Rina, Rima: 2 Bangladeshi women named in BBC 100 Women 2020 list
Published: 02:35 PM, 24 November 2020
Rina Akter and Rima Sultana Rimu
Two Bangladeshi women, Rina Akter and Rima Sultana Rimu, named in the list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020 revealed by the BBC.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rina and her team of helpers have served around 400 meals a week, including rice, vegetables, eggs and meat, to sex workers in Dhaka who found themselves without clients and struggled to feed themselves.
“People see our profession as demeaning, but we do it to buy food. I am trying to make sure women in this profession are not left hungry, and their children will not have to do this work” — Rina Akter once told the media in an interview, saying that she was sold into a brothel by a relative when she was just eight years old.
There she grew up and later became a sex worker. But now she is working to improve the quality of life of other sex workers.
On the other hand, Rima Sultana Rimu is a member of Young Women Leaders for Peace in Cox’s Bazar.
This program, part of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, aims to empower young women from conflict-affected countries to be leaders and agents of peace.
Rima responded to the Rohingya refugee crisis in her community by advocating for gender-responsive humanitarian action. She organizes gender-sensitive, age-appropriate literacy and numeracy classes for Rohingya refugees, and for women and girls in the community who lack access to education.
She also uses radio broadcasts and theatre performances to raise awareness of UN Security Council resolutions, relating especially to women, peace and security, in her community.
“I am determined to bring gender equality to Bangladesh. I believe in the power of women and girls to fight for our rights. We will succeed,” she said.
According to UNB, This year 100 Women is highlighting those who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times.
The list includes Sanna Marin, who leads Finland’s all-female coalition government, Michelle Yeoh, star of the new Avatar and Marvel films and Sarah Gilbert, who heads the Oxford University research into a coronavirus vaccine, the BBC reported Monday.
The list also includes Dr. Sania Nishtar, special assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been instrumental in improving the living standards of millions of Pakistanis through mobile banking, bank accounts and more and Bilkis Banu, 62, of India, came into the highlight after taking part in a movement against the amendment of the Citizenship Act.
Among the 100 women who enlisted by BBC are – Ethiopian footballer Loza Abera Zenoir, Sierra Leonean mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, UAE Minister Sarah Al Amiri, Syrian filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab, US actress Jane Fonda.