The BBC #100Women Event… starring Mom


Women’s rights campaigner, bio-social scientist, author…

My mother, Efua Dorkenoo OBE, and I were up chatting late last night as she waited for a car to take her to the BBC. She is taking part in the BBC World Service’s ‘100 Women’ celebrations that have been taking place throughout October.

I am very lucky to be a son to such a genuinely amazing woman. There is no one who inspires me more.

Here’s her official bio:

“Efua Dorkenoo, OBE, is the Advocacy Director, FGM programme in Equality Now’s London office. She is also a trained bio-social scientist in public health and an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Health Sciences at City University, London. Starting in the early 1980s, her pioneering work on FGM has contributed to the international recognition of FGM as a public health and a human rights issue. From 1995-2001, she worked as the WHO’s first technical expert at their Geneva headquarters and assisted the organization in introducing FGM onto the agendas of the Ministries of Health of WHO Member States. Ms. Dorkenoo was awarded the British State Honours – OBE (Order of the British Empire) by the British Queen in recognition of her work as the founder of the UK NGO FORWARD in 1994 and for her campaigning work against FGM. In 2000, along with Gloria Steinem, she received Equality Now’s international human rights award for her lifelong activism on the issue of women’s rights. Ms. Dorkenoo’s book, ‘Cutting the Rose: Female Genital Mutilation, The Practice and its Prevention’ (Minority Rights Publications 1994), was considered a first on FGM and was selected by an international jury for inclusion on the 2002 prestigious book list, “Africa 100 Best Books for the 20th Century.”

Here’s the schedule for anyone who is interested (all times London: GMT+1)

  • 0930 Opening and welcome from hosts Shaimaa Khalil and Rupa Jha, followed by address from Zeinab Bangura, UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict.
  • 1000-1100 News debate: issues of the day up for debate, including Syria and the Roma. Presented by Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet.
  • 1100 Address by Martina Navratilova, 18-time Grand Slam singles champion
  • 1110-1130 Debate: Feminism and the modern world. Presented by Jane Hill
  • 1130-1200 HardTalk live – Zeinab Badawi interviews Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino
  • 1200-1300 The Big Ideas: Members of our 100 Women give their pitch for the future, and the women debate their ideas. Presented by Lyse Doucet
  • 1300-1330 Lunch break
  • 1330-1400 Debate: Does the media represent women fairly? Presenter: Razia Iqbal
  • 1400-1445 The glass ceiling, economic empowerment, women in tech.Presenter: Lucy Hockings
  • 1500-1600 Debate: Is motherhood a barrier to equality? Should women accept this? Presenter: Nuala McGovern
  • 1600-1700 Debate: Can you be a follower of one of the main religions and still be a feminist? Presenter: Chloe Tilly
  • 1700-1730 Keynote speech and close – Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir

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