Nigeria’s Yesufu, Ikpe-Etim, Make BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women List

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SWITZERLAND, NOVEMBER 25 – Two Nigerians; human rights activist, Aisha Yesufu and film maker, Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim, have made the list of BBC’s 100 most influential women in the world.

To get this year’s list, 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.

“We were looking for candidates who had made the 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. The pool of names was then assessed against this year’s theme – women who led change – and measured for regional representation and due impartiality, before the final names were chosen,” the BBC said in a statement to announce the list.

Aisha Yesufu is a Nigerian activist demanding good governance in her country. She is co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, launched in response to the 2014 abduction of more than 200 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, by the militant group Boko Haram.

She was also a prominent participant in the “EndSars” protests, during which Nigerians took to the streets to demand greater accountability from the Nigerian Police Force, beginning with the dissolution of the controversial Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) members of which have been accused of the murder, rape and robbery of civilians.

Yesufu was recently honoured in Nigeria with the Community and Human Rights (CAHR) Awards.

Uyaiedu Ipke-Etim is a feminist film-maker, director and LGBTQ+ activist, who has committed herself to creating stories about marginalised groups in Nigeria.

Her film Ifẹ́, which means “love” in Yoruba, tells the story of two Nigerian lesbians navigating the harsh, homophobic realities of the country they live in. Following the announcement of the film’s impending release, it has faced state censorship in Nigeria where homosexuality remains an extremely contentious issue.

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