Four Kurdish women placed on BBC 100 Women 2022 list

But, what has she done to be granted the title?
author_image Kurdistan 24
Portraits of the four Kurdish women selected for BBC 100 Women 2022. (Photo: Designed by Kurdistan 24/BBC)
Portraits of the four Kurdish women selected for BBC 100 Women 2022. (Photo: Designed by Kurdistan 24/BBC)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – As the British media giant BBC revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women for this year, four Kurdish women, known for their remarkable roles in conflict zones, have been spotted on the list.

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska along with other renowned music figures such as Billie Eilish and actresses Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Selma Blair are on the list.

Zara Mohammadi (Educator)

Zara Mohammadi, a Kurd from Iran’s Sanandaj, also known as Rojhalat (Eastern Kurdistan), is on the British media’s list of 100 influential women in the world in 2022.

But, what has she done to be granted the title?

As an educator and proponent of teaching the Kurdish language, she was arrested in January this year by the Iranian forces for "forming groups and societies with the aim of disrupting national security”. She has been sentenced to five years in prison.

She co-founded Nojin Socio-Cultural Association in the city to promote the Kurdish language, which she advocated for a decade. 

Her arrest sparked protests and outcry among the Kurdish population, not just in Iran, but in Iraq and Western countries.

However, the country’s constitution allows the teaching of regional and other ethnic languages in schools, but many in those areas say it is not the case in reality.

Roya Piraei (Activist)

Following the eruption of mass protests sparked by the death of Kurdish-Iranian girl Mahsa (Zhina) Amini in September this year, Roya Piraei soon became one of the icons of the demonstrations when her photo standing at the graveside of her mother, Minoo Majidi – killed in the protests – published.

With her head shaven, Piraei held her cut hair while staring defiantly at the camera.

She has recently been received by French President Emmanuel Macron along with a number of outspoken Iranian women's rights activists.

Roza Salih (Politician)

A Kurdish female politician in Scotland’s Scottish National Party (SNP), Salih arrived in the UK as a refugee with her family, fleeing the former regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

She has made a name for herself as a defender of the rights of asylum seekers, campaigning under the Glasgow Girls group.

She is now an SNP councillor for the Greater Pollok ward. She has co-founded Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan.

Nigar Marf (Nurse)

A nurse based in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani province, Nigar Marf works in the unit of the city’s health center, treating those women that had set themselves on fire. She has been serving in the burns unit for 25 years, including intensive care and pediatric burns.

“The list also reflects the role of women at the heart of conflict around the world in 2022 – from the protesters bravely demanding change in Iran, to the female faces of conflict and resistance in Ukraine and Russia,” the media wrote.