The BBC has revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019.
This year 100 Women is asking: What would the future look like if it were driven by women?
From the architect planning to rebuild her destroyed city in Syria, to Nasa’s project manager of the Mars helicopter, many on the list are at the cutting edge of their fields. They give us their vision of what life will look like in 2030.
Others, such as the “ghost” politician defying the mafia, and the footballer battling misogyny, are using their extraordinary personal experiences to blaze a path for those who follow.
The BBC’s 100 women of 2019
Precious Adams spent so much time dancing round the living room at the age of eight, that her mum signed her up for dance lessons. By the age of 16, she had won places at three of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools, including the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia.
She was promoted to first artist by the English National Ballet in 2017, and won the Emerging Artist Award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards the following year. She has been credited with opening up a conversation on ballet dancers being able to wear tights that match their skin tone.
My hope for the future is that more and more people engage with the arts. I’d like as many people as possible to find the same joy, freedom, and fulfilment from the arts that I have.
Parveena is known as the ‘Iron lady of Kashmir’. Her teenage son disappeared in 1990, at the height of an uprising against Indian rule in Kashmir.
He is one of thousands of ‘disappeared’ there – leading Parveena to set up the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). She says she has not given up hope of seeing her son again, with next year marking the 30th anniversary of his disappearance.
The grief of losing my son to enforced disappearance inspires me to struggle for justice and accountability, and I aspire to work towards making the world a better place, especially for women. It is imperative that women’s issues are given prime importance in today’s world, especially for those living in conflict and war zones.
Known as Italy’s “ghost” politician, Piera Aiello ran for office with her face covered by a veil due to threats from the mafia. In 2018, after winning her seat as an anti-mafia candidate, she finally revealed her face to the public.
She has used her experience of being forced to marry the son of a mafia boss at 14 to advocate for the rights of police informants and their children.
The truth lives on.
Jasmin is Rohingya, described by the UN as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. She was born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh just after her father died.
Since arriving in the UK as a refugee, she has excelled at cricket, and together with her friends started an all-Asian girls’ cricket team in Bradford. This year she was selected to represent England in the first Street Child Cricket World Cup for charity.
All I know is the feeling, the sheer pleasure of the motion feels greater when every breath blows with liberation.
Contemporary artist Manal AlDowayan’s work explores invisibility, archives, memory and the representation of women in her country. From black and white photographs of Saudi Arabia’s female workforce, to a frozen flock of birds imprinted with the permission slip Saudi women require to travel.
In 2018, the British Museum placed two of her artworks on long-term display in the Islamic Gallery.
Every day I am confronted with the incredible brilliance and courage of women around me, and I can only see a better future when these women have their place in society and history.
In 2016, Kimia became the first Iranian woman to win a medal at the Olympics since the country began competing in 1948. As a taekwondo athlete, Kimia is credited with “emboldening Iranian girls and women to push the boundaries of personal freedom” by the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.
The 21-year-old is now training three times a day to seek qualification for Tokyo 2020, where she hopes to inspire the next generation of Iranian women in martial arts.
In Iran, female athletes face different challenges. But I hope in the face of all the hardships we will continue and never give up.
Dr Alanoud Alsharekh is a founding member of the Abolish 153 campaign, calling for Kuwait’s ‘honour-killing’ law to be scrapped.
She works with institutions to improve gender equality in the Middle East, and was the first Kuwaiti awarded France’s National Order of Merit, for her defence of women’s rights.
Training and empowering future female leaders is a major issue that I am doing my part to see resolved in the immediate future, not only in Kuwait but across the region.
When war broke out in architect Marwa Al-Sabouni’s home city of Homs, Syria, she refused to leave.
She has written a book documenting this time, and has drawn up plans to rebuild the destroyed Baba Amr district, in a way that would bring different classes and ethnic groups together.
She runs the world’s only website dedicated to architectural news in Arabic, and has received the Prince Claus award, which honours “outstanding achievement of visionaries at the front-line of culture and development”.
Without home there is no future. My hope is that we can raise enough awareness to build places for people to which they can truly belong. It isn’t an exaggeration to claim that much of the troubles of our time would be diminished through this act.
Rida Al Tubuly is one of many women pushing for gender equality – but she’s doing it from a warzone. Her organisation, Together We Build It, pushes for women’s involvement in solving Libya’s conflict.
In 2018, she told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that high level UN meetings about Libya’s future were failing to include women. The university professor holds a postgraduate degree in International Human Rights Law.
Women’s future is now, not tomorrow and not the day after. I promote peace at all levels, and I’m confident that women are able to very soon change the status quo in fields historically designated to men, such as peace building and conflict mediation.
Tabata Amaral, one of Brazil’s youngest congresswomen, came to national attention this year when a video of her grilling the country’s education minister went viral.
Dubbed “Brazil’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” by the press, the 25-year-old grew up on the outskirts of Sao Paulo where she lost her father to drug addiction. Dedicating herself to her education, she won a place at Harvard University with a full scholarship, and graduated in Political Science and Astrophysics. As a member of parliament, her main agendas are education, women’s rights, political innovation and sustainable futures.
My biggest hope for the future of women in Brazil is that our fight for equal rights, for equal opportunities, be so consolidated that the next generation of girls will be born knowing no limits to their dreams; they will grow knowing that they can be in politics, in science, wherever they want. I am sure that if this dream comes true, we will have the country we deserve: more inclusive, developed and ethical.
Yalitza Aparicio trained as a primary school teacher, but ended up being cast as the lead in Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning film Roma after accompanying her sister to the audition.
She became the first indigenous Mexican woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for the role. She now advocates for gender equality, rights for indigenous communities and constitutional protection for domestic workers.
The ideal future for women is one in which we achieve gender equality; we have the same rights and the same opportunities men have. In the workplace, a future in which our pay is fair and we are compensated for the value we generate – that would be a good start.
Born in Lebanon but raised in the US, poet Dayna Ash was shocked when she was advised to hide her sexuality on her return to Beirut at 16.
So she founded Haven for Artists, an all-inclusive organisation for artists and activists, and the city’s only cultural and creative safe space for women and the LGBTQI+ community. She and her team run the centre for free, allowing vulnerable people to live in the residence and encouraging them to exchange tools, skills, and experience.
Freedom is not only ours to demand but to design.
Dina is the fastest woman in British history and the first British woman to win a major global sprint title.
She took gold in the final of the women’s 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, after she had already taken silver in the 100m.
I would like to see a world where young women participating in sport is seen as a natural pathway. I believe from sport you can learn so much about yourself, see yourself achieve things you didn’t think were possible and make yourself proud. Sport allows you to view your body in a positive way as you see the amazing things it is able to do and how it can change. This helps to build self-esteem and leads to healthier lifestyles both in a physical and mental capacity. I want sport to be an area where young women can be unapologetically themselves.
NASA’s MiMi Aung is responsible for a team designing a helicopter to fly on Mars. After travelling alone from Myanmar to the US to further her education at 16, MiMi is now project manager at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology.
She is challenged with building an aircraft light enough to fly in the very thin atmosphere of the Red Planet – it should reach the surface in February 2021.
My view for the future is continued advancement and innovation of new capabilities. Personally for me, it has been about first-of-its-kind, increasingly capable autonomous systems for space exploration. I believe that critical thinking is key to making major advancements.
At 21, trans woman Nisha Ayub was sentenced to three months in a male prison under a provision of Sharia law which prohibits “a male person wearing women’s attire or posing as a woman in a public space.”
Since her release, she has been a tireless advocate for the rights of transgender people in Malaysia, co-founding SEED – the country’s first ever trans-led organisation – and creating T-Home, which addresses the issue of homelessness for older trans women who are left without family support. She was awarded the US International Women of Courage award in 2016 for her work.
Trans people are just as human as everyone. We cry in tears, we bleed red, we have dreams and hopes, we want to be loved and cared for, we have feelings and emotions as we are your own reflection… we are not asking for special rights but the same equal rights as others – to be treated with dignity and respect as a Human Being. Trans life matters.
Raised on a farm in Uganda, Judith Bakirya became the first of her peers to win a scholarship to a prestigious girls’ boarding school, going on to obtain a masters in the UK and a job in the City.
But unsatisfied in her work, she quit, using her savings to fly home and found an organic fruit farm, Busaino Fruits & Herbs. Since winning a national agriculture award, she has used the platform to draw attention to women’s rights issues, including lack of land ownership, lack of access to education and domestic violence.
Working with women smallholder garden owners in innovative ways, honouring indigenous knowledge and developing biodiverse agroecosystems, promotes sustainable food production and nutrition.
Branded as 21st Century building blocks, Ayah Bdeir’s littleBits company makes kits of electronic blocks that snap together with magnets, allowing anyone to “build, prototype, and invent”.
Already used in thousands of schools across the US, this year Ayah launched a $4m initiative to try and close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, (STEM), supplying 15,000 10-year-old girls in California with free littleBits kits.
I am on a mission to make sure every kid — regardless of gender, background, or ethnicity — has the skills to invent the world they want to live in.
Buddhism is Thailand’s most common religion, with some 300,000 Buddhist monks. But female monks – known as bhikkhunis – aren’t recognised, and are banned from being ordained on Thai soil.
So in 2003, Dhammananda Bhikkhuni flew to Sri Lanka to be ordained, and returned as Thailand’s first female monk. There are now 100 others like her. She is abbess of Songdhammakalyani – the country’s first ever all-female Buddhist monastery.
We still need to struggle to make the ordination of women in Thailand a reality.
Feminist medical doctor Mabel Bianco has spent four decades putting women’s health, reproductive rights, abortion, and HIV/AIDS on the public policy agenda in Argentina.
She has introduced policies to save women’s lives – from tackling breast cancer to violence against women – and has been a pioneer of sex education in the face of Roman Catholic conservatism.
This year marks her 30th as president of the Foundation for Studies and Research on Women (FEIM), having attended countless UN conferences to support the rights of women in Latin America and the world in this capacity.
I want a near future without women dying needlessly. I hope we will reach a point where women all over the world can decide freely about their lives, their bodies, and whether to be mothers or not without risking death, and are able to live without gender violence.
Raya is founder and CEO of the award-winning Awecademy, an organisation with a mission to use education to improve the world.
It aims to inspire teachers and students with online learning modules like 21st Century Skills and Cosmic Citizenship, to bring positive change to humanity for the future.
I am intelligently optimistic about the future. This is because the future of humanity is not pre-defined or set in stone, but rather it’s up to us to create it. We can choose to create a future that is brimming with prosperity, progress, and love.
Katie led the development of an algorithm which resulted in the first-ever image of a black hole.
She started the project as a graduate student, and is now an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at the California Institute of Technology.
My ambition for the future is that we use artificial intelligence and machine-learning methods to design better scientists, who tell us how to go and discover the world around us.
After recounting not being able to reach the locks on toilet doors in a candid speech in 2017, Sinéad Burke quickly became one of the world’s most influential disability activists. Calling for all design to be more accessible, she has challenged some of the biggest names in the fashion industry – including Anna Wintour – to make clothing more inclusive.
This year she became the first little person to appear on the cover of Vogue, and this month launches her first podcast, aimed at challenging us to confront our biases and feel empowered to impact the world.
As women move into positions that can create systemic change, we must be explicit in our refusal to repeat the cycles of oppression and exclusion that have been indelibly etched into our consciousness and beings. Our approach to redesigning the future must be intersectional, it must be accessible and it must be equitable for all.
Author of Contraceptive Justice: Why We Need a Male Pill, bioethicist Lisa Campo-Engelstein’s work aims to improve women’s lives through finding new methods of contraception.
She also specialises in improving fertility for cancer survivors.
A word after a word after a word is power. (Margaret Atwood)
Scarlett is co-founder of The Pink Protest, an online community of activists who started the successful #FreePeriods campaign to get free menstrual products in schools in England.
They have also helped push a bill through Parliament to make FGM part of the Children’s Act. Scarlett’s book, It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and other lies), brings together high-profile figures to talk about their experiences of mental health and the stigma surrounding the issue.
Because the future will not be drawn without them.
Delivering post in rural Wales, Ella was shocked by the amount of discarded plastic on the streets.
So she started a campaign for plastic-free period products, successfully lobbying manufacturers to make real changes and councils to spend their period poverty funding on eco-friendly products.
My hopes for the future are that period products come without plastic, governments make sustainable choices and manufacturers put the planet before profit.
British-Indian Sharan is founder and editor-in-chief of Burnt Roti magazine, focusing on mental and sexual health for young South Asians, and LGBTQ rights. Aided by crowdfunding, she published her first print issue in April 2016 and has since launched an online version.
The platform hosted the Let’s Talk About Sex workshop in London in 2018, to try to end stigma around being South Asian and sexually active.
Our conversation around gender has become more visible and we’re fighting for recognition of people who identify differently to how they were assigned at birth. The future may allow us to continue having these conversations but it’s hard to identify progress with hostile political climates governing our language and accessibility.
Salwa Eid Naser stunned the field in the 400m final in Doha this year by running faster than any woman has done for more than three decades.
The reigning 400m world champion was born in Anambra State, Nigeria, but moved to Bahrain at 14 seeking opportunities to further her running career. She now represents the Gulf State internationally.
I don’t fear nothing for the future because it is something I can handle when it comes. I really want to get it all – now I have the world gold medal, I want to keep going and get the Olympic gold medal. I hope I end my career breaking the world record – then I want to be a fashion designer.
Rana el Kaliouby is a pioneer of artificial emotional intelligence, or Emotion AI. Her start-up Affectiva has developed software that can understand emotions by analysing facial expressions through a camera.
The technology is being installed in vehicles to detect sleepy drivers. Also a passionate advocate for gender equity in tech and AI, Rana is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and a post-doctorate from MIT.
AI is at an inflection point: it’s increasingly acting on our behalf, taking on roles traditionally held by people. As we plan for a future, we need to ensure that diversity of all kinds – gender, race, age, education and perspectives – are represented by the people at the helm of AI development. That’s the only way to make sure that we prioritise people’s humanity over the artificial.
When Maria Fernanda Espinosa became president of the UN General Assembly, she became only the fourth woman to hold the position in the body’s history – and the first from Latin America and the Caribbean.
She has called on governments to put forward billions of dollars to tackle climate change, and announced her determination to fight gender discrimination.
I envisage a future where efforts by the multilateral systems have led to the equal participation of men and women in politics, and to the protection of the rights of women who fight daily for jobs with equal conditions, and of women and girls who are the victims of violence.
As South Africa faces rising rates of murder and rape against women and girls, Lucinda has emerged as a voice for women. She leads nationwide marches, rallying thousands of women in the streets of Cape Town, challenging government to translate policy into action.
Lucinda founded Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal our Women), a non-profit organisation offering services including counselling, search committees for kidnapped girls and safe houses for women escaping domestic abuse.
My hopes, as a Khoisan woman, are that we will one day be freed from violence against our bodies, and the bodies of our daughters, sisters, mothers and aunties. I hope that one day we will have a female president. For this, I will continue to advocate and rise in pain to power.
Sister Gerard is a Roman Catholic nun in Singapore, who worked for three decades as a death row counsellor.
Now 81, she has “walked with” 18 inmates before their deaths, describing her calling as helping “people who are broken”.
A female future, like any other, would be one filled with kindness, dignity and equality; a world without discrimination or hate, one that’s driven by compassion.
Overcoming a fear of water after falling into an adult pool as a toddler, Bethany Firth MBE burst onto the swimming scene at the London 2012 Paralympics. She is now a four-time Paralympic gold medallist and multiple world record holder, and was Team GB’s most decorated athlete at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
This year she won two golds at the World Para-swimming Championships in London, and has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to swimming.
I believe the future of women’s sport is really positive; there’s so many amazing females out there that are changing perceptions and making it cooler than ever. In swimming I think we’ve already got good equality in the sport but I’m really pleased to see new innovations such as mixed relay events being included at major events like the World Championships and Paralympic Games and only increasing opportunities to compete on the same stage.
Owl – aka Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir – is a journalist, writer and trans campaigner. They are the co-director of My Genderation, a film project focusing on trans lives and trans experiences.
They also work with All About Trans, a project creating positive representation of transgender people in the media. They co-wrote the Trans Teen Survival Guide, to help empower transgender and non-binary teens.
The future must move beyond the oppressive binaries of sex and gender – otherwise we will never truly break free and deconstruct the systems that have kept us complacent for so long.
After storming to victory in 10.71 seconds at the women’s 100m final in Doha in September 2019, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce now boasts more 100m world championship titles than Usain Bolt.
It makes the Jamaican track and field sprinter the oldest woman to ever win an Olympic or world 100m title – and the first mum to do so since 1995. She carried son Zyon, two, on her lap of honour, saying she wanted to “inspire women thinking of starting a family.”
Finding balance is never easy but we as women get to decide. I never limit myself as to what is possible as long as my body will cooperate. It’s important for the future of athletics that women continue to challenge themselves. I am excited to see just how far I can go, even at this stage of my career.
At 26, Zarifa Ghafari is one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors. The country’s president appointed her mayor of Maidan Wardag, where support for the Taliban is widespread. She took the job despite it being too dangerous for her to live there – her office was mobbed by angry men on her first day.
In the face of this adversity, she has taken to the streets with free rubbish bags as part of her clean city initiative, and says her goal is to make people believe in women’s power.
I’m the first female mayor for this war-torn province but I don’t want to be the only one forever. I wish there were more women working alongside me in local government and leading departments and I am trying to make this a reality for other Afghan women.
Human rights lawyer Jalila specialises in defending women’s rights in Pakistan, and provides free legal services to women in poverty.
She is founder of We the Humans, a non-profit organisation working with local communities to provide opportunities for vulnerable women and children. She is the first female lawyer from the persecuted Hazara community, and in 2018 she went on hunger strike demanding protection for her people.
Looking back into the past leads to the realisation that the entire politics of conflict, war and destruction is interconnected with Patriarchy. This is the time now that the world should accept the future as female; [women] are the symbol of peace, fertility, creation and coexistence. Let the women lead.
Tayla Harris is an Australian rules footballer playing for Carlton Football Club in the AFL Women’s league, and a professional boxer.
Since a photo of her kicking a ball during a match attracted misogynistic comments in March, a bronze statue of her has been unveiled in Melbourne’s Federation Square, immortalising the kick in Australian sporting history. She also holds an unbeaten professional boxing record.
A tattoo on my right arm reads ‘fortune favours the brave’. I got this when I had my first professional boxing fight and moved away from family and friends to live in Melbourne and since this milestone, I’ve been fortunate to experience things I never would have thought possible – fighting for an Australian title, a bronze statue, being at the forefront of a cultural shift… to name a few.
Hollie is a survivor of sex trafficking from Columbus, Ohio, US. She was first sold by her mother at the age of 15 and was enslaved through drug-use for 17 years. With the help of an innovative court programme called CATCH Court – which spots criminals who are actually victims – she was able to escape in 2015. Most women who are sex trafficked in the US are branded with tattoos or scars and she has since transformed the tattoos on her own body.
Hollie secured a scholarship to study communications, and is now considering a law degree. She is working as a legal advocate for victims of domestic violence at a local Columbus court and is at the helm of Reaching For the Shining Starz – a non-profit organisation that sees her alongside other volunteers, each week, handing out care packages to possible victims of sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking survivors are the most powerful, motivated, and compassionate group of people I’ve met in my lifetime. The ability to learn to trust, love, and forgive after we’ve been betrayed and badly abused – often by the people we loved – astonishes me. We genuinely are a resilient group that come back stronger than before.
Huang Wensi, 29, is one of a small but growing number of female boxers in China.
Challenging traditional stereotypes of women’s roles, she overcame postpartum depression to win the Asia Female Continental Super Flyweight Championship gold belt in 2018. She wants to continue to fight social stigma against women in sport.
I want to prove that women have the power to move the world. I hope more women are not just defined by their family, but their dream, too.
This year, artist Luchita Hurtado landed her first solo show in a public gallery – at the age of 98.
Born in Venezuela, and wife of influential artist Lee Mullican, she spent years treating her art as a private diary, before some 1,200 of her works were unearthed while curators were clearing out her late husband’s studio. Hurtado’s environmental advocacy continues to inform the visual language of her work.
We should think before we vote
Tired of the pain she suffered wearing heels eight hours a day at work, Yumi decided to vent her frustration on Twitter.
Within days, Japan’s #kutoo movement was born, with thousands of women sharing stories about being forced to wear heels to work as part of their uniform. Yumi gathered a petition of 20,000 signatures which she presented to the government over the issue.
We’re still in the situation where lots of people don’t even realise there’s gender discrimination in Japan, and for the #KuToo campaign too, lots of people don’t regard it as an issue of discrimination. I hope people notice this kind of discrimination in our daily lives, and realise men and women are equal.
Through a career in journalism and community social work, Asmaa has become the voice of Sierra Leone’s voiceless.
After learning of the rape of a five-year-old girl, she used her media platform to launch the Black Tuesday campaign, which encouraged women to wear black on the last Tuesday of each month to protest over the increase in the rape and abuse of girls under 12. The movement prompted presidential action to reform sexual violence policies.
To all the women out there – we will find ourselves in male-dominated professions. Take the opportunity to stay on and persist. This is how the future holds more of us as leaders.
Aranya uses beat poetry to address issues like gender equality, mental health and body positivity.
Her performance of A Brown Girl’s Guide to Beauty has been viewed over three million times on YouTube.
If women joined the workforce the global GDP could increase by $28 trillion. Why are we limiting half of the world’s population and their potential? What could a gender equal world look like? And how far are we from it?
Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman is an urban anthropologist, working to make cities better places to live in.
She co-founded The Women Led Cities Initiative, which aims to bring women’s voices to the forefront of urban planning and design.
The future of our cities is female because it has to be. Without a greater level of diversity, through women’s input and impact on our urban environments, we are at an impasse for the future of these, our manufactured habitats.
Dr Gada Kadoda helps women in remote areas use solar power to bring electricity to their villages by training them as community engineers.
She was named a Unicef innovator to watch as the driving force behind Sudan’s first innovation lab, giving students a space for collaborative working and problem-solving. She is founder of the Sudanese Knowledge Society, which gives young researchers the opportunity to freely interact with scientists and scholars from inside and outside the country.
Women’s urgent futures depend on mastering liberation tools to enrich our options.
Born with a rare condition which left her with missing skin, Amy Karle grew up fascinated by the possibility of what the human body could be capable of with the right technology.
Now an award-winning bioartist, her work includes a human hand made with 3D-printed scaffolds and stem cells.
Biotechnology is advancing faster than we can conceive of its impacts on humanity; it can lead us into a very promising future or irreversible demise. It is of vital importance that we thoroughly and thoughtfully contemplate the range of dangers and potentials and work together to establish strategies to utilise our technology for the best and highest good of humanity.
Self-proclaimed ‘mother of all Sudanese martyrs’, Ahlam’s 17-year-old son was killed in a peaceful protest in 2013. Since then, Ahlam has dedicated her life to seeking justice for him, and fighting for the rights of those killed or ‘disappeared’ in Sudan.
She was part of underground forums and protests and was “brutally beaten” when caught by security forces. In the movement that started in December 2018 against then-President Omar al-Bashir, Ahlam became a prominent protester, leading rallies with strong ties to the youth on the ground.
Sudan will become again an important and powerful country. The young Sudanese have learned about their rights. Once they have become aware of what rights they are entitled to, they will never accept to abandon them.
In 2019, cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman ever to win the Transcontinental Race – one of the world’s toughest cycling races.
Covering 4,000 km in 10 days – from Bulgaria to France – she beat off 264 competitors, the majority of which were male.
I hope that one day, nobody will be underestimated because of gender, age, ethnicity or educational background any more – creating a respectful society that promotes confidence and gives equal chances to everybody.
Hiyori Kon, 21, is a sumo wrestling prodigy in a country where women are still barred from competing professionally.
She was the subject of the 2018 award-winning documentary Little Miss Sumo, which charted her battle to change the rules of one of the world’s oldest sports, and give a voice to women in sumo.
I would like to give the opportunity for children all over the world to get involved with sumo, and make sumo an Olympic sport.
Aïssata Lam set up the Youth Chamber of Commerce of Mauritania to support young women entrepreneurs struggling to access funding for their start-ups.
She is a vocal advocate for women’s rights, using her platform to honour exceptional Mauritanian women, and was appointed to the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The time is coming when women’s voices cannot be silenced, nor ignored. The time is coming when women’s equal participation in today’s most pressing issues is necessary. The time is coming when women’s seat at the table is non-negotiable. This time is now.
Forensic psychology professor Soo Jung Lee has worked on numerous high-profile murder cases in South Korea. Based at Kyonggi University in Seoul, she has challenged the legal system, helping introduce an anti-stalking bill.
She believes stalking leads to more serious crimes in many cases, where the majority of the victims are vulnerable women.
As a forensic psychologist, I want the future to be a safe place for my children.
Fei-Fei Li arrived in the US from China at 16 with no English language skills, working part-time in her parents’ dry-cleaning business.
Now widely credited as a pioneer of artificial intelligence, the former Google vice president co-directs Stanford’s institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), which is looking at how to develop ethical AI. Li is co-founder of AI4ALL, which is focused on recruiting more women and minorities to build AI.
We are on the cusp of the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This new era has the potential to help us realise our shared dream of a better future for all of humanity, but it will bring with it challenges and opportunities we can’t yet foresee. My hope is that we will bring more voices, more views, and more expertise to the discussion – and development – of AI’s future. It’s the reason I helped found AI4ALL, a nonprofit that opens doors to the AI industry for underrepresented talent, as well as Stanford’s institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI).