Two women from Bangladesh have made it to the BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020.
Rina Akter, a former sex worker, and Rima Sultana Rimu, a teacher, are the two Bangladeshi women who have been included in the list.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rina and her team have served around 400 meals a week, including rice, vegetables, eggs and meat, to several hundreds of sex workers in Dhaka.
Being found them in scarcity of clients amid the coronavirus pandemic, most of these sex workers were struggling to manage food for them and their family members.
While talking to BBC, Rina Akter said, “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.”
On the other hand, Rima Sultana Rimu is a member of Young Women Leaders for Peace in Cox’s Bazar.
By organising gender-sensitive, age-appropriate literacy and numeracy classes for Rohingya refugees, she played a significant role in motivating the Rohingya people.
She also worked for the women and girls in the community who lack access to education.Rimu also has used radio broadcasts and theatre performance to raise awareness of United Nations Security Council resolutions, relating especially to women, peace and security.
“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, BBC’s ‘100 Women’ is highlighting those who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times.
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, are also included in the list, among others.
BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women across the world every year.
They make documentaries, features and interviews about their lives, giving more space for stories that put women at the centre.