BBC included at most two transgender women in its 2021 list of 100 women deemed most influential and inspiring.

The BBC 100 Women listing has included transgender women’many’ times since it was launched in 2013.

According to it, a transgender activist who is non-binary and identifies himself as such was included in 2019.  

The inclusion of transgender women, who MailOnline has decided not to name, in this year’s list comes after BBC bosses decided to withdraw from a diversity scheme run by an LGBT charity because of the ‘risk of a perception of bias’.

Rhodri Tallfan Davies Director of Nations said that trust in the BBC’s ability to tackle’very complicated areas’ without bias is an ‘absolute bedrock’ for its decision-making.

But The Spectator claimed: ‘The point is that by including transwomen on a list of women, the BBC is taking sides in a contested issue.’  

The BBC stated that while it will not renew its membership in Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, it will continue working with diverse organizations to support LGBT employees.

UK-born Jos Boys is co-director of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, 'which encourages innovation among disabled artists relating to access and inclusion in the design of our built surroundings'

Jos Boys, who is from the UK, co-directs The DisOrdinary Architecture Project. “This project encourages innovation among disabled artist relating to accessibility and inclusion in design of our built environment.”

Sahar Fetrat was a refugee in Iran and Pakistan during the first Taliban regime. She returned to Kabul in 2006 and has a master’s degree in critical gender studies from Central European University. She is currently studying King’s College London's Department of War Studies

Sahar Fetrat, a former refugee from Iran and Pakistan under the Taliban regime, was killed in a car accident. She returned to Kabul in 2006 and has a master’s degree in critical gender studies from Central European University. She is currently studying King’s College London’s Department of War Studies

Baroness Helena Kennedy, a Scottish barrister known for defending the rights of women and minorities, is director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, which has recently been assisting women at risk in Afghanistan

Baroness Helena Kennedy, a Scottish barrister known for defending the rights of women and minorities, is director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, which has recently been assisting women at risk in Afghanistan

Award-wining TV, film and theatre actress and human-rights activist Leena Alam is renowned for her appearances in feminist television shows in Afghanistan. She fled the country in the 1980s and now lives in the US

Leena Alam, a TV, film, and theatre actress who has won numerous awards and is an activist for human rights and a feminist television show in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, she fled Afghanistan and lives now in the USA.

The captain of Afghanistan's women's wheelchair basketball team Nilofar Bayat

Nilofar Bayat is the captain of Afghanistan’s women’s wheelchair basketball team.

Hoda Khamosh (pictured) ran the awareness campaign 'menstruation is not a taboo' in Afghan schools to promote open conversations about periods

Hoda Khamosh (pictured), ran an awareness campaign “menstruation not taboo” in Afghan schools, to encourage open discussions about periods

Women’s Hour’s Talfan Davies said that BBC is striving to foster an inclusive work environment while maintaining balance with its output. 

According to him, the debates about transgender rights and women’s right are “highly polarized.”

He stated that the BBC is a broadcaster that is utterly dedicated to impartiality and it was crucial to make sure audiences trust us in these complex areas, he explained.

Big Stonewell scheme quitters so far

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Ofsted
  • Ofcom
  • Cabinet Office
  • Channel 4
  • Department of Health
  • BBC
  • Ministry of Justice 
At least eight major organisations have left the Stonewall group's controversial scheme

The Stonewall scheme has been abandoned by at least eight large organizations

“In the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme case, there had been questions as to whether or not the BBC was impartial in reporting public policy debates such as this. Stonewall is active in campaigning for this issue.

“For that reason, we believe that it is the right time for us to step aside from this programme. 

The BBC’s Women’s List for this year ‘is highlighting females playing their part in reinventing our society’. It is led by inspiring women from Afghanistan.

Some of these women are hiding behind pseudonyms to protect themselves from possible threats against their country.

The Taliban in Afghanistan forbids girls from receiving secondary education. Many women were warned not to go back to work after the August takeover. 

BBC stated that the BBC’s “This Year’s List” recognizes the bravery of these individuals and their accomplishments as they face a new life. 

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Samoa’s first female prime minister Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, Professor Heidi J Larson, who heads The Vaccine Confidence Project, and acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie all feature this year.     

Sahar Fetrat, one Afghan woman who has been listed, demonstrated the scale of suffering for the women who fled the country this year when she wrote on Twitter last month: ‘…it’s also been a hundred or a hundred and more days of waking up from utterly disturbing dreams, every morning. It is a sign of hope to lift a burden and push through despair.

Last month women were banned from appearing in Afghan TV dramas and female news readers were told to wear ‘Islamic hijabs’ under repressive new Taliban laws.  

According to the Ministry of Vice and Virtue of Afghanistan, all TV dramas that feature women are banned. 

Director of Nations Rhodri Talfan Davies said public trust that the BBC can approach 'very complex areas' with complete impartiality is 'the absolute bedrock' of its decision-making

Rhodri T. Talfan Davies, Director of Nations, stated that public confidence in the BBC’s ability to approach complex areas with total impartiality was ‘the absolute foundation’ of its decision making

This image, which was presented to employees as part of an internal BBC course set up in conjunction with the lobby group, depicts sex as a spectrum and defines gender identity as 'how you think about yourself'

As part of an intern BBC course, this image was shown to staff.

News readers for women – already required to have headscarves on – now must wear “Islamic hijabs” according to the added rules, but without specifying what this means.

This is the latest act of repression by Taliban against women’s rights since Islamists took control in August. It further undercuts the Islamists claims that they have been reforming and becoming more moderate.  

These laws are contained in the new rulebook of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue. This ministry was under Taliban control and charged with the strict interpretation of Sharia. Its purpose is to make sure that all media supports ‘Islamic and Afghan values.

The rules stated that “those dramas or programmes in which women have acted should not be broadcast.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW), who said that the country was experiencing a decline in media freedom, criticised this move.

All TV dramas featuring women have been banned in Afghanistan while female news readers have been told to wear 'Islamic hijabs', despite already wearing headscarves (pictured)

Afghanistan banned TV dramas featuring female characters. However, news editors for women were told to don ‘Islamic hijab’ even though they already wore headscarves.

Patricia Gossman (associate Asia director of HRW), stated in a statement that ‘the disappearance or worsening restrictions for females in the media, arts and media is devastating.

Another rule set by the Ministry is a ban of foreign movies that promote ‘foreign culture values’.

All programmes that violate Sharia or are deemed offensive to Afghans or religions is outlawed.

The footage of men exposed ‘intimate’ body parts is outlawed as well, but it will not be clear which body parts will be considered intimate.

The Taliban have repressed women from Afghanistan since their takeover.

The ban on women in TV shows comes after all women were confined to their homes and told not to return to their jobs unless they cannot be done by a man (file image)

All women involved in television shows were kept at home and warned not to return to jobs until they can be performed by a man. File image

Girls are now forbidden from school and women told not to go back to work until they can be replaced by men.

While the Taliban claims that these measures will be temporary, until they are able to ensure women’s safety, it has not done anything to comfort those who live in the country and observers.

Taliban governors have also banned female sport, with members of the Afghan women’s volleyball saying they have been forced into hiding after being threatened.

Anonymously speaking on behalf of his team, the captain of volleyball suggested that one of the player was beheaded last month.

Afghanistan, which was for 20 years run by a Western-backed administration, supported with trillions of dollars through aid payments and other assistance, fell back to the Taliban this year following Joe Biden’s withdrawal.

In a matter weeks, the government collapsed and the armed forces fell apart. The Taliban took control in Kabul.

It was amazing to see how fast the military took over. The militants are still trying to figure out the best way to govern the country and address the many issues that face it. 

The list starts with Afghanistan’s near total collapse, which has led to widespread poverty and high food prices. In fact, the World Food Program warned that 90% of Afghan civilians may need assistance in order to survive winter.

In the meantime, thousands flee their country in protest against Taliban rule. It has created a refugee crises throughout Europe that is spreading to Europe.

Regional rivals are also threatening security for the Taliban, as ISISK (the terror group’s Afghan branch) launches suicide attacks against mosques to attempt destabilize their fledgling system.