Women’s Rights activits, Lucinda Evans is the only South African who made it onto the BBC Top 100 list of inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019.
Lucinda Evans: A Voice for Women
Evans, founded Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Xhosa for Heal our Women) in 2008. The non-governmental organisation based in Lavender Hill, Cape Town, primarliy works with women and children suffering from sexual and physical abuse.
“Our dream is to put a stop to abuse and give the community of Lavender Hill opportunities to turn their lives around and no longer have to live in fear,” states their bio.
According to the BBC, as South Africa faces rising rates of murder and rape against women and girls, Evans has also emerged as a voice for women. She leads nationwide marches, rallying thousands of women in the streets of Cape Town, challenging the government to translate policy into action.
Evans also expressed her hopes and dreams, saying:
“My hopes, as a Khoisan woman, is that we will one day be freed from violence against our bodies, and the bodies of our daughters, sisters, mothers and aunties. I hope that one day we will have a female president. For this, I will continue to advocate and rise in pain to power.”
Evans later took to Twitter to thank the BBC, saying:
“Thank you BBC #100Women for elevating my voice. I echo what the women leaders have done in 1956 to advocate for our freedom. In 2019 it is about the freedom of our bodies and those of our children. For 11 years I have ploughed with nothing, thank you BBC #women thank you.”
How were the 100 Women chosen?
The BBC’s 100 Women team drew up a shortlist based on names gathered by them and suggested by the BBC’s network of World Service languages teams.
The BBC said that they 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.