Two Kenyan women were named among high-ranking global leaders by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Monday, November 23.
The two, Phyllis Omido and Dr Jemimah Kariuki, joined the global exclusive club after they were named among the BBC 100 Women 2020.
Omido is the founder and executive director of the Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action (CJGEA) which advocates the environmental and socio-economic rights of marginalised communities affected by Kenya’s extractive industries.
In June 2020, Owino won an environmental class-action suit with Ksh1.3 billion awarded to the Owino-Uhuru community in Mombasa and a further Ksh700 million shillings to the CJGEA.
The court also ordered her legal costs to be paid. The National Environment Management Authority (Nema)'s appeal is currently being heard.
For her humanitarian work, Omido won the Goldman Environmental Prize (dubbed “the Green Nobel”) after successfully advocating shut down a lead-smelting plant in Owino Uhuru slum in Mombasa County.
On the other hand, Dr Kariuki made the BBC 100 Women 2020 list for her passion in preventive medicine, especially maternal and child health.
She founded the Peace Club, initiated in response to post-election violence in 2007, and the Public Health Club, an instrumental organisation in running cervical-cancer prevention drives.
"As an obstetrics and gynaecology student, she noticed a sharp decline in maternal admissions, but a rise in complications, during the Covid-19 pandemic – especially during the curfew. Realising that access to health care was delayed by limited transport options, she came up with a solution - licensed vehicles, taking women from their homes to the hospital. This led to Wheels for Life - a free ambulance service," read a description of her by BBC.
The BBC 100 Women is an annual celebration of inspiring and influential women from around the world who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times.
Popular actress Jane Fonda from the United States was also named among the leading women.