Two Bangladeshi women – Rina Akhter, a former sex worker, and Rima Sultana Rimu, a teacher – were inducted into the BBC’s annual list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.
This year, according to the BBC, ‘100 Women’ highlights those who lead change and make a difference in these turbulent times.
Also on the list are Sanna Marin, who heads the Finnish coalition government, Michelle Yeoh, star of the new Avatar and Marvel films, and Sarah Gilbert, who leads Oxford University’s research on a coronavirus vaccine.
During the pandemic, Rina and her team of aides served around 400 meals a week – including rice, vegetables, eggs and meat – to sex workers in Dhaka who are without customers and struggling to buy food.
« People see our job as demeaning, but we do it to buy groceries. I try to make sure that women in this job don’t go hungry and that their children don’t have to do this job, « Rina Akter told the BBC.
Rima Sultana Rimu is a member of the Young Women Leaders for Peace in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This program, part of the Global Network of Women Peacemakers, aims to empower young women from conflict-affected countries to be leaders and peace agents.
Rima responded to the Rohingya refugee crisis in her community by advocating gender-specific humanitarian action.
She organizes gender-specific, age-appropriate literacy and arithmetic courses for Rohingya refugees as well as for women and girls in the community who do not have 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 in an interview with the BBC.
BBC, 100 Women, Bangladesh, South Korea
World News – GB – BBC 100 Women 2020: 2 Bangladeshis on the list
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