The 12 UK women that made the BBC 100 Women List
The BBC recently announced it's 100 Women list which features 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2018.
The women range from 15-94 and are from more than 60 countries. The women on the list help explore a variety of themes, such as using anger to ignite action, and feature leaders, trailblazers, and everyday women. Out of 100 Women, 12 women from the UK made it onto the list.
Here are the women and exactly why they deserve to be on the list:
1. Judith Balcazar
BBC News - BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list? https://t.co/TiK4EatgV6
So proud of our founder Judith Balcazar
for making this list
— giggleknickers (@giggleknickers) November 19, 2018
Balcazar ran several fashion companies before going on to co-found the company Giggle Knickers, which makes special underwear for women who suffer from urinary incontinence. The idea for Giggle Knickers came to her when she went for an operation to remove a lump from her bladder, which left her muscles weak and she often felt like she was unable to laugh or cough without getting anxiety about wetting herself. Giggle Knickers are sustainable, functional and actually look nice. Balcazar hoped starting a company like Giggle Knickers would help break the taboo and stop people—especially women—from feeling ashamed.
2. Barbara Burton
Barbara set up BehindBras, giving women prison leavers skills to start careers in the fashion industry, after finding herself behind bars in her late 50s. The company's aim states "We empower serving and former women prisoners to build skills through meaningful and aspirational careers. We help them to break free from inequality through financial independence in order to become self-sufficient and build successful lives." Barbara chose bras to be at the center of the business initiative because when a woman goes to prison, she loses her femininity and is deprived of anything beautiful. The company support women who face barriers and are socially excluded and gives them a chance to improve their personal lives.
3. Chidera Eggerue
Eggerue is a blogger, best-selling author of her novel What a Time to be Alone, and an activist. She started the social media movement #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER to start new conversations about women's bodies, and she encouraged women to post braless pictures to show women that nobody has perfect boobs. Eggerue has also posted about toxic relationships, and her book is a guide about how women can be happy within themselves. She is the epitome of girl power in this millennial era.
4. Nicole Evans
"Nicole Evans was diagnosed with premature #menopause at the age of 30. She writes for BBC 100 Women about the shock of #infertility and how she has come to terms with the diagnosis." https://t.co/yteA94yh9g
— Empty Uterus (@emptyuterusblog) November 24, 2018
Evans was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at the age of 30, and now supports other women who are experiencing early menopause. She went through two rounds of IVF, both failed, leaving her in emotional turmoil, yet her infertility journey, she writes for the BBC, taught her a lot and made her and her partner stronger both individually and as a couple. A huge number of doctors seem to be unaware of premature menopause, so Evans started a support group for other women like herself.
5. Julia Gillard
Gillard was Australia's first female prime minister and now promotes education and leadership for women and girls. She was born in Wales, and migrated to Australia when she was just five-years-old. She became Prime Minister of Australia in 2010 and was in power until 2013. Since 2014, she has served as the chairwoman for the Global Partnership for Education, which focuses on getting children into education in the world's poorest countries, and is an advocate for female leaders.
6. Jameela Jamil
Jamil currently stars in Mike Shur's critically acclaimed NBC series The Good Place. She has become one of the most outspoken critics on society's unrealistic beauty standards, taking to Twitter regularly to call out celebrities on their unethical advertising. She launched the social media platform @i_Weigh, which allows women to value themselves based on their achievements and self-worth, rather than the figure they actually weigh. Jamil has also denounced the use of photoshop to show that nobody is perfect, despite what other celebrities want you to believe.
7. Liz Johnson
‘Normalising anything takes a concerted amount of time and effort, but it is achievable.’
Wise words from our MD & Co-Founder @lizjohnson_gb featured in her @MetroUK debut where she reveals the realities of living with a #disability: https://t.co/vNK89mll2X #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/rPh8wsTMiR
— The Ability People (@AbilityPeople1) November 5, 2018
Johnson is a swimmer with cerebral palsy and won Gold at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008. She set up a recruitment agency, called The Ability People, which aims to close the disability employment gap, so disabled people can be beside able-bodied people without discrimination. The idea for the agency came to her at home, while she was watching a news segment about the number working-age people with disabilities who are unemployed. Currently, statistically, 9.1% of disabled people are unemployed, so The Ability People is a welcomed agency to help with the employment gap.
8. Lisa McGee
— Lisa McGee (@LisaMMcGee) October 30, 2018
McGee is a Northern Irish playwright and the writer and creator of Derry Girls, Channel 4's most-watched comedy since 2004. She was recently named as one of the most powerful people in British TV and is a pioneer for women to be at the forefront of television.
9. Kirsty McGurell
'HR put the phone down on my husband after our baby died'
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) June 1, 2018
McGurrell set up the charity 4Louis—which a charity that provides memory boxes for bereaved parents—after her own son Louis was stillborn. The charity is trying to fund a 'bereavement room' at Sunderland Royal Hospital after McGurrell discovered herself how hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with trauma. The room is designed to give parents the chance to deal with the loss of their child in privacy. McGurrell took her own personal trauma and used it to help others, an amazing act of selflessness.
10. Becki Meakin
— Peter Beresford (@BeresfordPeter) November 19, 2018
Meakin has a disability and researches the inequalities experienced by disabled domestic abuse survivors. She also advises refuge services on how to be more inclusive. She funded Shaping Our Lives, a national network of service users and disabled people.
11. Sam Ross
BBC 100 Women yesterday announced its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2018.
— Don't Screen Us Out (@dontscreenusout) November 20, 2018
Ross has worked for 10 years as a catering assistant at Glasgow City College and travels the world representing people with Down syndrome. She was a speaker at the World Down Syndrome Congress and hopes she can become a role model to other young adults with the same condition, showing them they can live a normal life despite their condition.
12. Helen Taylor Thompson
Delighted! Helen Taylor Thompson honoured by @BBCNews as BBC 100 Women 2018: https://t.co/uw8zyZAqnd Helen fought 2 keep Mildmay open & in 1988 opened the hospital 2 patients with AIDS related illness. Pic: Helen honoured @MildmayUKHosp with @LordSpeaker marking 30 YRS in #HIV pic.twitter.com/yvw412z7YQ
— Mildmay UK (@MildmayUKHosp) November 19, 2018
Taylor-Thompson was part of Prime Minister Winston Churchill's "secret army", sending coded messages to spies during World War Two, and went on to set up Europe's first AIDS hospice. She was elected to be on the board of the Mildmay Mission Hospital in 1952 and was on a number of government NHS committees. She also helped found the Community Action Network which is a network of social entrepreneurs who shared a commitment to tackle social problems through business.