Nigerian activist and co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, Aisha Yesufu has been listed amongst the BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for the year 2020.
The highly vocal activist was listed alongside 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.
According to the BBC, this year’s 100 Women list “is highlighting those who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times.”
Who is Aisha Yesufu?
Born on December 12 1974 in Kano State, northwest Nigeria, Aisha Yesufu is a socio-political activist, and co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, an advocacy group that brings attention to the abduction of over 200 girls, from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, on 14 April 2014, by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Aisha, alongside the former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili were at the forefront of the campaign that drew attention worldwide including that of the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
Aisha has also been at the forefront of the End SARS movement, a campaign that drew attention to the excesses of a controversial police unit called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Aisha who was born by Edo parents but raised in Kano had always shared her difficult experiences of being a girl-child in a heavily patriarchal environment.
In her words, “By the time I was 11 years old, I did not have any female friends because all of them had been married off but I wanted to be educated and leave the ghetto.”
According to Aisha Yesufu: “Most of my mates were almost grandmothers when I married at 24.