The BBC’s 100 Women season will return this autumn, shining a light on women’s lives around the world. Launched in 2013, 100 Women kick-started the BBC’s pledge to better represent women in its international news output. Now in its third year, the 2015 season will encompass a fortnight of debates, programmes, special reports and journalism, and reveal this year’s list of 100 inspirational women. This Season will ask if news is failing women, debate pressure to be a ‘good girl’, and release third annual ‘100 women’ list
For two weeks starting from 18th November, the 100 Women season will feature special reports, programmes and discussions running across BBC World News, bbc.com and the 29 languages of BBC World Service, as well as network news.
Fiona Crack, Editor of 100 Women season said: “We are proud of 100 Women – over the last two years we’ve given more time and space on our platforms to stories and issues that affect women wherever they are in the world – as our audience told us they wanted. This year we’ll be launching a Facebook and Instagram account and asking if women accept or reject pressures and expectations on them to be an “ideal woman” or for our younger audience “a good girl” – we want to hear their views on leadership, image and relationships.”
The 100 Women list
Each year, the BBC names 100 women – a mix of influential women who are world leaders in politics, science and entertainment, as well as less well known but inspirational women from all over the world. The list will include thirty female entrepreneurs under the age of 30, women over the age of 80 and nurses from frontline war zones, to informal birth attendants.
The list of 100 Women is now available and published here: bbc.co.uk/100women
‘Is News Failing Women?’
During the 100 Women season, the BBC will host a special debate in London asking Is News Failing Women? BBC World News presenter, Philippa Thomas, will host the debate – featuring high profile and international media personalities.
The 100 Women debates
On 1st December, the BBC will bring a series of debates together from around the world to discuss what it means to be a “good girl” or an “ideal woman” in different regions and cultures. The BBC will host a live debate in its London headquarters at Broadcasting House, asking pertinent questions such as ‘are beautiful women more likely to succeed?’ and ‘what kind of women are more likely to become leaders?’
With more than 100 conversations happening across the globe, in at least eight languages, the BBC will live link to debates in other parts of the world to reflect many of those voices on a live page on bbc.com/100Women, as well as BBC World News and World Service Radio.
The 100 Women season
Complementing the 100 Women list and debates, the BBC will offer audiences a raft of special content across all platforms, including profiles of the 100 Women throughout the season.
BBC World News and BBC World Service English will feature a half hour documentary from World Service Languages journalists Hidden Heroes of the Front Line, which follows three nurses in Central African Republic, Gaza and Venezuela. On BBC World News, Rupa Jha from the BBC Hindi service fronts Women and Land, where she investigates a spate of farmer suicides in Maharashtra whose wives were left to take over responsibility of the farms – and in Rajasthan where two sisters turned their land into a dynamic agri-business after inheriting it following their father’s death.
Also on BBC World News, there will be a Health Check special on nursing and female health, and how issues, such as domestic violence in Russia and FGM in the Somali community in the UK, are being tackled.
BBC World Service will broadcast another Languages Service four-part series called Home which will explore the experiences of three generations of immigrant women from Britain’s Jamaican, Bangladeshi, Polish and Nigerian communities. Each episode will feature revealing conversations between older women who came to UK to create a new life for themselves, and younger women from their community.
Also on BBC World Service will be Young, Geeky and Black, a three-part series highlighting young black female computer coders in Memphis, Accra and Kampala who are challenging the technology industry’s status quo. BBC World Service will also air Global Midwives, following midwives in a London hospital, where many of the midwives and the mothers they care for were born overseas. The programme will follow midwives as they prepare parents-to-be for birth in a country far from home.
Migrant Wives, a digital special on bbc.com also from BBC Africa, will look into the women left behind in Burkina Faso, whose husbands have fled to Europe to look for a job. How equal am I? is an online calculator, available on bbc.com, which uses statistics from institutions such as WEF, OECD and the UN, to allow users to discover how their country and circumstances compare with others for gender equality.
In its 3rd edition, BBC Arabic’s 100 Women will explore through a series of packages, interviews and interactive debates, the lack of powerful female leaders in the Middle East, women’s attitudes towards feminism, and the pressures of living up to the ‘good girl’ image in Arab societies.
BBC Urdu programming will include a piece on Pakistan’s first and only women’s Jirga (an assembly of leaders who make decisions in a rural community), and a look at the ‘Girls at Dhabas’ movement which is encouraging women to use public spaces.
BBC Mundo, the Spanish-language service of the BBC, will highlight topics like why female masturbation is still taboo, women who do not want children, how the media contributes to stereotypes and talk to volunteers visiting some of the most dangerous jails in Venezuela
BBC Swahili will begin the season with a focus on Women in Leadership. This will include a special interview with a female legislator and a discussion with women parliamentarians from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. A wide range of interesting topics will be covered for 100 women on BBC Swahili throughout the season- including a look at the profession of nursing and modern day access to toilets for women.
The 100 Women season is produced and created by the BBC World Service. Audiences can join the conversation on Twitter using #100women.
Fiona Crack is the planning editor for BBC World Service Languages and the editor of BBC’s 100Women season. She commissions material from the BBC’s bilingual reporters based in London and around the world and plans coverage for the world service’s 29 language services for television and digital. Fiona is a multimedia journalist and has been at the BBC for 12 years working across news and current affairs including Panorama, BBC World News, World Service radio and news online. She founded 100 Women in 2013.
Notes to Editors
The BBC attracts a weekly global news audience of 283 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and bbc.com/news.
BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 29 other language services, on radio, TV and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 210 million. As part of BBC World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences. For more information, visit bbc.com/worldservice. The BBC attracts a weekly global news audience of 283 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and bbc.com/news.
BBC World News and BBC.com, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour English news platforms, are owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd. BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and 433 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel’s content is also available on 178 cruise ships, 53 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. BBC.com offers up-to-the minute international news and in-depth analysis for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 85 million unique browsers each month.
For more information re BBC World Service contact: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information re BBC World News contact: email@example.com
The 100 Women 2015 list
The BBC has today, 18th November, published the 100 Women list.
The list of 100 Women is now available and published here: bbc.co.uk/100women
Join the conversation on Twitter #100women
The 100 Women 2015 debates
As part of the BBC’s 100 Women season, the BBC will be hosting debates at Broadcasting House in London on 23rd November and 1st December, both of which will be recorded and aired on BBC World News, BBC World Service and online.
Is News Failing Women?
How does the news represent women and are they fairly featured? Four of the World’s leading news editors, Ben de Pear, editor of Channel 4 News, Kate O’Brian, president of Al Jazeera America and Fran Unsworth, deputy director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC and Verashni Pillay editor- in-chief of the Mail and Guardian discuss the issues in front of an audience of news consumers, journalists, bloggers, activists and academics to look at the reasons and debate what needs to be done to change it. Is News Failing Women? will be hosted by BBC World News presenter, Philippa Thomas in the BBC Radio Theatre.
The 100 Women debates
On 1st December, the BBC will bring together a series of debates from across the globe, asking women all over the world if they feel they have to conform to what is considered the “right way” to behave. What is a “good girl?” and who decides what is good – you, your family, society? How do you react to those pressures and expectations and do you accept or reject them? The BBC will host debates throughout the day at Broadcasting House, while more than 100 conversations will happen across the globe in eight languages. The Universities of Harvard, Yale, Tokyo and Oslo will join a wide range of organisations in the debates. The Girl Guides, Kelly Yang project, Age International, Women to Women in LA, Being Female in Nigeria, a rape crisis centre in South Africa, Afghanistan Women’s Organisation, the 50/50 group in Sierra Leone and the School of the Nations in Macau will take part in the debates live on bbc.com/100Women, as well as BBC World News and World Service Radio.
On 1st December various sessions throughout the day. Debates will take place at BBC New Broadcasting House as follows:
09:30-10:00 and 11:00-13:00 – These sessions will look at Leadership – Are women who act like men more likely to become leaders? Are quotas the only way to see more women in public roles? 13:30-14:00 and 15:00-16:00 – These sessions will look at Image – Are beautiful women more likely to succeed? How much time do you spend perfecting your image – in reality or on social media? 16:30-17:00 and 18:00-19:00 – These sessions will look at Relationships – Is it expected for a woman to be subservient? Is a relationship more or less likely to fail when a woman is successful?
Watch LIVE at bbc.com/100women between 0930 and 1900 GMT A recording of the event will broadcast on BBC World News at 0930-1000, 1330-1400, 1630-1700 GMT
Watch LIVE on BBC World News and bbc.com/100women on 23rd November at 13.00 GMT Listen LIVE on BBC World Service English 13.00-14.00 GMT
Listen on the BBC World Service English 1100-1200, 1500-1600, 1800-1900 GMT 100 Women programming content
Complementing the 100 Women list and debates, the BBC will offer audiences a raft of special content across BBC World Service, BBC World Languages, BBC World News TV and bbc.com – including profiles of the 100 Women throughout the season.
Throughout the season, many of our 100 women will feature in interviews, debates and documentaries across all BBC platforms and programmes including HARDTalk and Newshour. Six young women will create films to document how they respond to the expectations of their communities, and how they conform or rebel.
Some of the highlights: Sunday 15th November 2015 Home
Home is a four-part series exploring the experiences of three generations of immigrant women from Britain’s Jamaican, Bangladeshi, Polish and Nigerian communities. Hosted by Aasmah Mir, each episode will feature intimate and revealing conversations between older women who came to UK to create a new life for themselves, and younger women from their community. Their discussions will explore how their communities have grown and flourished and how the immigrant experience has influenced following generations.
Episode 1 – BBC World Service, Sunday 15 November, 14.00-15.00 GMT Episode 2 – BBC World Service, Sunday 22 November, 14.00-15.00 GMT Episode 3 – BBC World Service, Wednesday 25 November, 09.00-10.00 GMT Episode 4 – BBC World Service, Saturday 28 November, 20.00-21.00 GMT
Wednesday 18th November 2015
The 100 Women list is announced
The list of 100 Women is now available and published here: bbc.co.uk/100women
Youth and youthfulness are prized by many societies. So what does this mean for women who are no longer ‘in their prime’? In a special feature for 100 Women we spoke to five women from around the world who are all over the age of 80 – a former showgirl; a fashion model; a Bollywood legend; a teacher; and a feminist author. We asked them for their words of wisdom about ageing, equality, sex and motherhood.
Thursday 19th November 2015
How Equal Am I?
How equal am I? is an online calculator, available on bbc.com, which uses statistics from institutions such as
Join the conversation on Twitter #100women
WEF, OECD and the UN, to allow users to discover how their country and circumstances compare with others for gender equality.
Friday 20th November 2015
Hidden Heroes of the Frontline
Hidden Heroes of the Frontline follows three nurses working in places ravaged by conflict – Gaza, the Central African Republic and Venezuela. We meet three women living through very different conflicts who share a passion for their work and a commitment to helping those suffering around them. Razia
is an A&E nurse in Caracas, she works in a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the world
and very much considers herself a war nurse. Marie-Ange is a paediatric nurse’s assistant in the Central African Republic – a country embroiled in civil war for decades, it’s one of the worst places in the world for child deaths. Azza is a nurse in a cancer ward in Gaza who has lived and worked through three brutal conflicts in six years.
BBC World News and BBC World Service – TX Times TBC Health Check
Claudia Hammond and Ayan Panja are looking at stories about women’s health from around the world. From the truth about how safe sanitary products are for our most intimate areas to the price women pay in the pursuit of beauty.
And as the BBC celebrates the 100 Women season we look at the hidden heroes of healthcare – the low skilled women who often take on the burden of healthcare in communities around the world.
BBC World News, Friday 20 November at 19:30, Saturday 21st at 07:30 and 16:30, Sunday 22nd at 03:30 GMT
BBC World Service on Friday 20 at 20:30, Saturday 21st at 00:30 and 20:30, Sunday 22nd at 10:30 GMT
Monday 23rd November 2015
Alek Wek’s idyllic childhood was rocked by the civil war in her native southern Sudan. She came to the UK as a refugee and was discovered by a modelling scout. Her dark skin and unapologetically Dinka features were at odds with the more European look favoured for black models at the time. Now based in New York, Alek Wek is one of the most recognised fashion models in the world and a passionate campaigner for refugees. She talks to Anne Soy about being a top model, life as a refugee and being a unique beauty by western standards.
Interviews with five women from the list will run across the week on BBC World News and BBC World Service
Interview with Alek Wek, Supermodel and UNHCR Ambassador (Presenter – Anne Soy)
BBC World News, Monday 23 Nov, at 0430, 0930, 1630, 2030 GMT
BBC World Service, Monday 23 Nov, 1300-1330, 2000-2030 GMT
Interview with Bobbi Brown, Make up entrepreneur (Presenter – Nomsa Maseko)
Bobbi Brown grew up in Chicago with dreams of becoming a successful make-up artist at a time when the Scandinavian look was in vogue. She moved to New York and quickly grew disillusioned with the lack of make-up available to women who didn’t conform to the blonde blue eyed ideal and started to develop her own products. What began as 100 lipsticks grew to become one of the most recognised brands of make-up worn by the most photographed women in the world. Nomsa Maseko talks to her about inclusiveness in an exclusive industry.
BBC World News, Tuesday 24 Nov, at 0430, 0930, 1630, 2030 GMT BBC World News, Tuesday 24 Nov, 1500-1530 GMT
Interview with Sania Mirza, Tennis world female double’s number 1 (Presenter – Yogita Limaye)
Sania Mirza started playing tennis at the age of six and has gone on to become one of the most prominent names in the women’s game. Currently the top female doubles player with her partner Martina Hingis she has won two Grand Slam titles this year and is considered a national treasure in her native India. But her life off the court has won her fans as well as critics with some of her compatriots questioning her outspokenness on women’s rights and her marrying a man of Pakistani origin. Yogita Limaye talks to her about the ups and downs of celebrity, the objectification of women and encouraging female participation in sport.
BBC World News, Wednesday 25 Nov, at 0430, 0930, 1630, 2030 GMT BBC World Service, Wednesday 25 Nov, 1300-1330, 2000-2030 GMT
Interview with Hilary Swank, Double Oscar winning actor (Presenter – Rajini Vaidyanathan)
Rajini Vaidyanathan talks to Hollywood actor Hilary Swank. She has won Best Actress Academy Awards for her roles in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby. Growing up in poverty in a trailer park success wasn’t automatic for her and she has said despite wanting to be an actor since she was eight years old she never expected to excel in the industry. Now a red carpet regular, Hilary Swank dedicates a lot of time to animal rights, homelessness and cancer charities.
BBC World News, Thursday 26 Nov, at 0430, 0930, 1630, 2030 GMT BBC World Service, Thursday 26 Nov, 1500-1530 GMT
Interview with Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (Presenter – Zeinab Badawi)
Fatou Bensouda’s quest for justice began early. As a young girl in Gambia, she was disturbed by the plight of a female relative who suffered domestic abuse. She joined the International Criminal Court – the world’s only permanent war crimes court – in 2004 as a Deputy Prosecutor and has served as Prosecutor since 2012. As Prosecutor, she has prioritised crimes against women and children but that hasn’t silenced critics who accuse the Court of being slow, expensive and only targeting African suspects. She talks to Zeinab Badawi about the allegations of racism and selective justice and whether her gender has been a help or hindrance.
BBC World News, Friday 27 Nov, at 0430, 0930, 1930 GMT
BBC World Service, Friday 27 November, 1300-1330, 2000-2030 GMT
The Conversation: Nurses
BBC World Service at 1930-2000 GMT
The first of two special editions of The Conversation: Nurses airing during the BBC’s 100 Women season. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two nurses caring round-the-clock in very different environments.
Dr Subadhra Devi Rai has dedicated her life to working with those in desperate need in countries where her skills are in short supply. She won the Florence Nightingale International Foundation’s International Achievement Award. Subadhra will be talking to another nurse who isn’t saving lives but helping patients as they die. Rose Kiwanuka was Uganda’s first palliative care nurse in the early 1990s. She has the momentous task of making patients and their families, in urban and rural communities, as comfortable as possible about death. We hear stories and insights from this often overlooked profession.
Tuesday 24th November 2015
London midwives face a unique task – bringing babies into a world that is often unfamiliar to their own mothers. A majority of babies in some boroughs are born to mothers who come from outside the UK. Many only seek help at the very last stages of labour or when something is going wrong, scared that without legal rights to stay in the UK, they may be reported to the authorities. Airing as part of the BBC’s 100 Women season, presenter and BBC Health reporter Smitha Mundasad will meet the midwives, many of whom were themselves born outside the UK. They support some of the most vulnerable women in the country – those with little support from families who may speak little English and have endured deep traumas in their lives. The programme will follow midwives as they prepare parents-to-be for birth in a country far from home, revealing a great deal about how different cultures approach childbirth.
BBC World Service, Tuesday 24 November, 1930-2000 GMT Friday 27th November 2015
Women and Land
Rupa Jha investigates a spate of farmer suicides in Maharashtra whose wives were left to take over responsibility of the farms and Rajasthan, where two sisters turned their land into a dynamic agri- business after inheriting it following their father’s death.
BBC World News, Friday 27 November, Time TBC
Monday 30th November 2015
The Conversation: The Unsung Heroes of News
In the second special edition of The Conversation, Kim Chakanetsa connects two of the often unsung heroes of a news story: a fixer and a camera woman. These jobs can be difficult, demanding and sometimes dangerous, but the women who do them rarely get a credit – or a byline.
Ameera Ahmad Harouda was one of the only female fixers in Gaza when she started in 2005 – she has worked for CNN, Der Spiegel and The Guardian. Meanwhile, Alina Gracheva also found herself in a very male dominated environment when she started her career as a camera woman 15 years ago. Alina’s covered Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Beslan school siege, which had a profound effect on her. She now works for Al Jazeera.
BBC World Service, Monday 30 November, 1930-2000 GMT Good Girl Films
Six young women will create films to document how they respond to the expectations of their communities, and how they conform or rebel.
BBC World Service and BBC World News, Monday 30 November, Time TBC Tuesday 1st December 2015
Young, Geeky and Black
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google – all billionaires, all heroes of the tech world, and all white men. Around the world the booming tech industries are a prime source of jobs, money, and cultural power. But they are largely filled with white, middle-class males – just 1% of Google’s tech workers are black. For the BBC’s 100 Women season, we visit three cities around the world where young women coders are challenging that status quo.
The first episode focuses on Memphis, Tennessee – a majority black city and the poorest metro area in the United States. It’s also home to a group of organisations and passionate individuals working to get young, black women into technology and tech jobs. Presenter James Fletcher meets some of the girls involved in Black Girls Code and Code Crew, and their teachers and mentors who feel that coding and tech offer Memphis a path out of poverty.
In the second episode (Tuesday 8 Dec, BBC World Service) of this series, presenter Bola Mosuro travels to Accra. Like much of Africa, Ghana has a flourishing coding scene. What’s a little different is that here too there’s a big emphasis on access for women and girls. Bola meets some of the people and organisations taking the initiative, from those teaching coding to young Muslim girls in Accra’s poorest neighbourhood, to aspiring programmers looking to make apps and games for an audience thirsty for African content.
The final episode (Tuesday 15 Dec, BBC World Service) of this series highlighting young black women coders focuses on Kampala. Africa faces some big development challenges, and aid has traditionally been seen as a solution. But a new generation of African coders have other ideas – they’re turning to programming and technology to develop home-grown solutions. Presenter Akwasi Sarpong visits Uganda’s thriving coding scene, with women again at the forefront of innovative efforts to address development issues, particularly health.
Starts on BBC World Service, Tuesday 1 December, 1930-2000 GMT