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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar is among BBC's '100 inspiring and influential women around the world for 2020.'

"Dr Sania Nishtar is a leader in global health and sustainable development. Since 2018, she has been spearheading the transformative Ehsaas Poverty Alleviation programme, which has improved the livelihoods of millions of Pakistanis by providing mobile banking and savings accounts, and other basic resources," the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said on its website.

"As Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Sania has helped to empower the masses by taking the necessary first steps toward the development of a welfare state in Pakistan," it added.

"And in an extraordinary year - when countless women around the world have made sacrifices to help others - one name on the 100 Women list has been left blank as a tribute," BBC said.

The list also includes Bilkis, an 82-year-old protest leader from India who strongly protested against the notorious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Somaya Faruqi, a robotics team leader from Afghanistan who, along with her all-female robotics team developed low-cost ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, is also on the list.

The list also 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, as well as Jane Fonda, a climate activist and actress.

BBC says its 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. "We 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 - women who led change - and measured for regional representation and due impartiality, before the final names were chosen," according to BBC.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020