For 2023, the BBC has compiled a list of 100 women from around the world who inspire and influence them.
They include Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, the Ballon d’Or-winning footballer Aitana Bonmat, AI expert Timnit Gebru, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Hollywood star America Ferrera, and beauty mogul Huda Kattan.
The list also highlights women working to tackle climate change and take action to avert its impacts, during a year when extreme heat, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters have dominated headlines. An award was given to Afroze-Numa, a Wakhi shepherdess from Gilgit-Baltistan’s remote Shimal Valley who has made a significant contribution to the local community.
An award was given to Afroze-Numa, a Wakhi shepherdess from Gilgit-Baltistan’s remote Shimal Valley who has made a significant contribution to the local community.
Having learned the trade from her mother and grandmothers, she is part of a centuries-old tradition dying out in Pakistan’s Shimshal valley, the BBC reports.
The shepherdesses take their flocks to pastures 4,800m (16,000ft) above sea level each year, where they prepare dairy products for barter while their animals eat. As a result of their income, the village has experienced prosperity and is able to educate its children. Her fondest memories of owning her first pair of shoes are still vivid in the minds of Afroze-Numa.
Neha Mankani, a Pakistani who went to the impacted areas to aid the victims of the terrible floods that occurred last year, is another person from her country to make the list.
More than 15,000 flood-affected families received life-saving birthing kits and midwifery care from Mankani and her colleagues through their charity, Mama Baby Fund, according to the BBC. Her usual areas of practice are populations affected by climate change, disaster response, and low-resource environments.
The Mama Baby Fund has now amassed enough funds to start a boat ambulance that will take expectant mothers from coastal towns to adjacent clinics and hospitals in need of immediate medical attention.
“Midwives play a critical role in helping communities affected by climate-related disasters. As first responders and climate activists, we ensure that women can access the prenatal, postpartum, and reproductive healthcare they require even in the face of rapidly worsening circumstances.