Sri Lankan Human rights activist Sandya Ekneligoda has made it to BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2022.
A human rights activist and campaigner, Sandya Eknaligoda has been helping thousands of mothers and wives who lost loved ones during Sri Lanka’s civil war.
Her husband, Prageeth Eknaligoda, a prominent investigative journalist and cartoonist, went missing in January 2010. He was a strong critic of the government and investigated alleged abuses against Tamil Tiger separatists.
Since his disappearance, the mother of two has been seeking justice. She accuses the supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa, of being responsible for her husband’s abduction. While suspects have been identified, they have all been acquitted.
“I am a woman who fights on behalf of others at every opportunity, engages in creative struggle, and overcomes challenges amidst insults and slander, through dedication and sacrifice.” she said.
Global music phenomenon Billie Eilish, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, actresses Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Selma Blair, the ‘tsarina of Russian pop’ Alla Pugacheva, Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi, record-breaking triple jump athlete Yulimar Rojas, and Ghanaian author Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah are also amongst BBC’s 100 Women list for 2022.
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.
For the first time this year, BBC have also requested previous 100 Women to nominate others who they felt deserved a place on the 2022 list.