Greta Thunberg, Dina Asher-Smith and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Greta Thunberg, Dina Asher-Smith and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

BBC reveals 100 most inspiring women around the world

Individuals featured on list include Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio, disability activist Sinéad Burke and anti-upskirting campaigner Gina Martin

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 16 October 2019 09:32
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The BBC has revealed its list of the 100 most inspiring and influential women around the world for 2019.

The list is focused on the question: “What would the future look like if it were driven by women?”

It features a variety of women from the worlds of activism, sports, entertainment, journalism and science; including climate change activist Greta Thunberg, the fastest British woman in history Dina Asher-Smith and US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Other notable figures featured on the list include anti-upskirting campaigner Gina Martin, Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio and sumo wrestler Hiyori Kon.

“Many on the list are driving change on behalf of women everywhere,” according to the BBC. “They give us their vision of what life could look like in 2030.”

  • Precious Adams, ballet dancer, US.
  • Parveena Ahanger, human rights activist, Indian-administered Kashmir.
  • Piera Aiello, politician, Italy.
  • Jasmin Akter, cricketer, UK-Bangladesh.
  • Manal AlDowayan, artist, Saudi Arabia.
  • Kimia Alizadeh, athlete, Iran.
  • Alanoud Alsharekh, women’s rights activist, Kuwait.
  • Marwa Al-Sabouni, architect, Syria.
  • Rida Al Tubuly, peace campaigner, Libya.
  • Tabata Amaral, congresswoman, Brazil.
  • Yalitza Aparicio, actor and human rights activist, Mexico.
  • Dayna Ash, cultural activist, Lebanon.
  • Dina Asher-Smith, athlete, UK.
  • MiMi Aung, project manager at NASA, US.
  • Nisha Ayub, transgender activist, Malaysia.
  • Judith Bakirya, farmer, Uganda.
  • Ayah Bdeir, entrepreneur, Lebanon.
  • Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, monk, Thailand.
  • Mabel Bianco, doctor, Argentina.
  • Raya Bidshahri, educator, Iran.
  • Katie Bouman, scientist, US.
  • Sinéad Burke, disability activist, Ireland.
  • Lisa Campo-Engelstein, bioethicist, US.
  • Scarlett Curtis, writer and campaigner, UK.
  • Ella Daish, environmentalist, UK.
  • Sharan Dhaliwal, artist and writer, UK.
  • Salwa Eid Naser, athlete, Nigeria-Bahrain.
  • Rana El Kaliouby, AI pioneer, Egypt.
  • Maria Fernanda Espinosa, UN General Assembly, Ecuador.
  • Lucinda Evans, women’s rights activist, South Africa.
  • Sister Gerard Fernandez, Roman Catholic nun, Singapore.
  • Bethany Firth, Paralympic swimmer, UK.
  • Owl Fisher, transgender activist, Iceland.
  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, athlete, Jamaica.
  • Zarifa Ghafari, mayor, Afghanistan.
  • Jalila Haider, lawyer, Pakistan.
  • Tayla Harris, footballer and boxer, Australia.
  • Hollie, sex trafficking survivor, US.
  • Huang Wensi, professional boxer, China.
  • Luchita Hurtado, artist, Venezuela.
  • Yumi Ishikawa, founder of anti-heels petition #kutoo, Japan.
  • Asmaa James, journalist and activist, Sierra Leone.
  • Aranya Johar, poet, India.
  • Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, anthropologist, US.
  • Gada Kadoda, engineer, Sudan.
  • Amy Karle, bioartist, US.
  • Ahlam Khudr, protest leader, Sudan.
  • Fiona Kolbinger, cyclist, Germany.
  • Hiyori Kon, sumo wrestler, Japan.
  • Aïssata Lam, microfinance expert, Mauritania.
  • Soo Jung Lee, forensic psychologist, South Korea.
  • Fei-Fei Li, AI pioneer, US.
  • Erika Lust, filmmaker, Sweden.
  • Lauren Mahon, cancer campaigner and co-host of podcast You, Me and The Big C, UK.
  • Julie Makani, doctor and scientist, Tanzania.
  • Lisa Mandemaker, speculative designer, Netherlands.
  • Jamie Margolin, climate change activist, US.
  • Francia Marquez, environmentalist, Colombia. 
  • Gina Martin, anti-upskirting campaigner, UK.
  • Sarah Martins Da Silva, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, UK.
  • Raja Meziane, singer, Algeria.
  • Susmita Mohanty, space entrepreneur, India.
  • Benedicte Mundele, fresh food entrepreneur, DR Congo.
  • Subhalakshmi Nandi, gender equality expert, India.
  • Trang Nguyen, conservationist, Vietnam.
  • Van Thi Nguyen, CEO, Vietnam.
  • Natasha Noel, yoga expert, India.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, congresswoman, US.
  • Farida Osman, swimmer, Egypt.
  • Ashcharya Peiris, designer, Sri Lanka.
  • Danit Peleg, designer, Israel.
  • Autumn Peltier, clean water advocate, Canada.
  • Swietenia Puspa Lestari, diver and environmentalist, Indonesia.
  • Megan Rapinoe, footballer, US.
  • Onjali Rauf, writer, UK.
  • Charlene Ren, clean water advocate, China.
  • Maria Ressa, journalist, Philippines.
  • Djamila Ribeiro, writer and equality activist, Brazil.
  • Jawahir Roble, referee, UK-Somalia.
  • Najat Saliba, chemistry professor, Lebanon.
  • Nanjira Sambuli, digital equality expert, Kenya.
  • Zehra Sayers, scientist, Turkey.
  • Hayfa Sdiri, entrepreneur, Tunisia.
  • Noor Shaker, computer scientist, Syria.
  • Bonita Sharma, innovator, Nepal.
  • Vandana Shiva, environmentalist, India.
  • Pragati Singh, doctor, India.
  • Lyubov Sobol, anti-corruption activist, Russia.
  • Samah Subay, lawyer, Yemen.
  • Kalista Sy, screenwriter and producer, Senegal.
  • Bella Thorne, actor and director, US.
  • Veronique Thouvenot, doctor, Chile.
  • Greta Thunberg, climate change activist, Sweden.
  • Paola Villarreal, computer programmer, Mexico.
  • Ida Vitale, poet, Uruguay.
  • Purity Wako, life coach, Uganda.
  • Marilyn Waring, economist and environmentalist, New Zealand.
  • Amy Webb, futurist, US.
  • Sara Wesslin, journalist, Finland.
  • Gina Zurlo, scholar of religion, US.
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