Two BD women named in BBC 100 Women 2020 list
Two Bangladeshi women are named in the list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020 revealed by the BBC.
Rina Akter, a former sex worker, and Rima Sultana Rimu, a teacher, are the two Bangladeshi women.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Rina and her team of helpers have served around 400 meals a week - including rice, vegetables, eggs and meat - to sex workers in Dhaka who found themselves without clients, and struggled to feed themselves.
"People see our profession as demeaning, but we do it to buy food. I am trying to make sure women in this profession are not left hungry, and their children will not have to do this work," the BBC quoted her as saying.
Rima is a member of Young Women Leaders for Peace in Cox's Bazar.
This programme, part of the Global Network of Women Peace builders, aims to empower young women from conflict-affected countries to be leaders and agents of peace. Rima responded to the Rohingya refugee crisis in her community by advocating for gender-responsive humanitarian action. She organises gender-sensitive, age-appropriate literacy and numeracy classes for Rohingya refugees, and for women and girls in the community who lack access to education.
"I am determined to bring gender equality to Bangladesh. I believe in the power of women and girls to fight for our rights. We will succeed," she said.
This year 100 Women is highlighting those who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times.
The list includes Sanna Marin, who leads Finland's all-female coalition government, Michelle Yeoh, star of the new Avatar and Marvel films and Sarah Gilbert, who heads the Oxford University research into a coronavirus vaccine.
How were the 100 Women chosen?
The BBC's 100 Women team drew up a shortlist based on names gathered by them and suggested by the BBC's network of World Service languages teams. BBC was looking for candidates who had made headlines or influenced important stories over the past 12 months, as well as those who have inspiring stories to tell, achieved something significant or influenced their societies in ways that wouldn't necessarily make the news. -UNB