By our Correspondent
Joy Ezeilo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and Ibijoke Faborode, co-founder of ElectHER, a non-governmental organisation addressing female under-representation in politics across Africa are two Nigerians who have been listed among the ‘BBC 100 Women 2022’.
Their nominations were made known by BBC in a statement on Tuesday.
Interestingly, the BBC’s list of 100 women started in 2013 as an annual series featuring inspiring and influential women worldwide.
And BBC said the women were selected from various professional categories, including music, sports, and politics.
BBC said those for 2022 were chosen by the women selected in 2021.
But Ezeilo, an international human rights expert, an emeritus dean of law at the University of Nsukka, and the former United Nations special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, was nominated by Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian writer.
Commending Ezeilo for her contribution to women across the continent, Adichie said she had “impacted many lives through the provision of free legal aid to the poor, especially to women and girls whose human rights had been violated”.
Thus, as the founding director of the Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Ezeilo is said to have supported about 60,000 vulnerable women in Nigeria including victims of abuse with free legal assistance and shelter in the past 25 years.
Accordingly, Tim Davie, BBC director-general, commended the women for their outstanding work.
In his words, “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,” Davie said.
In her response, Liliane Landor, senior controller of BBC news international services and director of BBC World Service, said the list is a way of recognising the efforts of women doing outstanding work across the world.
She 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 very first intake of 100 Women little did we know how much the project would grow.”
She added: “I’m delighted to see the women featured on this year’s list. They, like all the women before them, have contributed to our world in incredible ways, and we celebrate this. This is about increasing visibility and giving recognition where it’s due.
As she put it, “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.”
Notably, other women on the list from Africa include, Wegahta Gebreyohannes Abera, humanitarian aid worker (Tigray, Ethiopia); Sarah Chan, NBA scouter (South Sudan); Samrawit Fikru, tech entrepreneur (Ethiopia); and Gehad Hamdy, dentist and humanitarian (Egypt).