By Irene Gaitirira
Published September 29, 2017
Three Kenyans are among 60 most inspirational women across the world in 2017.
The three Kenyans being celebrated on the BBC 100 Women 2017 list include Anita Nderu (a TV presenter and radio news anchor at Capital FM of Nairobi who is passionate about youth mentorship); Naomi Mwaura (an organiser of the anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice); and Adelle Onyango (a radio and television host at Radio Africa of Nairobi who is focused on empower young women through mentorship and apprenticeship).
Other Africans on the list are Nigerian singer, songwriter and philanthropist Tiwa Savage; Senegal’s Marieme Jamme who taught herself to read and write at the age of 16 and is now a self-made businesswoman; Zimbabwe’s Talent Jumo who supports victims of revenge porn, giving them counselling and legal advice and fighting for sexual and reproductive health rights for women; and Liberia’s Ellen Johnson who is the first elected female head of state in Africa.
BBC says the 60 women who it describes as representing ‘the global wealth of female talent’ are being ‘celebrated as part of BBC 100 Women Challenge’ that will see 40 more women added to the list to bring it up to 100 by end of October 2017.
The BBC 100 Women Challenge, the British multimedia broadcaster says, “is a unique celebration of female talentwhich sees four teams of women tasked with finding solutions to everyday problems currently blighting female lives across the globe. From October 2nd – 6thwomen based in Silicon Valleywill tackle the glass ceiling;from October 9th -13th the Delhi team are looking at female illiteracy; from October 16th -20th safety on public transport will be the focus for the London and Nairobi team; and finally from October 23rd -27th women in Rio will consider sexism in sport.”
BBC says the 40 vacant places on its BBC 100 Women 2017 “will 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.”
Other women on the initial list of 60 are:
• AstronautPeggy 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.
• 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 attacksurvivorResham 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 entrepreneurAnne-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 teacherMaggie MacDonnell (37) – winner of the US $1million Global Teacher Prize 2017.
• 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 NawaalAkram (18)- founder of Muscular Dystrophy MiddleEast, and promotes rights for women with disabilities in the Middle East.