BBC 100 Women has revealed its list of 100 influential women from around the world for 2018.
From #MeToo to Northern Ireland’s abortion vote and the unprecedented number of female candidates in the US midterms, the last 12 months have seen women achieve great things against the odds.
To honor this, the BBC has launched its annual #100Women season today, which aims to inspire people by sharing the stories of trailblazing women across the globe “who are using passion, indignation, and anger to spark real change”
This year, the list includes a diverse range of female figures from leaders in politics, arts and business to everyday heroes fighting for what they believe in.
Spanning more than 60 countries in total, the women chosen for 2018’s offering range in age from 15 to 94 and will use the next three weeks to share their inspiring stories.
Among those who made the cut this year are Jameela Jamil, who launched the social media platform @i_weigh; Svetlana Alekseeva, a Russian model who, after surviving a fire that burned almost half her body, is helping people with scars feel positive about their bodies; and Shaparak Shajarizadeh, an activist who publicly removed her headscarf to oppose the compulsory hijab rule for women in Iran.
Alina Anisimova, a 19-year-old student who leads the Kyrgyz Girls’ Space School also features on the list alongside Chidera Eggerue, the best-selling author and activist behind the social media movement #saggyboobsmatter.
The list also features authors, photographers, lawyers, mothers, and teachers who are all standing up and speaking out.
Here are the first 5 women to be named on the BBC 100 Women list for 2018:
(Ordered, in alphabetical order, by name, age, profession, country of birth, biography)
- Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, 33 – Social impact entrepreneur, Nigeria – The founder of GirlsCoding, an NGO that teaches girls how to code, design and build websites that help solve problems in their communities.
- Esraa al-Shafei, 32 – Executive director of not for profit Majal.org., Bahrain – Esraa founded a diverse number of digital platforms to give a voice to those under-represented in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Svetlana Alekseeva, 18 – Model, Russia – Svetlana survived a fire that burned almost half her body and now works to help people with scars feel positive about their bodies.
- Lizt Alfonso, 51 – Director and choreographer, Cuba – Lizt has created an internationally recognised fusion dance company which has performed in hundreds of cities across the world.
- Nimco Ali, 35 – Writer and activist, Somaliland – Nimco is an award-winning FGM (female genital mutilation) activist.
You can read the full list here.