2017’s 100 women and their mission

Saturday September 30 2017

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. PHOTO FILE | NATION 

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The BBC has released its list of 100 inspirational and innovative women for 2017.

This year, the women on the list will be part of the 100 Women Challenge, tackling some of the biggest problems facing women around the world today.

Coming together in four teams, the women will share their experiences and create innovative ways to tackle four issues in specific teams: Those addressing the glass ceiling issue will be in #Teamlead. Female illiteracy will be addressed by the appropriately named #Teamread.

The much talked about issue of street harassment will be countered by #Teamgo and #Teamplay will tackle sexism in sport.

There are still 40 spaces to be filled. As the season progresses, more women who have taken up the challenge in some way will be added to the list.

100 Women is a BBC multi-format series established in 2013. to examine the role of women in the 21st century and to address the under-representation of women in the media.

Women from around the world are encouraged to participate via Twitter and Facebook and comment on the list, as well as the interviews and debates which follow the release of the list.

So far, the African women on the list are President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Nigerian musician Tiwa Savage, Kenyan radio presenters Adelle Onyango and Anita Nderu; Kenyan social activist and mobiliser Naomi Mwaura; Senegalese businesswoman Marime Jamme and Talent Jumo from Zimbabwe, who fights for women’s sexual and reproductive rights.


Adelle Onyango, 28, is a radio presenter and television host at Radio Africa Group seeking to empower young women through mentorship and apprenticeship programmes.

Adelle Onyango. PHOTO FILE  | NATION

Adelle Onyango. PHOTO FILE | NATION

Anita Nderu, 27, is a TV presenter and radio news anchor at Capital FM based in Nairobi. She is passionate about mentoring youth.



Senegal’s Marieme Jamme, 43, founded iamtheCODE and is a living testimony of what and where determination can take you. Jamme taught herself to read and write at the age of 16 and is now a self-made businesswoman.

Talent Jumo, 36, is the founder and director of Katswe Sistahood in Zimbabwe.

She is supporting victims of revenge porn, giving them counselling and legal advice and fighting for sexual and reproductive health rights for women in Zimbabwe

Tiwa Savage, 37, is a famous singer-songwriter from Nigeria but also a philanthropist.



Naomi Mwaura, 31, is the founder of Flone Initiative and Communications Associate at ITDP Africa.

She was one of the lead organisers of the 2014 anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice in Nairobi, which changed the law around sexual harassment in Kenya.

Last but not least is President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 78, of Liberia.
She is the first elected female head of state in Africa, and has lead Liberia for more than a decade.