Two Nigerian women, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo and Ibijoke Faborode, are on the BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2022.
This year’s nominees reflect how women have been at the heart of conflict around the world in 2022, from those bravely demanding change in Iran to the female face of resistance in Ukraine and Russia. The theme for 100 Women 2022 is ‘progress’.
The season highlights the inspiring women who have made a difference, and for the first time this year, the BBC has asked some of the previous 100 women to nominate women they feel deserve a place on the 2022 list.
Ezeilo was nominated by 2021 100 Women laureate, writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who said: “Professor Ezeilo has impacted many lives through the provision of free legal aid to the poor, especially to women and girls whose human rights have been violated.”
Ezeilo is an international human rights activist and emeritus dean of law at the University of Nigeria and a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons. As founding director of the Women Aid Collective, she has provided free legal aid and shelter to 60,000 vulnerable women in Nigeria within the last 25 years. She also founded the Tamar Sexual Assault Referral Centre, to provide a rapid response to victims and survivors of abuse.
Ibijoke Faborode, co-founder and executive director of ElectHER- a non-partisan pan-African political organisation, drives the vision to bridge inequality gaps in African democracy by engaging critical stakeholders, encouraging women to decide, equipping them to run, and enabling them to win elections.
She’s a One Young World 2019 Dutch MFA scholar and a 2019 Public Service Nominee for The Future Awards Africa.
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC, said: “It’s wonderful to see this year’s list of 100 Women and to be celebrating its tenth season. The women on this year’s list are all remarkable in what they have achieved and contributed to their communities and society, and I am proud that the BBC continues to do vital work by shining a spotlight on them and sharing their stories around the world through our first-class journalism and storytelling.”
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Liliane Landor, senior controller of BBC News International Services and director of BBC World Service, said, “In the tenth year of 100 Women, it is brilliant to see how the annual season has gone from strength to strength. I remember our launch and the very first intake of 100 Women little did we know how much the project would grow.”
She said the women nominated have contributed to the world in incredible ways.
“With this year also being the 90th anniversary of BBC World Service, I am glad that 100 Women continues our commitment to reporting and telling the stories of people’s lives from all over the world.”
Other women from Africa on the list include Asonele Kotu, tech entrepreneur (South Africa); Judy Kihumba, sign language interpreter (Kenya); Wegahta Gebreyohannes Abera, humanitarian aid worker (Tigray, Ethiopia); Sarah Chan, NBA scouter (South Sudan); Samrawit Fikru, tech entrepreneur (Ethiopia); Gehad Hamdy, dentist and humanitarian (Egypt); Marie Christina Kolo, climate entrepreneur (Madagascar); Hadizatou Mani, anti-slavery campaigner (Niger); Monica Musonda, businesswoman (Zambia); Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, author (Ghana); Kisanet Tedros, educational entrepreneur (Eritrea); and Esraa Warda, dancer (Algeria/US).