Her Story Made History

Episodes

SeriesTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Ellen Johnson Sirleaf2018010520180309 (BBC7)
20180310 (BBC7)
Lyse Doucet travels to Liberia to talk to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa.

This five-part series features in-depth interviews with remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy, on the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote. Lyse travels across the globe, meeting women from Iceland, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Saudi Arabia to discover that the victory of 1918 in Britain has continued to resonate through the century. She hears reflections from some of the world's most influential women's rights activists, including former presidents, and shares her own experiences in reporting from some of the most troubled regions.

Producer: Ben Carter
Researcher: Louise Byrne.

Lyse Doucet meets Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female head of state.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

01Madeha Al Ajroush2018010220180306 (BBC7)
20180307 (BBC7)
Lyse Doucet talks to Madeha Al Ajroush about Saudi women's battles for the right to drive.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

Lyse Doucet travels to Saudi Arabia to meet Madeha Al Ajroush, who battled for 30 years to get women the right to drive. It's a battle she's now won, as women in the kingdom will legally be allowed to drive later this year. As a Saudi woman, she says, "you'll always be treated like a child and never like an adult. And that was a problem, and it continued till this day - but things are opening up now."

This five-part series features in-depth interviews with remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy, on the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote. Lyse travels across the globe, meeting women from Afghanistan, Liberia, Northern Ireland and Iceland to discover that the victory of 1918 in Britain has continued to resonate through the century. She hears reflections from some of the world's most influential women's rights activists, including former presidents, and shares her own experiences in reporting from some of the most troubled regions.

Producer: Ben Carter.

Lyse Doucet talks to Madeha Al Ajroush about Saudi women's battles for the right to drive.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

01Monica Mcwilliams2018010120180305 (BBC7)
20180306 (BBC7)
Monica McWilliams was one of only two local women who were at the table during negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet visits Belfast to hear her story. "How could we be locked out," Monica asked, "when we have been tramping the streets and the communities for 30 years and saving children from being killed... and then not to have any voice?"

This five-part series features in-depth interviews with remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy, on the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote. Lyse travels across the globe, meeting women from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Liberia and Iceland to discover that the victory of 1918 in Britain has continued to resonate through the century. She hears reflections from some of the world's most influential women's rights activists, including former presidents, and shares her own experiences in reporting from some of the most troubled regions.

Producer: Ben Carter
Researcher:: Louise Byrne.

Monica McWilliams talks to Lyse Doucet about her role in the Good Friday Agreement.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

01Monica McWilliams20180101Monica McWilliams talks to Lyse Doucet about her role in the Good Friday Agreement.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

01Shukria Barakzai2018010420180308 (BBC7)
20180309 (BBC7)
BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet meets the redoubtable Shukria Barakzai, Afghanistan's ambassador to Norway. Shukria was appointed a member of the 2003 loya jirga, a body of representatives from all over Afghanistan that was nominated to discuss and pass the new constitution after the fall of the Taliban. In the October 2004 elections she was elected as a member of the House of the People or Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the National Assembly of Afghanistan. She was one of only a handful of female MPs to speak up for women's rights, and faced death threats for her views. In November 2014 she was injured in a suicide attack on a convoy in which she was travelling in Kabul.

This five-part series features in-depth interviews with remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy, on the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote. Lyse travels across the globe, meeting women from Iceland Liberia, Northern Ireland and Saudi Arabia to discover that the victory of 1918 in Britain has continued to resonate through the century. She hears reflections from some of the world's most influential women's rights activists, including former presidents, and shares her own experiences in reporting from some of the most troubled regions.

Producer: Ben Carter.

Lyse Doucet meets the redoubtable Afghan politician and diplomat Shukria Barakzai.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

01Vigdis Finnbogadottir2018010320180307 (BBC7)
20180308 (BBC7)
In 1980, the tiny country of Iceland did something no other nation had done. They elected a female head of state. BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet travels to Reykjavik to meet Vigdis Finnbogadottir. Now 87, she was president for exactly sixteen years and remains the longest-serving elected female head of state of any country to date. "That's what I have given to the girls of this country," she says: "If she can, I can."

This five-part series features in-depth interviews with remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy, on the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote. Lyse travels across the globe, meeting women from Afghanistan, Liberia, Northern Ireland and Saudi Arabia to discover that the victory of 1918 in Britain has continued to resonate through the century. She hears reflections from some of the world's most influential women's rights activists, including former presidents, and shares her own experiences in reporting from some of the most troubled regions.

Producers: Ben Carter and Anne Dixey
Researcher: Louise Byrne.

Lyse Doucet meets Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland, the first elected female head of state

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

02Betty Bigombe20190808How this Ugandan politician negotiated for peace with the brutal warlord Joseph Kony. In this series, Lyse Doucet, the BBC's Chief International Correspondent, talks to remarkable women across the globe about their role in the democratic system.

In the 1980s, President Museveni asked Betty Bigombe to go to the north of the country and try and negotiate piece with a notorious warlord; Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army. Her friends told her: 'Resign, he wants you dead. This is not a woman's job.' Yet despite witnessing some unspeakable horrors, she was determined to see things through - at great risk to her own safety. It was a process that dominated two decades of her life and although it took its toll personally and professionally she tells Lyse: 'I have no regrets. I would do it again'.
Correction: the programme incorrectly states that Betty Bigombe works at the World Bank. She has now left the institution.

Producer: Ben Carter

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

In the 1980s, President Museveni asked Betty Bigombe to go to the north of the country and try and negotiate piece with a notorious warlord; Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army. Her friends told her: 'Resign, he wants you dead. This is not a woman's job.' Yet despite witnessing some unspeakable horrors, she was determined to see things through - at great risk to her own safety. It was a process that dominated two decades of her life and although it took its toll personally and professionally she tells Lyse: 'I have no regrets. I would do it again'.

02Maria Ressa20190822The renowned journalist Maria Ressa first interviewed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the 1980s – her media career was just beginning and he was the then mayor of Davao City. More than 30 years later, the two are still crossing swords. Ressa is now on a crusade to combat the ‘fake news’ she believes Duterte and others spread on social media. She's facing charges of fraud, tax evasion and cyber libel, in what her supporters believe are revenge prosecutions.

Producer: Ben Carter

Lyse Doucet talks to the renowned Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

02Michelle Bachelet20190829Michelle Bachelet was a student in Chile when General Pinochet took power in a coup in 1973. Her father, a military man who wasn’t complicit with the new regime was tortured and died the following year. 30 years later – after spending time as minister for health and becoming one of the handful of women ever to serve as minister for defence – Bachelet became president of Chile. During her first term she even had to decide whether to award Pinochet a state funeral.

Producer: Ben Carter

The former Chilean president talks about Pinochet, leading the military and human rights.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

Michelle Bachelet was a student in Chile when General Pinochet took power in a coup in 1973. Her father, a military man who wasn’t complicit with the new regime was tortured and died the following year. 30 years later – after spending time as minister for health and becoming one of the handful of women ever to serve as minister for defence – Bachelet became president of Chile. During her first term she even had to decide whether to award Pinochet a state funeral.

Producer: Ben Carter

The former Chilean president talks about Pinochet, leading the military and human rights.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

02Vaira Vike Freiberga20190801Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women across the globe about their role in the democratic system. In this first programme, the BBC's Chief International Correspondent hears the extraordinary life story of Vaira Vike-Freiberga. She became president of Latvia in 1999, just eight months after returning to the country she had left at the age of seven. "I was elected on the 17th of June, which I thought was a nice date, because that’s the date in which 1940 the Soviet Army crossed our borders and invaded us," she tells Lyse. "I said to myself: 'Now we are getting an exile as a president returning and recovering the country, as it were'."
Producer: Ben Carter

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about their role in the democratic system

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women across the globe about their role in the democratic system. In this first programme, the BBC's Chief International Correspondent hears the extraordinary life story of Vaira Vike-Freiberga. She became president of Latvia in 1999, just eight months after returning to the country she had left at the age of seven. "I was elected on the 17th of June, which I thought was a nice date, because that’s the date in which 1940 the Soviet Army crossed our borders and invaded us," she tells Lyse. "I said to myself: 'Now we are getting an exile as a president returning and recovering the country, as it were'."
Producer: Ben Carter

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about their role in the democratic system

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about the relationship between women and democracy.