Meet the Asian women in BBC’s top 100 for 2017
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Meet the Asian women in BBC’s top 100 for 2017

BRITAIN’s public broadcaster has released its annual list of 100 inspirational and innovative women for 2017, featuring many from the Asia Pacific region.

The BBC 100 Women 2017 – which in fact only lists 60 women at present – features 17 high-achieving women from the Asia Pacific including the Indonesian fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti and the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team Mithali Raj.

The women included in the list will work together in four teams to “share their experiences” and “create innovative ways” to tackle the glass ceiling, female illiteracy, street harassment, and sexism in sport.

SEE ALSO: Indonesia: Fisheries minister goes from strength to strength

Gender inequality remains a major problem worldwide and costs the global economy an estimated US$12 trillion, according to the OECD.

Only 4.6 percent of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in the US in 2016 were female, while around two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population are women, found a United Nations report from 2015. Countries with the lowest literacy rates remain concentrated in Africa and Asia.

In the BBC’s list, an impressive 10 out of the 17 women from the Asia Pacific were Indian – many community leaders working in education or other social welfare capacities.

Dr Urvashi Sahni, founder and CEO of the Study Hall Educational Foundation works to improve the educational attainment of girls in India via the use of affordable technologies. The 24-year-old Indian-Canadian author Rupi Kaur is also recognised by the BBC.

SEE ALSO: Amnesty names 6 women leading human rights activism in Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s wildly popular minister for fisheries Bu Susi – famous for blowing up the boats of illegal fisherman and internationally recognised for her conservation agenda – was also included.

Pakistani musician Momina Mustehsan – who also holds a double masters degree in biomedical engineering and mathematics – is featured by the BBC; as is Uzbekistani mathematician and National Hero, Muhabbat Sharopova.

The list also includes Afghanistan’s Sakena Yacoobi, the CEO of Afghan Institute for Learning and social entrepreneur with four private schools and one radio station, as well as Australian digital entrepreneur Laura Jordan Bambach whose work via SheSays focuses on the advancement of women in creative industries.