Eco-warrior Greta Thunberg and athletics hero Dina Asher-Smith lead the BBC’s list of 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019 – but Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle both fail to make the cut
- The list was focused on women who had made an impact on headlines in 2019
- Greta Thunberg and Dina Asher-Smith were two of those included by the BBC
- Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle were not listed despite a dramatic year
The BBC has revealed its list of the 100 most inspiring and influential women around the world in 2019, with Duchesses Kate and Meghan both failing to make the cut.
The list features women from several fields, including climate change activist Greta Thunberg, British athletics star Dina Asher-Smith and US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
This year’s list was compiled with a focus on the question: ‘What would the future look like if it were driven by women?’
Explaining how the list was drawn up, the BBC said it was looking for women who had made headlines and influenced important stories over the past 12 months.
However, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex failed to make the cut, despite a year where they dominated the headlines.
The BBC said it was looking for women who had made headlines and influenced important stories over the past 12 months, but both Kate and Meghan failed to make the cut
Meghan Markle launched a charity cookbook for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in London and spoke about being a woman of colour in a stirring speech on a visit to Cape Town.
Kate meanwhile appeared on Blue Peter as part of her ongoing mission to encourage children and families to get back to nature. She has also highlighted the issue of children’s mental health throughout the year.
Both women, together with their respective husbands Prince Harry and Prince William, also voiced an advert for a new mental health campaign called ‘Every Mind Matters’.
Commenting on their list, the BBC said: ‘Many on the list are driving change on behalf of women everywhere.
‘They give us their vision of what life could look like in 2030.
Greta Thunberg made the list after a headline-grabbing year where she became a poster child for the fight against climate change.
She sailed the Atlantic and made highly publicized appearance at the UN, where she berated world leaders in a powerful speech.
Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg, addressing politicians, media and guests with the Houses of Parliament on April 23, made the list
Dina Asher-Smith won gold in the final of the women’s 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, and made the BBC’s list
Firebrand US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also made the BBC’s annual list
Dina Asher-Smith’s inclusion in the list caps a remarkable year for the 23-year-old, where she became the fastest woman in British history and the first British woman to win a major global sprint title.
She won gold in the final of the women’s 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, after she had already taken silver in the 100m.
Asher-Smith also became the first Brit to win three medals at a major global athletics championships after the women’s 4x100m relay team won world silver.
US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 30, became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress.
Beloved by her supporters, she has made headlines throughout the year after several clashes with President Donald Trump.
Other women to make this year include anti-upskirting campaigner Gina Martin, Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio and trans woman Nisha Ayub. who was put into a male prison aged 21.
The BBC’s 100 Women team drew up a shortlist based on names gathered by them and suggested by its World Service languages teams.
The corporation said: ‘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 – the Female Future – and measured for regional representation and due impartiality, before the final 100 were chosen.’
The BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019
- Precious Adams, ballet dancer, US.
- Parveena Ahanger, human rights activist, Indian-administered Kashmir.
- Piera Aiello, politician, Italy.
- Jasmin Akter, cricketer, UK-Bangladesh.
- Manal AlDowayan, artist, Saudi Arabia.
- Kimia Alizadeh, athlete, Iran.
- Alanoud Alsharekh, women’s rights activist, Kuwait.
- Marwa Al-Sabouni, architect, Syria.
- Rida Al Tubuly, peace campaigner, Libya.
- Tabata Amaral, congresswoman, Brazil.
- Yalitza Aparicio, actor and human rights activist, Mexico.
- Dayna Ash, cultural activist, Lebanon.
- Dina Asher-Smith, athlete, UK.
- MiMi Aung, project manager at NASA, US.
- Nisha Ayub, transgender activist, Malaysia.
- Judith Bakirya, farmer, Uganda.
- Ayah Bdeir, entrepreneur, Lebanon.
- Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, monk, Thailand.
- Mabel Bianco, doctor, Argentina.
- Raya Bidshahri, educator, Iran.
- Katie Bouman, scientist, US.
- Sinéad Burke, disability activist, Ireland.
- Lisa Campo-Engelstein, bioethicist, US.
- Scarlett Curtis, writer and campaigner, UK.
- Ella Daish, environmentalist, UK.
- Sharan Dhaliwal, artist and writer, UK.
- Salwa Eid Naser, athlete, Nigeria-Bahrain.
- Rana El Kaliouby, AI pioneer, Egypt.
- Maria Fernanda Espinosa, UN General Assembly, Ecuador.
- Lucinda Evans, women’s rights activist, South Africa.
- Sister Gerard Fernandez, Roman Catholic nun, Singapore.
- Bethany Firth, Paralympic swimmer, UK.
- Owl Fisher, transgender activist, Iceland.
- Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, athlete, Jamaica.
- Zarifa Ghafari, mayor, Afghanistan.
- Jalila Haider, lawyer, Pakistan.
- Tayla Harris, footballer and boxer, Australia.
- Hollie, sex trafficking survivor, US.
- Huang Wensi, professional boxer, China.
- Luchita Hurtado, artist, Venezuela.
- Yumi Ishikawa, founder of anti-heels petition #kutoo, Japan.
- Asmaa James, journalist and activist, Sierra Leone.
- Aranya Johar, poet, India.
- Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, anthropologist, US.
- Gada Kadoda, engineer, Sudan.
- Amy Karle, bioartist, US.
- Ahlam Khudr, protest leader, Sudan.
- Fiona Kolbinger, cyclist, Germany.
- Hiyori Kon, sumo wrestler, Japan.
- Aïssata Lam, microfinance expert, Mauritania.
- Soo Jung Lee, forensic psychologist, South Korea.
- Fei-Fei Li, AI pioneer, US.
- Erika Lust, filmmaker, Sweden.
- Lauren Mahon, cancer campaigner and co-host of podcast You, Me and The Big C, UK.
- Julie Makani, doctor and scientist, Tanzania.
- Lisa Mandemaker, speculative designer, Netherlands.
- Jamie Margolin, climate change activist, US.
- Francia Marquez, environmentalist, Colombia.
- Gina Martin, anti-upskirting campaigner, UK.
- Sarah Martins Da Silva, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, UK.
- Raja Meziane, singer, Algeria.
- Susmita Mohanty, space entrepreneur, India.
- Benedicte Mundele, fresh food entrepreneur, DR Congo.
- Subhalakshmi Nandi, gender equality expert, India.
- Trang Nguyen, conservationist, Vietnam.
- Van Thi Nguyen, CEO, Vietnam.
- Natasha Noel, yoga expert, India.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, congresswoman, US.
- Farida Osman, swimmer, Egypt.
- Ashcharya Peiris, designer, Sri Lanka.
- Danit Peleg, designer, Israel.
- Autumn Peltier, clean water advocate, Canada.
- Swietenia Puspa Lestari, diver and environmentalist, Indonesia.
- Megan Rapinoe, footballer, US.
- Onjali Rauf, writer, UK.
- Charlene Ren, clean water advocate, China.
- Maria Ressa, journalist, Philippines.
- Djamila Ribeiro, writer and equality activist, Brazil.
- Jawahir Roble, referee, UK-Somalia.
- Najat Saliba, chemistry professor, Lebanon.
- Nanjira Sambuli, digital equality expert, Kenya.
- Zehra Sayers, scientist, Turkey.
- Hayfa Sdiri, entrepreneur, Tunisia.
- Noor Shaker, computer scientist, Syria.
- Bonita Sharma, innovator, Nepal.
- Vandana Shiva, environmentalist, India.
- Pragati Singh, doctor, India.
- Lyubov Sobol, anti-corruption activist, Russia.
- Samah Subay, lawyer, Yemen.
- Kalista Sy, screenwriter and producer, Senegal.
- Bella Thorne, actor and director, US.
- Veronique Thouvenot, doctor, Chile.
- Greta Thunberg, climate change activist, Sweden.
- Paola Villarreal, computer programmer, Mexico.
- Ida Vitale, poet, Uruguay.
- Purity Wako, life coach, Uganda.
- Marilyn Waring, economist and environmentalist, New Zealand.
- Amy Webb, futurist, US.
- Sara Wesslin, journalist, Finland.
- Gina Zurlo, scholar of religion, US.