

 United Kingdom

Health and wellbeing of women through public health
Elizabeth Anionwu  United Kingdom Sickle cell and thalassaemia nurse specialist
Diana Barran  United Kingdom Minister for Civil Society and founder of SafeLives, a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse
Macinley Butson  Australia Inventor
Fang Fang  China Writer
Somaya Faruqi  Afghanistan Robotics team leader
Lauren Gardner  USA Epidemiologist
Iman Ghaleb Al-Hamli  Yemen Manager of a women-run microgrid
Sarah Gilbert  United Kingdom Scientist who developed one of the COVID-19 vaccines
Rebeca Gyumi  Tanzania Lawyer and founder of girls' rights organization Msichana Initiative
Jemimah Kariuki  Kenya Doctor and creator of the free Wheels for Life ambulance service
Safaa Kumari  Syria Plant virologist
Ishtar Lakhani  South Africa Feminist activist
Lucy Monaghan  United Kingdom Campaigner against sexual violence
Douce Namwezi N'Ibamba Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC Social entrepreneur, journalist and activist
Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu  Uganda Mental health programme developer
Vernetta M Nay Moberly  United States Iñupiaq environmental activist
Sania Nishtar[33]  Pakistan Global health leader
Lorna Prendergast  Australia Dementia researcher
Susana Raffalli  Venezuela Delivering nutrition to the malnourished
Sapana Roka Magar[34]    Nepal Crematorium technician
Pardis Sabeti  Iran Computational geneticist
Febfi Setyawati  Indonesia Activist, founder of Untukteman.id
Ruth Shady  Peru Archaeologist
Kathy Sullivan  United States Scientist and astronaut
Rima Sultana Rimu  Bangladesh Teacher and humanitarian activist working with Rohingya refugees
Anastasia Volkova  Ukraine Agricultural innovator. Founder of FluroSat
Siouxsie Wiles[35]  UK Scientist and public health communicator
Yee-Sin Leo  Singapore Doctor and research leader


Image Name Country of birth Description
Loza Abera Geinore  Ethiopia Association footballer
Christina Adane  Netherlands Campaigner against injustices of food system (free school meals)
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr  Sierra Leone Mayor of Freetown
Ubah Ali  Somaliland Advocate against female genital mutilation
Nadeen Ashraf  Egypt Advocate against sexual harassment
Bilkis Dadi  India Protest leader
Evelina Cabrera  Argentina Football coach and manager.
Carolina Castro  Argentina Advocate for gender equality
Agnes Chow  Hong Kong Pro-democracy activist
Naomi Dickson  UK Advocate for Jewish women and children suffering from domestic abuse
Ilwad Elman  Somalia Peace activist
Jeong Eun-kyeong  South Korea Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency commissioner, led COVID-19 response
Maggie Gobran  Egypt Coptic nun and child welfare advocate
Deta Hedman  Jamaica Darts champion
Manasi Joshi  India Para-badminton champion
Salsabila Khairunnisa  Indonesia Environmental campaigner and School Strike for Climate leader
Claudia López Hernández  Colombia Mayor of Bogotá
Sanna Marin  Finland Prime Minister of Finland
Vanessa Nakate  Uganda Climate activist
Nemonte Nenquimo  Ecuador Waorani activist
Phyllis Omido  Kenya Environmental activist. Winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize
Ridhima Pandey  India Climate activist
Oksana Pushkina  Russia Politician, member of the State Duma
Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul  Thailand Student activist
Nasrin Sotoudeh  Iran Lawyer and human rights activist
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya  Belarus Exiled Belarus politician
Arussi Unda  Mexico Campaigner against femicide
Aisha Yesufu[36]  Nigeria Activist, co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign
Gulnaz Zhuzbaeva  Kyrgyzstan Disability activist


Image Name Country of birth Description
Houda Abouz[37]  Morocco Rapper, women's rights and gender equality advocate
Waad al-Kateab  Syria Activist, journalist and filmmaker
Tsitsi Dangarembga  Zimbabwe Novelist and filmmaker
Karen Dolva  Norway Chief executive and co-founder of No Isolation
Jane Fonda  United States Actor and social activist
Kiran Gandhi  United States Singer, musician, and gender liberation activist
Miho Imada  Japan Master sake brewer
Isaivani India India Gaana singer and political campaigner
Nadine Kaadan  France Children's author and illustrator
Mulenga Kapwepwe  Zambia Artist and co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum
Jackie Kay  United Kingdom Playwright, novelist and national poet of Scotland
Mahira Khan[33]  Pakistan Actor and activist and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
Angélique Kidjo  Benin Musician and UNICEF ambassador
Chu Kim Duc  Vietnam Architect and child welfare activist
Bulelwa Mkutukana[38]  South Africa Singer songwriter
Nandar  Myanmar Feminist activist
Ana Tijoux  France Chilean hip hop protester
Yulia Tsvetkova  Russia Activist, political prisoner
Kotchakorn Voraakhom  Thailand Landscape architect
Elin Williams  United Kingdom Disability rights activist
Michelle Yeoh  Malaysia Actor and UN goodwill ambassador


Image Name Country of birth Description
Muyesser Abdul'ehed (AKA Hendan)  China Uyghur writer and language activist
Erica Baker  Germany Software engineer
Cindy Bishop  Thailand UN goodwill ambassador and model
Wendy Beatriz Caishpal Jaco  El Salvador Advocate for the rights of disabled people
Patrisse Cullors  USA Human rights activist. Co-founder and executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Shani Dhanda  UK Disability activist
Eileen Flynn  Ireland Senator and social activist
Alicia Garza  USA Human rights activist. Co-creator of Black Lives Matter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network
Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim[36] Nigeria Nigeria LGBTQ film director and activist
Gülsüm Kav  Turkey Doctor, activist, co-founder of We Will Stop Femicide
Josina Machel  Mozambique Human rights activist
Hayat Mirshad  Lebanon Feminist activist, journalist, co-founder of Fe-Male collective
Laleh Osmany  Afghanistan Women's rights activist and founder of #WhereIsMyName campaign
Cibele Racy  Brazil Teacher, racial equality activist
22 - Lea T-001 (17107157436) (cropped).jpg Lea T  Brazil Transgender rights advocate and model
Ayu (Opal) Tometi  USA Human rights activist. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter
Alice Wong  United States Disability rights activist. Founder of the Disability Visibility Project



The 2019 list was announced on 16 October 2019. The list of candidates was chosen from those nominated by the BBC's different language teams using the 2020 theme which was "The Female Future". The list was subdivided into six categories: Earth, Knowledge, Leadership, Creativity, Sport and Identity.[39]


Image Name Country of birth Description
Judith Bakirya  Uganda Organic farmer and women's rights activist
Ella Daish  United Kingdom Environmentalist and anti-plastic campaigner
Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman  United States Urban anthropologist and co-founder of The Women Led Cities Initiative
Gada Kadoda  Sudan Founder of the Sudanese Knowledge Society and trainer of community engineers
Jamie Margolin  United States Climate change activist and co-founder of Zero Hour movement
Francia Márquez  Colombia Afro-Colombian environmentalist and leader of a 10-day, 350-mile women's march. Winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize
Trang Nguyen  Vietnam Wildlife conservationist and founder of WildAct
Autumn Peltier  Canada Clean water advocate
Swietenia Puspa Lestari  Indonesia Founder of the Divers Clean Action Foundation and anti-straw campaigner
Charlene Ren  China Clean water advocate, creator of MyH2O
Najat Saliba  Lebanon Air pollution researcher and chemistry professor
Vandana Shiva  India Environmental leader and winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize
Greta Thunberg  Sweden Climate change activist
Marilyn Waring  New Zealand Feminist economist and environmental activist


Image Name Country of birth Description
MiMi Aung  United States NASA project manager and engineer
Raya Bidshahri  Iran Educator and founder of Awecademy
Katie Bouman  United States Processed first-ever image of a black hole
Lisa Campo-Engelstein  United States Bioethicist and fertility and contraceptive researcher
Rana el Kaliouby  Egypt Artificial emotional intelligence pioneer. Founder of Affectiva
Amy Karle  United States Bioartist and 3D-designer
Fei-Fei Li  United States Pioneer of artificial intelligence who encourages women and minorities to build AI.
Julie Makani  Tanzania Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
Sarah Martins Da Silva  United Kingdom Consultant gynaecologist, obstetrician and fertility researcher
Susmita Mohanty  India Spaceship designer, entrepreneur and passionate climate action advocate
Benedicte Mundele  Democratic Republic of the Congo Fresh food entrepreneur and founder of Surprise Tropical
Zehra Sayers  Turkey Biophysicist and chair of the SESAME project.
Hayfa Sdiri  Tunisia Entrepreneur and UN gender equality campaigner
Noor Shaker  Syria Artificial intelligence innovator
Bonita Sharma[40]  Nepal Founder of The Social Changemakers and Innovators
Veronique Thouvenot  Chile Leader of the Zero Mothers Die initiative
Paola Villarreal  Mexico Computer programmer who developed Data for Justice
Amy Webb  United States Futurist


Image Name Country of birth Description
Alanoud Alsharekh  Kuwait Women's rights activist. Winner of National Order of Merit
Tabata Amaral  Brazil Politician working for education, women's rights, political innovation and sustainable futures
Dhammananda Bhikkhuni  Thailand First female Thai Buddhist monk (bhikkhuni) and abbess of Songdhammakalyan Monastery
Mabel Bianco  Argentina Feminist medical doctor and women's rights activist. President of the Foundation for Studies and Research on Women (FEIM)
Maria Fernanda Espinosa  Ecuador Fourth female president of the UN General Assembly
Sister Gerard Fernandez  Singapore Roman Catholic nun and death row counsellor
Zarifa Ghafari  Afghanistan One of Afghanistan's first female mayors; clean city advocate
Jalila Haider  Pakistan Human rights lawyer and women's rights advocate
Asmaa James  Sierra Leone Journalist and women's rights activist
Ahlam Khudr  Sudan Human rights protest leader
Aïssata Lam  Mauritania Microfinance expert and women's rights advocate
Soo Jung Lee  South Korea Forensic psychologist and advocate for anti-stalking bill
Gina Martin  United Kingdom Campaigner to make upskirting illegal in England and Wales
Van Thi Nguyen  Vietnam Co-founder of the Will to Live Center
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  United States Youngest woman elected to Congress
Onjali Q. Raúf  United Kingdom Writer and founder of Making Herstory
Maria Ressa  Philippines Journalist and founder of Rappler, a website exposing fake news
Lyubov Sobol  Russia Lawyer and anti-corruption activist
Samah Subay  Yemen Lawyer supporting families whose children have 'disappeared'


Image Name Country of birth Description
Precious Adams  United States Ballet dancer
Manal Al Dowayan  Saudi Arabia Saudi photographer and artist
Marwa Al-Sabouni  Syria Architect who runs only Arabic website for architectural news. Winner of the Prince Claus award
Yalitza Aparicio  Mexico Actress and human rights activist
Dayna Ash  Lebanon Poet and cultural activist
Ayah Bdeir  Lebanon
Founder of littleBits and STEM advocate
Scarlett Curtis  United Kingdom Co-founder of The Pink Protest
Luchita Hurtado  Venezuela Artist and environmental advocate
Aranya Johar  India Beat poet who writes about gender equality, mental health and body positivity
Erika Lust  Sweden Erotic film director, screenwriter and producer
Lauren Mahon  United Kingdom Cancer survivor and podcaster
Lisa Mandemaker  Netherlands Designer of prototype artificial womb
Raja Meziane  Algeria Anti-government songs about social injustice, alleged corruption and inequality
Ashcharya Peiris  Sri Lanka Blind fashion designer and motivational speaker
Danit Peleg  Israel Fashion designer of 3D-printed clothing
Kalista Sy  Senegal Screenwriter of television series Mistress of a Married Man
Ida Vitale  Uruguay Poet, and fifth woman to win Cervantes Prize for lifetime writing achievement


Image Name Country of birth Description
Jasmin Akter  Bangladesh
 United Kingdom
Rohingya refugee and cricketer
Kimia Alizadeh  Iran First female Iranian Olympic medallist
Dina Asher-Smith  United Kingdom Fastest woman in British history
Salwa Eid Naser  Nigeria
400m world champion runner
Bethany Firth  United Kingdom Paralympic champion swimmer
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce  Jamaica 100m world sprint champion
Tayla Harris  Australia Australian rules footballer and boxer
Huang Wensi  China Professional boxer
Fiona Kolbinger  Germany First woman cyclist to win the Transcontinental Race
Hiyori Kon  Japan Sumo wrestler
Farida Osman  Egypt First woman in Egypt to win a swimming medal
Megan Rapinoe  United States World Cup winner and advocate for equality in football (soccer)
Jawahir Roble  Somalia
 United Kingdom
UK's first Muslim, black, female, hijab-wearing referee[clarification needed]


Image Name Country of birth Description
Parveena Ahanger  India Human rights activist
Piera Aiello  Italy Anti-mafia politician
Rida Al Tubuly  Libya Peace campaigner
Nisha Ayub  Malaysia Transgender activist
Sinéad Burke  Ireland Disability activist
Sharan Dhaliwal  United Kingdom Writer and advocate for mental and sexual health for young South Asians, and LGBTQ rights
Lucinda Evans  South Africa Women's rights activist and founder of Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal our Women)
Owl Fisher[41]  Iceland Transgender activist, journalist and writer
Hollie  United States Sex trafficking survivor
Yumi Ishikawa  Japan Gender discrimination campaigner and founder of KuToo movement
Subhalakshmi Nandi  India Gender equity researcher and campaigner
Natasha Noel  India Body positivity influencer and Yogini
Djamila Ribeiro  Brazil Writer and Afro-Brazilian women's rights advocate
Nanjira Sambuli  Kenya World Wide Web Foundation digital equality expert
Pragati Singh  India Doctor running Indian Aces, an online community for asexual people
Bella Thorne  United States Actress and director
Purity Wako  Uganda Life coach empowering women
Sara Wesslin  Finland Skolt Sami journalist who lobbied for government funding for Sami language teaching
Gina Zurlo  United States Expert in religion statistics



The 2018 list was announced in November 2018. The list included the 27th Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Stacey Cunningham who runs the New York Stock Exchange and Shaparak Shajarizadeh[42] who challenged the Iranian law that requires women to wear the Hijab.[43][44][45]

Image Name Country of birth Description
Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin[46]  Nigeria Social impact entrepreneur
Esra'a Al Shafei Bahrain Bahrain Leads not-for-profit Majal.org
Svetlana Alekseeva  Russia Model and burns survivor
Lizt Alfonso  Cuba Director and choreographer, Cuba
Nimco Ali  United Kingdom
Somaliland Somaliland
Wrier and FGM activist
Isabel Allende  Peru Author
Boushra Yahya Almutawakel  Yemen Artist, photographer and activist
Alina Anisimova  Kyrgyzstan Student programmer at Kyrgyz Girls' Space School
Frances Arnold  United States Nobel Prize winning chemical engineer
Uma Devi Badi  Nepal Leader of the Badi movement and member of the Provincial Assembly in Nepal
Judith Balcazar  United Kingdom Fashion designer and co-founder of Giggle Knickers (underwear for women with urinary incontinence)
Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista  Peru Lawyer who works against domestic violence as the face of the NiUnaMenos (Not One [woman] Less)
Leyla Belyanova  Uzbekistan Academic and ecologist, seeking to protect Uzbekistan's birdlife and mountain ecosystems
Analia Bortz  Argentina Doctor, rabbi and bioethicist treating women with fertility problems
Fealofani Bruun  Samoa Traditional Polynesian navigator and qualified yachtmaster
Raneen Bukhari  Saudi Arabia Curator, gallery manager, and business developer
Joy Buolamwini  Canada Artificial intelligence artist and researcher
Barbara Burton  United Kingdom Founder and CEO of BehindBras, a charity that supports women prison leavers
Tamara Cheremnova  Russia Author, living with cerebral palsy
Chelsea Clinton  United States Writer and organiser, Vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation
Stacey Cunningham  United States NYSE President
Jenny Davidson (businesswoman)  United States CEO of Stand Up Placer
Asha de Vos  Sri Lanka Marine biologist
Gabriella Di Laccio  Brazil Soprano and founder of DONNE: Women in Music
Xiomara Diaz  Nicaragua Entrepreneur, restaurant owner and charity founder
Noma Dumezweni  United Kingdom
Chidera Eggerue[46]  United Kingdom "The Slumflower" blogger
Shrouk El-Attar  Egypt Electronic design engineer
Nicole Evans  United Kingdom Online retail sales facilitator and supporter of women who are experiencing Early menopause
Raghda Ezzeldin  Egypt Free diver
Mitra Farazandeh  Iran Artist advocate for people with physical disabilities
Mamitu Gashe  Ethiopia Senior nurse aide and fistula surgeon
Meena Gayen  India Business owner and road builder
G.E.M. (Gloria Tang Tsz-kei) [citation needed]  People's Republic of China
 Hong Kong
Fabiola Gianotti  Italy Particle physicist and director general of CERN
Julia Gillard  Australia 27th Prime Minister of Australia
Elena Gorolová  Czech Republic Social worker, campaigning against forced sterilisation
Randi Heesoo Griffin  United States Olympic ice hockey player and data scientist, advocate for equal pay for women in ice hockey
Janet Harbick  Canada Altruistic surrogate
Jessica Hayes  United States Theology teacher and consecrated virgin
Thando Hopa  South Africa Model, lawyer and diversity and inclusion advocate
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim  Chad Environmentalist and advocate for indigenous people and women
Reyhan Jamalova  Azerbaijan Entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Rainenergy, company that collects energy from rainwater
Jameela Jamil  United Kingdom British actor who founded @i-weigh
Liz Johnson  United Kingdom Paralympian gold medal swimmer and entrepreneur, with a recruitment agency aiming to close the disability employment gap
Lao Khang  Laos Rugby player and coach
Joey Mead King  Philippines Model and television presenter
Krishna Kumari[47]  Pakistan Women's rights campaigner elected to Pakistan Senate
Marie Laguerre  France Civil engineer and architecture student, who has developed platform where women can share stories of street harassment
Veasna Chea Leth  Cambodia Lawyer, first woman to study law in Cambodia
Ana Graciela Sagastume López  El Salvador Women and Femicide Special Prosecutor
Maria Corina Machado  Venezuela Political leader who has campaigned to safeguard democratic processes in Venezuela
Nanaia Mahuta  New Zealand Minister of Maori development, first female parliamentarian to wear a Maori face tattoo
Sakdiyah Ma'ruf  Indonesia Indonesia's first female Muslim stand-up comedian
Nujeen Mustafa  Syria Syrian refugee, activist, and a campaigner on behalf of refugees with disabilities
Lisa McGee  United Kingdom Northern Irish playwright and the writer and creator of Derry Girls
Kirsty McGurrell  United Kingdom Charity co-ordinator of 4Louis, providing memory boxes for bereaved parents of stillborn babies
Becki Meakin  United Kingdom General manager of Shaping Our Lives, advocate for people with disabilities
Ruth Medufia  Ghana Female welder acting as role model for young women in the construction industry
Larisa Mikhaltsova  Ukraine Accordion music teacher who became a model at age 63
Amina J. Mohammed[46]  Nigeria Deputy secretary general, United Nations
Yanar Mohammed  Iraq President of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)
Joseline Esteffania Velasquez Morales  Guatemala Student and NGO co-ordinator, campaigning to end forced marriages
Robin Morgan  United States Author and activist, founder of The Sisterhood is Global Institute and the Women's Media Center
Dima Nashawi  Syria Artist, clown and visual storyteller, who collects and reflects tales from Syria
Helena Ndume  Namibia Ophthalmologist who has performed sight-restoring surgeries upon 35,000 Namibians, free of charge
Kelly O'Dwyer  Australia Minister for jobs and industrial relations, and minister for women in the Australian parliament
Yuki Okoda  Japan Astronomer, first person to discover a new star that could shed light on the origins of the Solar System
Olivette Otele  Cameroon Professor of History at Bath Spa University, England
Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo  Mexico Mayor of Mexico City and Nobel Peace Prize-winning physicist
Park Soo-yeon  South Korea Digital campaigner against sex crimes
Ophelia Pastrana  Colombia Comedian and media personality
Viji Palithodi  India Activist who founded the Penkootam women's union in Kerala
Brigitte Sossou Perenyi  Ghana Documentary producer and former Trokosi
Vicky Phelan  Ireland Exposed the Irish Cervical Check Screening scandal
Rahibai Soma Popere  India Farmer and founder of Seed Bank, India collecting indigenous seeds
Valentina Quintero  Venezuela Journalist promoting tourism and the environment through television programs
Sam Ross  United Kingdom Catering assistant and advocate for people with Down syndrome
Fatma Samoura  Senegal Secretary General of FIFA
Juliet Sargeant  Tanzania Garden designer
Sima Sarkar  Bangladesh Full-time mother of 18-year-old disabled child
Shaparak Shajarizadeh  Iran Activist against compulsory hijab rule, now in exile
Haven Shepherd  Vietnam Suicide bomb survivor and Paralympic hopeful
Nenney Shushaidah Binti Shamsuddin  Malaysia Female Syariah judge
Hayat Sindi  Saudi Arabia Biotechnologist, Unesco Goodwill Ambassador for science and founder of the i2 Institute for imagination and ingenuity
Jacqueline Straub  Germany Theologian, journalist and author seeking to become a Catholic priest
Donna Strickland  Canada Professor of Physics, University of Waterloo, Canada and winner of Nobel Prize in Physics, 2018
Kanpassorn Suriyasangpetch  Thailand Dentist, mental health advocate and app developer
Setsuko Takamizawa  Japan Learning English to help tourists at Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Games
Nargis Taraki  Afghanistan NGO legal adviser who campaigns for female empowerment
Ellen Tejle  Sweden Campaigner for awareness of women's representation in film
Helen Taylor Thompson  United Kingdom AIDs Hospice founder
Bola Tinubu[46]  Nigeria Lawyer who established the first free children's helpline in Nigeria
Errollyn Wallen  United Kingdom
Opera composer and Ivor Novello Award winner
Safiya Wazir  Afghanistan Community activist and U.S. politician
Gladys West  United States Mathematician, instrumental in developing GPS
Luo Yang  People's Republic of China Art photography series on Chinese girls since 2007
Maral Yazarloo-Pattrick  Iran Fashion designer and motorcyclist
Tashi Zangmo Bhutan Bhutan Executive director for the Bhutan Nuns Foundation
Jing Zhao  People's Republic of China Entrepreneur running online sex education network



In 2017 the women on the list were part of a 100 Women Challenge, tackling some of the biggest problems facing women around the world. Coming together in four teams, the women shared their experiences and created innovative ways to tackle:[48]

  • The glass ceiling (#Teamlead)
  • Female illiteracy (#Teamread)
  • Street harassment (#Teamgo)
  • Sexism in sport (#Teamplay)

Glass ceiling team

Image Name Country of birth Description[44]
Agnes Atim Apea  Uganda Founder and CEO of Hope Co-ops
Amy Cuddy  United States Harvard social psychologist and author
Elaine Welteroth  United States Editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue
Erin Akinci  United States Data scientist
Jin Xing  People's Republic of China Dancer, television star and business owner
Karlie Noon[49]  Australia Astronomer
Lea Coligado  United States Software engineer
Lori Nishiura Mackenzie  United States Executive Director of the Clayman Institute, Stanford University
Loujain Alhathloul  Saudi Arabia Student
Maci Peterson  United States Co-founder and CEO, On Second Thought
Mariana Feraru  Romania Cosmetician
María Teresa Ruiz  Chile Astronomer
Marilyn Loden  United States Author, management consultant and diversity advocate
Marina Potoker  Russia Managing director, Rockwool Russia
Melisa Marquez-Rodriguez Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Lead Android engineer for website builder, Weebly.com
Michelle Mone  United Kingdom Entrepreneur
Muhabbat Sharapova  Uzbekistan Maths teacher
Nana Akua Oppong Birmeh  Ghana Architect
Natalia Margolis  United States Software Engineer at Huge agency
Romina Bernardo (aka Chocolate Remix)  Argentina Musician
Roya Ramezani  Iran Design strategist
Rumman Chowdhury  United States Senior Principal at Accenture AI
Sasha Perigo  United States Student
Savita Devi (Drummer)  India Drummer
Susi Pudjiastuti  Indonesia Politician and entrepreneur
Suzanne Doyle-Morris  Australia Author and expert on gender in the workplace

Women illiteracy team

Image Name Country of birth Description[44]
Aditi Avasthi  India Entrepreneur; Founder and CEO, Embibe
Huỳnh Thị Xậm  Vietnam Librarian
Indira Rana Magar  Nepal Founder, Prisoner's Assistance Nepal
Ira Trivedi  India Writer
Maggie MacDonnell  Canada Teacher
Marieme Jamme  Senegal Founder of iamtheCODE
Mehroonisa Siddiqui  India Homemaker
Michelle Bachelet  Chile President of Chile
Nitya Thummalachetty  India Director of Diversity, FortunaPIX
Peggy Whitson  United States Astronaut
Priyanka Roy  India Student
Sakena Yacoobi  Afghanistan CEO of Afghan Institute for Learning and social entrepreneur with four private schools and one radio station.
Tulika Kiran  India Teacher and social worker
Urvashi Sahni  India Founder and CEO, Study Hall Educational Foundation
Zainab Fadhal Iraq Student
Vicky Colbert  Colombia Sociologist of education
Muzoon Almellehan  Syria Activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Lin Nien-Tzu  Taiwan Founder, Dharti Mata Sustainable Workshop
Frances Melanie Hardinge  United Kingdom Author
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala  Nigeria Economist
Ahlam al-Rashid  Syria Teacher and Head of the Women Empowerment Centre, northern Syria
Regina Honu  Ghana Social entrepreneur
Angeline Murimirwa  Zimbabwe Regional executive director, Camfed Southern & Eastern Africa
Bella Devyatkina  Russia Polyglot
Tran Thi Kim Thia  Vietnam Lottery ticket vendor and swimming coach

Street harassment team

Image Name Country of birth Description[44]
Adelle Onyango  Kenya Radio presenter
Anita Nderu  Kenya Television presenter and radio news anchor at Capital FM
Anne-Marie Imafidon  United Kingdom CEO & 'Head Stemette' at Stemettes
Chaima Lahsini  Morocco Journalist
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia Liberia President of Liberia
Ellie Cosgrave  United Kingdom Lecturer in Urban Innovation and Policy at UCL
Laura Jordan Bambach  Australia Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer, Mr President and co-founder, SheSays
Liz Kelly  United Kingdom Professor of Sexualised Violence
Maria Scorodinschi Moldova Moldova Campaigner against domestic violence
Naomi Mwaura  Kenya Founder, Flone Initiative and Communications Associate at ITDP Africa
Resham Khan  United Kingdom Student
Rupi Kaur  India Author
Talent Jumo  Zimbabwe Founder and Director, Katswe Sistahood
Tiwa Savage  Nigeria Singer-songwriter
Virali Modi  India Disability rights activist and youth ambassador
Leila Smith  France Artist
Sharon Sabita Beepath  Trinidad and Tobago Counsellor, Stand Against Abuse advocate
Amanda Nunez-Ferreira  United States Student
Somporn Khempetch[50]  Thailand Social worker and teacher
A women with curly red hair stands in front of a pink brick wall.
Tamara De Anda  Mexico Journalist
Doris Muthoni Wanjira  Kenya Conductor
Hanne Bingle  Denmark Powerlifter and retired London Underground driver
Nihal Saad Zaghloul  Egypt Business development officer and co-founder of Bassma
Angie Ng  Canada Founder of SlutWalk Hong Kong
Asena Melisa Saglam  Turkey Student

Sexism in sport team

Image Name Country of birth Description[44]
Adriana Behar  Brazil General Manager of Sport Planning for the Brazilian Olympic Committee
Ana Luiza Santos de Andrade  Brazil Student
Beatriz Vaz E Silva  Brazil Athlete and Footballer
Claudianny Drika  Brazil Football coach
Fernanda Nunes  Brazil Olympic rower and blogger
Grace Larsen  United States Retired civil servant
Luiza Travassos  Brazil Student
Maira Liguori  Brazil Director of NGO, Think Olga
MC Soffia  Brazil Rapper
Mithali Raj  India Cricketer
Momina Mustehsan  Pakistan Musician
Nadia Comaneci  Romania
 United States
Olympic gymnast
Nawaal Akram  Qatar Model, comedian and founder of Muscular Dystrophy Qatar
Nora Tausz Ronai  Italy Architect and teacher
Steph Houghton  United Kingdom Footballer
Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala  Sri Lanka Women's rights activist and mountaineer
Cwengekile Nikiwe Myeni  South Africa Gogo (granny) support programme manager
Helena Pacheco  Brazil Businesswoman and former football coach
Rocky Hehakaija  Netherlands Director of Favela Street Foundation and coach
Lina Khalifeh  Jordan Martial arts expert
Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung  Vietnam Footballer
Derartu Tulu  Ethiopia Long-distance runner
Shantona Rani Roy  Bangladesh Taekwondo athlete and activist
Hou Yifan  People's Republic of China Chess grandmaster



The 2016 theme was Defiance.[16] Part of the 100 Women festival took place in Mexico City on this year.[51] The main event took place at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, where artists like Julieta Venegas, Ángela Aguilar, Ali Gua Gua, Elis Paprika, Sofía Niño de Rivera, Ximena Sariñana, and Alexis De Anda performed live. The event also features debates with journalists Carmen Aristegui, and Denise Dresser, among others.[52] The 2016 list was published in alphabetical order, but split by category into Creative, Defiant, Influential, Pioneering and Resilient with 20 women in each stream.[53]


Image Name Nationality Description
Babs Forman  United Kingdom London based make-up artist who covers up skin problems
Conchi Reyes Rios  Spain Bullfighter
Doaa el-Adl  Egypt Cartoonist whose cat stories reflect the news
Dwi Handa  Indonesia Instagram fashion star
Funke Bucknor-Obruthe[54]  Nigeria Planner of glitzy and celebrity weddings
Gcina Mhlope[55]  South Africa Author, poet, playwright and storyteller
Heloise Letissier  France French singer and songwriter known by her stage name Christine and the Queens
Isabella Springmuhl Tejada  Guatemala Fashion designer
Jeanette Winterson  United Kingdom novelist
Kartika Jahja  Indonesia gender-equality singer
Liv Little  United Kingdom Editor-in-chief at gal-dem
Mariana Costa Checa  Peru Businesswoman, founder of Laboratoria
Nadia Khiari  Tunisia Creator of cartoon character 'Willis from Tunis', whose adventures reflect the news
Nadiya Hussain  United Kingdom Winner of reality show "The Great British Bake Off" – went on to television jobs
Nay el-Rahi  Lebanon Journalist, and co-founder of HarassTracker.org
Ou Xiaobai  People's Republic of China Relocation manager and co-developer iHomo app which links gay and lesbian people for marriages of convenience
Paula Hawkins  Zimbabwe Writer of the novel "The Girl on the Train"
Prathiba Parmar  Kenya British film maker
Reham el-Hour  Morocco Cartoonist who became professional after winning a UNESCO competition in 2000
Sunny Leone  Canada Actress


Image Name Nationality Description
Amna Suleiman  Palestine Teacher andbike protester against custom that stops women cycling in Gaza
Amy Roko  Saudi Arabia Comedian who became known via Instagram and Vine
Cat Hulbert  United States Professional gambler
Corinne Maier  France Writer and psychoanalyst
Denise Ho[56]  Canada
 Hong Kong
Singer and pro-democracy campaigner
Ieshia Evans  United States Nurse and protestor who became an icon of the Black Lives Matter movement following the publication of Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge
Iskra Lawrence  United Kingdom Model
Jamilah Lemieux  United States Cultural commentator, editor and columnist for Interactive One
Janet Ní Shuilleabháin  Ireland Founding member, Abortion Rights Campaign
June Eric-Udorie  United Kingdom Writer and blogger
Lois Strong  United States Former college maths professor and present day cheerleader
Naema Ahmed[57]  Pakistan E-commerce start-up manager
Neha Singh[58]  India Actor, writer and campaigner who encourages women to ignore harassment and reclaim the public space
Renee Rabinowitz  Belgium Lawyer who sued El Al when she was asked to move as the man next to her objected to sitting beside a female
Seyhan Arman  Turkey Transgender activist and actor
Tess Asplund  Sweden Care worker and anti-fascism activist caught in iconic photo resisting fascists
Viktoria Modesta  Latvia Bionic pop artist
Winnie Harlow  Canada Model
Yuliya Stepanova  Russia Whistle-blowing athlete
Zulaikha Patel  South Africa Thirteen year-old who took stand for young girls with natural hair


Image Name Nationality Description
Alicia Keys  United States Singer-songwriter
Aline Mukovi Neema  Republic of the Congo Student activist for political change
Carmen Aristegui  Mexico journalist
Egge Kande  Senegal Community leader who advises young girls about education
Evelyn Miralles  Venezuela NASA computer engineer
Heather Rabbatts  Jamaica Lawyer and businesswoman. Non-executive member of the boards of Grosvenor Estates, Royal Opera House and The FA. Chief Executive of the London Borough of Lambeth
Judi Aubel  United States Social entrepreneur
Liliane Landor  Lebanon BBC journalist
Lubna Tahtamouni  Jordan Biology professor and science campaigner
Mallika Srinivasan[58]  India CEO of Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited
Maria Zakharova  Russia Foreign ministry spokeswoman
Marne Levine  United States Chief Operating Officer, Instagram
Marta Vieira da Silva  Brazil Footballer
Rachida Dati  France Politician
Rakeft Russak-Aminoach Rakefet Russak-Aminoach  Israel CEO, Bank Leumi
Rebecca Walker  United States Writer and activist
Shriti Vadera  Uganda Banker and economist
Simone Biles  United States Olympic gymnast
Thuli Madonsela[55]  South Africa Advocate who combats corruption
Zoleka Mandela  South Africa Writer – survivor of addictions, sexual abuse and cancer. Granddaughter of Nelson Mandela.


Image Name Nationality Description
Asel Sadyrova  Kyrgyzstan Archer
Chan Yuen-ting[56]  Hong Kong Football manager
Chanira Bajracharya  Nepal Former "living goddess" or Kumari
Churan Zheng  People's Republic of China Women's rights activist arrested for planning protest against sexual harassment on public transportation
Cindy Meston  Canada Professor of clinical psychology
Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya  Eswatini First woman to become a bishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Erin McKenney  United States Science award winner
Gouri Chindarkar[58]  India Computer engineering student of the "School in the Cloud"
Jane Elliott  United States Educator, author and anti-racism activist
Katherine Johnson  United States Space scientist who was a mathematician for NASA
Lhakpa Sherpa  Nepal Mountaineer who has climbed Mount Everest seven times.
Lucy Finch  Malawi Palliative care nurse and founder of Malawi's only hospice
Mary Akrami  Afghanistan Women's shelter director and founder of refuge for abused women
Megan Beveridge  United Kingdom
First female "lone piper" at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Omotade Alalade  Nigeria Founder of BeiBei Haven Foundation, helping those struggling with infertility
Sherin Khankan  Denmark Imam
Shirin Gerami  Iran First "Ironwoman" triathlete in Iran
Sian Williams  United Kingdom
Wales Wales
Rugby player
Stephanie Harvey  Canada Professional e-gamer "missharvey"
Yasmine Mustafa  Kuwait Entrepreneur, CEO of ROAR for Good


Image Name Nationality Description
Ashwaq Moharram  Yemen Doctor dealing with starvation in Hudaydah
Becci Wain  United Kingdom Healthcare assistant and former self-harmer who challenged supermarket policy
Carolina de Oliveira  Lebanon
Actor and Mental health activist
Dalia Sabri  Jordan Blind music teacher
Erin Sweeny  Australia Psychologist
Karima Baloch  Pakistan
( Balochistan)
Balochistan independence campaigner; died under suspicious circumstances in 2020
Kathy Murray  United States Relationship coach and co-author of "Surrendered Wives Empowered Women"
Khadija Ismayilova  Azerbaijan Journalist
Mao Kobayashi