BBC reveals 100 Women 2023: Australian sustainable tourism expert Susanne Etti named on list alongside Michelle Obama, Aitana Bonmatí and Amal Clooney

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Credit: BBC 

The BBC has revealed the names of the inspiring and influential women on the BBC 100 Women list for 2023For the first time, to recognise the disproportionate impact of climate change on the lives of women and girls, this year’s BBC 100 Women list specifically highlights a group of women leading the battle against the climate crisis.

By naming 28 Climate Pioneers from all corners of the globe, the BBC 100 Women list 2023 celebrates those inspiring and leading their communities to tackle and adapt to the devastating impact of climate change in their regions.

Susanne Etti from Australia, is recognised for being one of the few climate scientists in the travel and tourism sector. Etti is passionate about leading the industry towards a more sustainable future, and her work as the global environmental impact manager at Intrepid Travel, a small-group adventure travel business, has led the company to become the first tour operator with verified science-based carbon reduction targets.

Etti has authored an open-source guide for travel businesses wanting to decarbonise and is a key part of Tourism Declares, a voluntary community of 400 travel organisations, companies and professionals who have declared a climate emergency. She has said of her work: “Today we are seeing more businesses recognising the importance of climate action by setting ambitious goals to reduce environmental impact, investing in renewable energy and committing to long-term emission reduction targets.”

The announcement of this year’s list kicks off the BBC’s 100 Women 2023 season – focusing on women’s right and diverse life experiences around the globe, with special content including interviews, documentaries, features, digital and social journalism, across the BBC’s UK and global TV and radio services, and BBC.com.

The season will look at the practice of child marriage, as 12 million underaged girls are forced into marriage every year. It will explore the spike in climate anxiety concerns with a data-led project, and hear from women whose reproductive choices have been impacted by environmental concerns. It’ll go on the road with Mexican truck drivers in a heavily male-dominated and dangerous business, and also travel up the mountains with a group of shepherdesses who brought wealth and transformed their community in less than a generation.

Notable names from the BBC 100 Women 2023 list include former First Lady of the United States, attorney and campaigner Michelle Obama, footballer Aitana Bonmatí, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, actresses America Ferrera and Dia Mirza, beauty mogul Huda Kattan, AI expert Timnit Gebru, campaigner Ulanda Mtamba, writer Oksana Zabuzhko and feminist leader Gloria Steinem.

Yet it is the new names that make the BBC 100 women list so unique. Among them are the 28 Climate Pioneers, announced to coincide with the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, starting later this month in Dubai.

They include Indian photographer Arati Kumar-Rao, Paraguayan sprinter Camila Pirelli, South African freediving instructor Zandile Ndhlovu, Pakistani midwife Neha Mankani, Nigerian mental health advocate Jennifer Uchendu and Thai campaigner for indigenous and LGBTQ+ rights Matcha Phorn-in.

Other women celebrated for their work tackling the climate crisis in different fields, include Brazil’s state minister Sonia Guajajara, firefighter Sofia Kosacheva, and climate advisers Iryna Stavchuk and Christiana Figueres.

The full BBC 100 Women List 2023 can be found here: www.bbc.com/100women

Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services: “It is fantastic to see the truly remarkable women named on this year’s BBC 100 Women list. This diverse list of influential and ground-breaking grassroots women, who have been making a difference in their field –  from community level to international politics – are an inspiration to us all.

“In a year where extreme heat, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters have been dominating headlines, and where wars have weighed heavily, it is more important than ever that the BBC World Service continues to shine a spotlight on women globally and their fight back against climate change.”

Alongside the list, BBC 100 Women will present a season of specially commissioned content and documentaries, featuring the untold stories of some of this year’s BBC 100 Women, including:

In Conversation 

BBC News will broadcast exclusive conversations with some of the most globally recognised women on this year’s list:

BBC 100 Women In Conversation: Amal Clooney, Michelle Obama and Melinda French Gates 

Each year, 12 million underaged girls are forced into marriage – a crisis that at the current rate will take over 300 years to fix, says the UN. Now, three of the world’s most high-profile humanitarians have vowed to tackle the issue together. In a BBC 100 Women exclusive, Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney and Melinda French Gates talk about the work they do to combat child marriage and amplify the efforts of grassroots organisations.

Airs on BBC News on Saturday 25 November and Sunday 26 November

BBC 100 Women In Conversation: Gloria Steinem

The face of the women’s rights movements in the US during the 1970s and an icon of feminism, Gloria Steinem has spent the last 50 years focusing her efforts on advancing women’s political participation and reproductive rights. Her activism followed her career in journalism, where she was the co-founder of Miss Magazine, one of the first US publications to focus on women’s issues beyond the perils of housekeeping. Now at 89 years old, Steinem has sat down with BBC 100 Women to discuss how feminism has changed over the decades, the impact of cancel culture, and what the future might look like for women’s rights around the world.

Airs on BBC News on Saturday 2 December and Sunday 3 December

BBC 100 Women Documentaries 

Rising Tides, Shifting Futures

With sea levels rising fast, women are leading grassroots efforts in coastal areas to help mitigate the effects of climate change. From Miami’s increasingly gentrified Little Haiti neighbourhood, to the fishing villages of eastern Ghana and the outskirts of Cape Town in South Africa, BBC 100 Women meets the women at the forefront of the climate battle – working against the odds to secure a future for themselves and their communities.

Airs on BBC News on Saturday 25 November and Sunday 26 November

Ride Above It

Balance, stamina and sequins: BBC 100 Women enters the show-stopping world of disabled equestrian vaulting. A small-town troop of disabled children and women in Italy train hard all year and compete to find glory in the ring, doing gymnastics and coordinated dances on a horseback. But the rewards of the sport go well beyond the medals – as they work to deal with stigma and overcome their own fears, one pirouette at a time.

Airs on BBC News on Saturday 2 December and on Sunday 3 December

On The Road with Mexico’s Traileras

Clara, Liszy and Paty are breaking gender barriers in the male-dominated cargo transport industry – they are some of Mexico’s traileras, women truck drivers travelling distances on the country’s dangerous routes. Robberies and abuse are part of the hazards they face in the job – but the traileras are determined to overcome adversity. BBC 100 Women rides with them as they work to make a better life for their families and change the face of the next generation of drivers in Latin America.

Airs on BBC News on Saturday 16 December

The Last Wakhi Shepherdesses

Deep into Pakistan’s Karakoram mountains lies the scenic Shimshal Valley, home to the Wakhi shepherdesses. Every year, over many generations, these women have taken their flocks to high pastures, where they prepare dairy products to barter while their animals graze during the warmer season. Their income has brought prosperity to the village and allowed them to build roads and provide an education for their children – but their tradition is about to end. BBC 100 Women follows the last shepherdesses on their journey up the mountains, on a dangerous trek 4,800m above sea level.

Airs on BBC News on Saturday 23 December

BBC 100 Women at COP28 

BBC 100 Women will be present at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28, from 30 November to highlight the strand’s commitment to telling the climate story. We will be holding a TV broadcast from Expo City, Dubai and from Nairobi, bringing some of our grassroot pioneers together to provide a space to share their thoughts and deeply personal experiences of living life right on the forefront of the climate crisis, amidst a growing sense of climate anxiety.

This programme will air on BBC News on 3 December and will also be available on The Climate Question podcast from 10 December.

BBC World Service Radio

The Conversation – BBC 100 Women special: Climate pioneers 

Kim Chakanetsa meets two women on this year’s BBC 100 Women list: Basima Abdulrahman, founder and CEO of KESK, the first company in Iraq to offer green building services and products, and Jennifer Uchendu, founder of SustyVibes in Nigeria, a youth-led sustainability organisation, and The Eco Anxiety Project, an initiative promoting awareness and research into climate change and its impact on young Africans’ mental health.

They’ll discuss their commitment to the environment, the challenges of getting their messages across, the impact that climate change is having on their mental health and their hopes for the future.

Airs on BBC World Service Radio Monday 27 November

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