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BBC 100 Women season returns for 2016

This season will explore women’s stories of defiance, if the internet is sexist, everyday street harassment and will release the fourth annual ‘100 women’ list

November 9, 2016


The BBC has announced the return of its award-winning annual 100 Women season this autumn, based around a list of 100 inspirational global women and their extraordinary lives, achievements and experiences. Launched in 2013, 100 Women seeks to better represent women in the BBC's international news output.

The season kicks off on November 21, starting three weeks of thought-provoking broadcast and online special reports, debates, programmes and journalism, running online at, on BBC World News TV, and on the 29 global languages services of BBC World Service Group, as well as network news.

Fiona Crack, Editor of 100 Women season, said, “100 Women is now in its fourth year, and we are proud of the platform it has given to many inspirational women – using the reach and journalistic excellence of the BBC to highlight the challenges, opportunities and experiences of women across the world. Our main limitation is that we can only name 100.”

“This year, I’m particularly looking forward to some of the stories coming from Gaza, Uganda, Nepal and Kazakhstan. We will focus on lots of difficult issues, including trafficking, secondary infertility, domestic abuse, harassment and trolling. We will explore the inspiring attitudes of women and girls with features about reimaging ‘sexist’ fairy tales, harnessing the power of grandmas and how to plan a wedding for 3,000 in Africa’s most populous city,” Crack added.

The 100 Women list

Each year, the BBC revealed its 100 women list -- 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. Profiles of the 100 Women will be published alongside five high-profile interviewees. Past interviewees include actor Hilary Swank, model Alek Wek, professional tennis player Sania Mirza and International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

The 100 Women season

Complementing the 100 Women list, the BBC will offer audience a raft of special content across all of its platforms.

On BBC World News, Scar will follow two young women recovering from years of self-harm. They meet to compare their roads to recovery and travel to London to meet a woman inspired to open a specialist make-up clinic to help young women conceal their scars and avoid the shocked reaction experienced from colleagues and friends.

BBC World News will air programmes including: No longer a goddess -- following 22-year-old Chanira who visits the young incumbent living goddess in Nepal and ponders how her early years of living as a goddess affected her. E-Sports will follow two of the world’s most successful women gamers to the world cup and will show why they are campaigning for safe spaces and female only tournaments. Death and Cheerleading will follow a group of inspirational cheerleading grandmothers in Arizona embracing life in their final years.

Digital highlights throughout the season

This year’s digital highlights on will include an interactive global special on street harassment. The series of videos will run discussions and solutions around the harassment issues that women experience around the world, including a woman in Beirut who has created an app allowing women to inform others of hot spots to avoid, and the creator of smart safety jewellery helping to reduce assaults on women. The wearable technology will trigger an alarm if the wearer is threatened and sends text messages to loved ones with the wearer’s location.

Girl champions will highlight how young influential women are using social media in the UK to explore issues around equality, sexuality and fluidity in gender by sharing their stories and material on their social networks as well as the BBC’s Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook sites.

Digital video series

In addition, Defiance, a digital special on will follow five women who have boldly defied expectations and stereotypes. Each story is told around a defining moment, including women who have stood up against neo-Nazism; a woman who forcibly gained access to sacred spaces traditionally only men are allowed into; those challenging stereotypes in the beauty industry and the profound defiance of refusing an arranged marriage.

Live events

In Mexico City, a five-hour open festival of performance featuring music, dance, theatre, debates and exhibitions will take place on November 24. The festival will be covered live on BBC World News and Facebook, and the event’s highlight programme will air on November 26 and 27.

At the BBC’s headquarters in London, a live event will give everyone a chance to rediscover some of the unsung achievements of women with a daylong ‘edit-a-thon’ of a major website. Further details will be announced in due course.

Women opinion pieces

Across BBC World Service language sites and BBC World News, there will also be 10 thought-provoking opinion pieces, including a father dedicated to raising a feminist son; the trouble with intense female friendships; a gay woman who felt moved to marry a gay man to gain acceptance; and a worker who takes menstrual leave from her job every month.

The 100 Women season is produced and created by the BBC’s 29 language services. The audience can join the conversation on Twitter using #100women.

Media contacts:

Rujuta Deshmukh

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