BBC dedicates half its 100 list to Afghan women’s voices

The BBC has dedicated half of its annual 100 Women list to Afghan women, focusing on their stories and voices.

London, 26 November 2021 (PA Media/dpa/MIA) — The BBC has dedicated half of its annual 100 Women list to Afghan women, focusing on their stories and voices.

The series will have a “strong focus on Afghan stories and voices” as the women of Afghanistan come to terms with the takeover of the country by the Taliban.

The three-day special will celebrate women from across the globe, from high profile names to unsung heroes across the BBC’s TV, radio and online platforms.

BBC 100 Women will also be celebrating females from across the world hitting “reset” in a bid to reinvent society, from climate activists to grassroots leaders.

Claire Williams, Editor of 100 Women told the BBC: “For the first time we are dedicating half of this year’s 100 Women list to women from one country – Afghanistan.

“We want to recognize the bravery and the strength of Afghan women as they reset their lives. Returning for its ninth year, 100 Women will celebrate the achievements of women from grassroots activists to global leaders.

“The season will highlight and amplify these trailblazing women who are creating a bold, new future.”

The BBC 100 special will return on Dec. 7.

Meanwhile, Sharbat Gula, the famed green-eyed “Afghan girl” featured on a cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985, has been evacuated to Italy, the government said on Thursday.

“Afghan citizen Sharbat Gula has arrived in Rome,” the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Italian equivalent of the prime minister’s office, said in a statement.

Gula asked for help to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban retook power in August, the office said.

She was helped as part of Italy’s wider evacuation program in place for Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration.

Following the Taliban takeover, tens of thousands of Afghans have been evacuated. There have been repeated attacks in the country and the humanitarian situation is considered catastrophic.

In addition to life under the Taliban regime, revenge killings, and daily bombings, the country is now facing famine due to a shortage of cash and millions of dollars in lost income.

Gula came to public attention around the world when her photograph was published on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. Afterwards the photograph was widely used to publicize the plight of refugees.

The iconic image, taken by photographer Steve McCurry, earned Gula the title of the “Mona Lisa of the Afghan war.”

McCurry photographed her in December 1984, when she was 12 years old and in a refugee camp. She had been living in Pakistan since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the then Soviet Union.

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