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Two women from different parts of the world, united by a common passion, experience or expertise, tell Kim Chakanetsa the stories of their lives.


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Two women from different parts of the world, united by a common passion, experience or expertise, tell Kim Chakanetsa the stories of their lives.




Paramedics saving lives

Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two paramedics from Norway and Australia to learn about the demands and rewards of working as part of the emergency response. Randi Simensen was awarded Ambulance Worker of the Year in 2023 and has 20 years' experience working as a paramedic at Oslo University Hospital, Norway. She was the first Norwegian woman ever to operate a single paramedic unit in 2009. Randi also works as a PhD candidate affiliated with Innlandet Hospital Trust and the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation. Michelle Murphy from Australia has 27 years’ experience as an Intensive Care Paramedic across Metropolitan and Rural Regions in front line and senior management roles. She created the Council of Ambulance Authorities Women in Leadership group and has been honoured with an Australian Meritorious Service Award.


100 Women: Changing how we think about our planet

Kim Chakanetsa meets two climate change pioneers who are are on this year's BBC 100 Women list. Basima Abdulrahman is the founder and CEO of KESK, the first company in Iraq that offers green services and products. Jennifer Uchendu is the founder of SustyVibes, a youth-led sustainability organisation, and The Eco Anxiety Project, an initiative promoting awareness and research into climate change and its impact on young Africans’ mental health. Produced by Alice Gioia


Female drummers breaking barriers

Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two world-renowned drummers to find out what it takes to play professionally in the music industry. Canadian Sarah Thawer started playing drums and singing at the age of two and her first stage performance was at five. Known professionally as Sarah Drums, Sarah is known for her versatility, playing a wide range of genres from jazz and fusion to funk, R&B, and hip-hop. Sarah has performed on shows such as Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Anika Nilles is a German drummer, composer, solo musician, and musical educator. She launched her career on YouTube during the early 2010s and has released two full-length albums to date, both with backing band Nevell: Pikalar in 2017 and For a Colorful Soul in 2020. Produced by Emily Naylor. (Image: (L) Sarah Drums, credit Eduardo Orelha. (R) Anika Nilles, credit Marius Mischke.)


The rise of women in eSports

Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two professional e-sport gamers who earn their living playing online. Julia 'Bish' Robson is a prominent gamer and Twitch streamer who tailors her content for a South African audience. She also hosts LAN events - days of gaming in large conference centers - where people often sleep under the desks in order to play as much as possible. She has to contend with regular load-shedding (full on electricity outages) which impacts her ability to make a living as a full-time gamer. Eefje Depoortere from Belgium is an award-winning television presenter, reporter, and e-sports player who is best known for hosting the League of Legends European Championship. She is known professionally as Sjokz. Produced by Emily Naylor (Image: (L) Eefje Depoortere, credit Colin Young-Wolff. (R) Julia Robson, courtesy of Julia Robson.)


Can a bicycle change a woman's life?

Can a humble bicycle become a tool to empower women worldwide? Kim Chakanetsa meets two cyclists who want more women to get on their bikes. Lizzie Deignan is a world champion track and road racing cyclist. She got into cycling by chance, when the British Cycling Apprentice programme visited her school in Yorkshire. Throughout her career she has broken down barriers for women in the sport. Keen cyclist Alisha Myers is the Global Director of Strategic Information and Innovation at World Bicycle Relief, an organisation providing bicycles and supportive programming to women in rural areas across Africa. She believes that cycling can help women access education and better job opportunities. Produced by Alice Gioia. (Image: (L) Lizzie Deignan, courtesy of Lizzie Deignan. (R) Alisha Myers, credit Leah Missbach Day.)


Women breathing new life into taxidermy

Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who are breathing new life into the ancient practice of taxidermy, the process of preserving animal skin with fur and feather. Polly Morgan is an award-winning British sculptor who uses taxidermy to make works of art. Her work has been sold to art collectors worldwide and to celebrities like Cate Blanchette and Harry Styles. Divya Anantharaman is an award-winning taxidermist and educator based in NY city. She is the founder of Gotham Taxidermy and her clients range from museums, designers, gallerists, and collectors. She’s the co-author of Stuffed Animals: A Guide to Modern Taxidermy. Produced by Alice Gioia. (Image: (L) Polly Morgan, credit Mat Collishaw. (R) Divya Anantharaman, courtesy of Divya Anantharaman)


Are dolls good for girls?

Kim Chakanetsa speaks to a psychologist and a doll maker to discuss the impact of playing with toys on the brain. Dr Lisa Dinella is an expert on how toys influence the child’s brain, their sense of self and even the opportunities they have in later life. She is a professor of psychology in America’s Monmouth University and has given an address in the White House on gender disparities in children’s media and toys. Sunaina Somu Divakar is the founder of a doll company that aims to challenge stereotypes and bring more representation to the Indian toy market. In 2020, influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement and becoming a mother, Sunaina founded Wild Little Society, a company that sells dolls with a range of different brown skin tones and outfits. Produced by Sarah Kendal. (Image: (L) Dr Lisa Dinella, credit Andrew Beldowicz. (R) Sunaina Somu Divakar, credit Balamurali Gurusamy.)


Descending the depths: Freediving champions

Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two freedivers from Italy and Poland about what it takes to compete and set world-records in the extreme sport. Athlete Alessia Zecchini set world and Italian records in freediving. She has recently featured on the Netflix documentary The Deepest Breath. Julia Kozerska from Poland has broken multiple world records and specialises in dynamic no fins diving. Alongside training and competing, Julia also works as a lifeguard and physiotherapist. Producer: Emily Naylor (Image: Alessia Zecchini (L), Julia Kozerska (R) . Background: Alessia Zecchini diving, Credit Laura Babahekian.)


Women in Beirut: Facing up to the climate crisis

The cedar tree is Lebanon’s national symbol: it can be seen everywhere, on flags, banknotes and souvenirs. But this majestic tree is under threat as a result of climate change and has come to symbolise the greater environmental crisis facing Lebanon: heatwaves, wildfires and an energy crisis that is pushing up already high levels of pollution. Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who work with local communities to bring about change. Dr Najat Aoun Saliba is a prominent Lebanese scientist who has made significant contributions to the understanding of air pollution and its impact on people’s health. She’s one of the eight women elected to parliament in 2022, where she’s trying to promote the use of clean energy sources. Najat has also been actively involved in promoting science education and women's participation in STEM fields. Nouhad Awwad is the founder of the Lebanese national chapter of the Arab Youth Climate Change and a campaigner at Greenpeace MENA. From beach clean-ups to planting trees, Nouhad has been engaging youth in environmental issues since the age of 15. She is currently leading the implementation of the Ummah For Earth project, an initiative working to empower Muslim communities on climate action. Produced by Alice Gioia. Sound recording by Antonio Nakhoul. Image: (L) Nouhad Awwad (R) Dr Najat Aoun Saliba. Credit: Alice Gioia/BBC.)


Women living with ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) research and diagnosis has historically been male-centric, often overlooking or misdiagnosing women and girls. This gender bias has led to a lack of understanding and support for women with ADHD, perpetuating misconceptions and underrepresentation. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women who have the condition to debunk some of the stereotypes associated with ADHD. Dr Kai Syng Tan is an award-winning artist and academic from Singapore who uses creativity to promote conversations for positive change around neurodiversity. They are currently Associate Professor in Arts and Cultural Leadership University of Southampton. Dr Jane Sedgwick is a senior lecturer and researcher in adult ADHD and an advanced mental health nurse practitioner. As well as being an ADHD therapist/coach she is an executive board member of the UK Adult ADHD Network. She is originally from Zimbabwe. Produced by Emily Naylor (Image: (L) Kai Syng Tan (R) Jane Sedgwick.)


Born into coffee

Inheriting a family business can be a tall order. All the more so when it's a coffee business, where men have traditionally dominated the sector in many countries that produce one of the world's most popular beverages. While women have a crucial role to play in an industry that supports 25 million rural households across the globe, they're often under-represented at the highest level. Kim Chakanetsa hears from two women who've broken the mould. Heleanna Georgalis is the president of Moplaco Trading in Ethiopia, a company she took on when her father died in 2008. When she arrived, the system of trading coffee in the country was turned on its head, and she was forced to make changes to secure the future of the company. Ana María Donneys from Colombia inherited a coffee producing company from her grandfather when she was only in her mid-twenties. As the first woman to lead the company, and the first to export their specialty coffee, she's overcome numerous challenges to succeed in a highly volatile market. Both women discuss the future of coffee in the context of climate change, and how women can play a role. Produced by Fiona Clampin (Image: (L) Ana María Donneys, courtesy of Laura Victoria Usma Salazar. (R) Heleanna Georgalis, courtesy of Imran Mazar.)


The secrets of being a successful music manager

Kim Chakanetsa talks to two female music managers who have made a significant impact in an often male-dominated field. Kei Henderson was the personal manager of rapper 21 Savage for several years. She is the CEO and founder of Third and Hayden, a management company that supports musical ad executive talent. She’s currently managing Rico Nasty and emerging talents such as Annahstasia, Ben Reilly, Jordan Hawkins and Kenneth Whalum. Amy Morgan worked across the whole spectrum of the music industry. She started out at Island Records, then moved to the independent label Beggars Music Group, where she became the creative director. Amy has managed the British indie rock band Glass Animals, whose recent hit Heat Waves led them to become the first British band to have a number one in the Global Spotify charts. Produced by Beatriz De La Pava. (Image: (L) Kei Henderson. (R) Amy Morgan.)


Women in charge of their financial freedom

Kim Chakanetsa talks to two entrepreneurs who teach women to be money-savvy. Arese Ugwu is a Nigerian author whose work is centred around personal finance. She wrote two best-selling books, The smart money tribe and The smart money woman. The latter has recently been turned into a Netflix show. Shikha Mittal is a personal finance educator from India. In 2010 she started Be.artsy, a social enterprise empowering people through courses and awareness campaigns. The two big causes she cares about are fighting sexual harassment in the workplace and making people – and women in particular – financially literate. Produced by Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Shikha Mittal, credit Be.artsy. (R) Arese Ugwu, credit Ryan OniFOTO Studios.)


Women in Beirut: Promoting women’s rights through sport

Kim Chakanetsa meets two trailblazing athletes who help promote women’s participation in sports. Ray Bassil is the first Arab woman to compete in three Olympic games and win three consecutive World Cup medals in trap shooting. Ray has become a prominent figure in Lebanese sports, breaking barriers as a female athlete in this a male-dominated field. She has also worked with UNDP as youth and gender Goodwill Ambassador. Sarah El Jizi is a basketball player who leads a series of sports programs for Right To Play, an NGO promoting skills development and social cohesion among youth in refugee camps. Sarah works with local female coaches to teach kids life skills like inter-faith dialogue, effective communication, respect and team-work through sport. Produced by Alice Gioia. Sound recording by Antonio Nakhoul. (Image: (L) Sarah El Jizi. (R) Ray Bassil.)


Women in nuclear

A report published by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency in 2023 found that less than a quarter of the nuclear workforce are women. And when it comes to scientific, engineering and leadership roles in the industry, that figure is even smaller. Those who support nuclear as part of the energy mix to combat climate change say addressing this gender imbalance is essential, if the industry is to remain competitive and innovative. Beatriz de la Pava is joined by two women working to increase female representation at all levels in nuclear power generation. Lisa McBride is Canada’s country leader for small modular reactors with GE Hitachi's Nuclear Products Division. She began her career with Ontario Power Generation, where she spent 18 years in a range of leadership roles including nuclear security. Raquel Heredia from Mexico is the Training Manager for the World Nuclear University, an organisation which works towards improving education and skills in the nuclear industry. She’s also worked as a data analyst, consultant and engineer in the field of sustainable development. Produced by Fiona Clampin. (Image: (L) Raquel Heredia. (R) Lisa McBride, credit: Elle Marie Photography.)


Transforming lives through speech therapy

It's been said that the Covid-19 lockdown had a devastating impact on children's speech development. But it also affected the support that older patients can get for their speech and swallowing problems. Beatriz de la Pava talks to speech therapists from Greece and South Africa about the work they do. Emilia Michou is a speech and language therapist from Greece. She’s a clinical academic, spending half of her time with patients and half teaching at Patras University. Emilia was inspired to train as a SLT because of the struggles she and her brother had communicating when they were children. She specialises in supporting people with degenerative conditions or after suffering from a stroke. Dr Sadna Balton heads up the speech and audiology department at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, the largest hospital in Africa and third largest in the world. She’s a paediatric therapist working with babies to teenagers helping children with autism, down’s syndrome as well as with cleft palettes. Sadna also trains care-givers and parents in how to communicate with their child. Produced by Jane Thurlow and Emily Naylor (Image: (L) Sadna Balton. (R) Emilia Michou.)


Conservators: Preserving the past for the future

Kim Chakanetsa meets two women looking after remarkable historical objects and artworks. Kristiane Strætkvern is a Norwegian conservator with the National Museum of Denmark. She’s specialised in the preservation of waterlogged archaeological wooden objects and has worked on one of the world's largest Viking shipwrecks. Susana Fajardo from Venezuela is a Senior Textile conservator at the V&A Museum in London. She originally trained in tapestry weaving and has worked across many forms of textiles, including theatre costumes, marionettes, carpets and leather armour. Produced by Flora McWilliam and Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Susana Fajardo, credit Alice Gioia. (R) Kristiane Strætkvern.)


Women in Beirut: Telling our stories

Kim Chakanetsa talks to two Beirut-based creatives who made it their mission to tell women’s stories. Joana Hadjithomas is a Lebanese artist and director. Her work has been exposed at the Victoria and Albert museum in London and at the Guggenheim in New York. Her latest movie, Memory Box, inspired by her own experience of being a teenager in Lebanon during the civil war, was the country’s entry to the 2023 Oscars. Madonna Adib is a Syrian writer and director whose work revolves around LGBTQ+ rights, identity and migration. Her latest documentary, Let My Body Speak, explores the experiences her body stores: her childhood in Damascus, witnessing the Syrian revolution, and falling in love with a woman. Produced by Alice Gioia. Sound recording by Antonio Nakhoul. (Image: (L) Madonna Adib, credit Elsy Hajjar. (R) Joana Hadjithomas.)


Women in Beirut: Rebuilding our city

In August 2020, a devastating explosion destroyed the port of Beirut. More than 200 people lost their lives and thousands of small and medium women-owned businesses were destroyed. Kim Chakanetsa meets two entrepreneurs who are now working to rebuild their city and keep the economy going. In 2018, Joelle Azar quit her job in banking and, with the help of her three sisters, opened Le Panier du Coin, a food store in the centre of Beirut, where they sell produce made by local female farmers and artisans. On the day of the explosion, she was on her way to work when a balcony fell on her car. It took months for Joelle to get back on her feet, and even though her sisters have now left the country, she is determined to stay, keep the shop open and help her community heal. Nour Tannir is a 28-year-old architect and entrepreneur. In 2019, Nour joined her sister-in-law, jewellery designer Yasmine Dabbous, at EspaceFann, a social enterprise offering women affordable workshops and professional courses in textile, design and traditional crafts. Their workshops were seriously damaged by the blast, but Nour thinks that all the adversities they faced made them stronger. Nour also owns her own brand of contemporary designs for religious rituals, 786 Faithful Solutions. In the aftermath of the explosion Joelle and Nour were helped by local NGOs, including Stand For Women. Produced by Alice Gioia. Sound recording by Antonio Nakhoul. (Image: (L) Nour Tannir. (R) Joelle Azar.)


How to get a good night's sleep

The sleep economy is booming – from hi-tech sleep trackers to apps and cooling mattresses – and its worth is estimated at hundreds of billions of US dollars every year. So why do some of us still have trouble dropping off? Part of the explanation may lie in our sex, as some studies suggest that women are 40 per cent more likely to experience sleep disruption than men. And throughout a woman’s life, puberty, pregnancy, menopause and caring responsibilities may all have an effect on the amount of good quality sleep available to women. Kim Chakanetsa is joined by psychologist Dr Christine Blume from the Centre for Chronobiology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Since April 2022 she has been involved in a four-year project to study the effects of natural daylight and exercise on our circadian rhythms. Dr Anita Shelgikar is clinical professor of neurology and programme director for the Sleep Medicine Fellowship at the University of Michigan in the United States. She researches a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, where a person's airway narrows during sleep and can cause them to wake repeatedly. This can affect pregnant women in particular. Produced by Fiona Clampin (Image: (L) Dr Christine Blume, courtesy of Michael Brauer. (R) Dr Anita Shelgikar, courtesy of University of Michigan Health.)