As it happened: 100 Women conference

Key Points

  • A hundred women from around the world have attended a conference at the BBC for the culmination of our 100 Women season
  • A series of debates and discussions looked at how things are changing for women across the world
  • The event was broadcast on BBC TV and radio around the world, and streamed online
  • It came as a report suggests the gap between men and women has narrowed slightly
  • All times are local London (GMT+1)

    Hello and welcome to the 100 Women live page. One hundred women from all around the world are gathering at the BBC's Broadcasting House in London for a day of debate, discussion and live broadcasting.


    The 100 women attending the conference, who hail from all over the world, and from walks of life, will be looking at how things are changing for women in different countries around the world.


    We'll be keeping across all the debates live from the BBC Radio Theatre. The event is also being broadcast on BBC TV and radio around the world, and streamed online.


    For more information on who is attending the event here's the list of the 100 Women.


    Opening today's event in just a few minutes will be the BBC's Shaimaa Khalil and Rupa Jha, followed by an address from Zainab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict.


    Here's a schedule of the debates and discussions coming up throughout the day.


    And here's a sneak peek inside the BBC's Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House as the 100 Women get ready for the day's events:

    100 Women attendees sitting down in the Radio Theatre

    You can join in on social media by using the hashtag #100Women - we'll be using your tweets and posts in the conference as the day goes on.

    0933: Rupa Jha BBC 100 Women host

    "A very warm welcome to our 100 women... The day will be full of very inspiring debates, laughter, fights. It has been a month of programming around the issues of women around the world, which are very close to our hearts."


    For a reminder of some of the month-long coverage, have a look at our special report.

    0938: Rupa Jha BBC 100 Women host

    Explains that one of the motivations behind the 100 Women project was the Delhi rape case that shocked the world and encouraged the BBC to look and see if more coverage should be devoted to violence against women.

    Martha Lane Fox, UK technology entrepreneur and digital champion

    tweets: Debating the role of digital in empowering women @BBCWorld #100Women event later - what do you think, does it?


    Zainab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, tells the 100 Women that great strides have been made in the position of women - in politics, business and daily life - over the past 100 years, but there is more to be done. In many countries women remain vulnerable and lack equality. Poverty remains a major barrier, she says.

    0943: Zainab Bangura UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict

    "We must have access to education, we must be fully represented in politics... we must be equal under the law. Most importantly the message must be sent loud and clear is that our rights are human rights."

    0948: Zainab Bangura UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict

    The 100 Women event will give "voices to the voiceless".

    0949: Hannah Devlin, science editor of the Times newspaper

    tweets: In @timesletters today: @AtheneDonald @sjblakemore @RogerHighfield on absence of scientists in BBC's #100Women list


    The 100 Women discuss the World Economic Forum (WEF) report which shows the gap between men and women has narrowed slightly in the past year in most countries. Read more findings of the study here.


    The report's author Saadia Zahidi is among the 100 Women in the studio.


    Iceland, Finland and Norway top the list of 136 nations, based on political participation, economic equality and rights like education and health. The Middle East and North Africa were the only regions not to improve in the past year, with Yemen at the bottom.

    Shelina Zahara Janmohammed, blogger, columnist & author

    tweets: "Ladies and gen... D'oh, there are no gentlemen today!" says @rupa_jha #100Women


    A special programme for World Have Your Say is being presented by Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet. Issues of the day up for debate include the use of surveillance, Syria and the Roma.

    Kate Smurthwaite, comedian and activist

    tweets: #100Women presenter says: "You all look amazing", do they feel the need to say this at conferences full of men? No, Obviously not.


    Here is a quick photo of Lyse Doucet chatting to the contributors coming up on World Have Your Say:

    Lyse Doucet chatting to the contributors coming up on World Have Your Say
    1010: Shaimaa Khalil BBC News

    Co-hosting the World Have Your Say debate, says she is "glued to her phone" and encourages people to use the hashtag #100Women.


    tweets: We're LIVE on @BBCWorld asking would let your phone be monitored if it made the world safer? #whys #100women


    Only a handful of women put their hands up to say they think it can be acceptable to monitor the phone calls of world leaders.


    The discussion comes after a number of allegations against US intelligence agents have surfaced this week, including the bugging of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone. EU leaders meeting in Brussels say distrust of the US over spying could harm the fight against terrorism.


    France and Germany are pushing for talks with the US to find an "understanding" by the year's end.

    Rubana Huq, Bangladeshi textile manufacturer

    tweets: It's mad to monitor. Kills free expression & liberty #100Women

    1020: Jacqui Smith Former UK Home Secretary

    says world leaders know the role of technology in a time of global communications and global terrorism - but she thinks the US appears to have overstepped the mark in terms of surveillance.


    Fawzia Koofi, MP and former Deputy Speaker of the Afghan National Parliament, says: "There are some parts of lives of leaders that should be private. In a big democratic country like the United States, every perspective should be respected, including private lives."


    The debate has now moved on to Syria and the policies for women there.


    The panel is discussing who the friends of Syrian women actually are.


    Nervana Mahmoud, Egyptian blogger and commentator, says: "Who's the friend of Syrian women? No-one. In the end of the day no-one has done enough for Syria women."

    Niki Mendonca, scientist from Bracknell, UK

    emails: I have two science degrees and used to be employed. I was completely discriminated by my employers and potential employers when I was pregnant and had my family in the UK. I'm now studying for my third science degree in an effort to show that even though I have two children, I can still dedicate time and effort to my career. How is it that I feel like this, at this time, in this place?

    1032: Razan Ghazzawi Syrian blogger and activist

    says "revolutionaries have the best idea of what is best for women in Syria. The people themselves."


    More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Assad began in March 2011, according to the UN.

    1045: Lina Sinjab Former BBC Correspondent in Syria

    says: "There's a lot of frustration and disappointment in terms of opposition putting in a strategy for Syria, including for women. Women will not accept that their rights should not be attended to in the future Syria. They are working and producing for themselves in in areas under bombardments. I do not see a future in Syria without women being an important part."


    The 100 Women are now voting on the question: "Are the Roma community discriminated against?"


    Klara Dobrev, a Hungarian lawyer and economist, says: "In my country 10% of the population are Roma. But we imagine that children in our schools know nothing about the culture, the language, and how to live with each other. Even in the media, we rarely see anything about that. So yes, I think they are oppressed. This is definitely a responsibility of each of us."


    The Roma community has been in the media after a young girl called Maria was found in a Roma camp in Greece after a police raid. The couple who were caring for her have been charged with child abduction but insist the girl was given to them legitimately. A Bulgarian couple suspected of being the biological parents of Maria have been questioned by police.


    Martina Navratilova, 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, is now addressing the conference.


    Lyse Doucet announces an "overwhelming majority" of the 100 Women believe the Roman community are discriminated against.

    Caroline Criado-Perez, British journalist and feminist campaigner

    tweets: In Serbia, Roma people don't have access to identity cards, and therefore education, health etc #100Women

    Joseph Quaye Amoo

    tweets: Thank you @BBCWorld for organizing #100Women. It's a power-shifting platform & I believe if it's sustained, the balance of power will shift


    Martina Navratilova, 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, tells the BBC 100 Women she had to break a big boundary and leave her country in order to succeed.

    Here she is at her last Ladies Final at Wimbledon in 1994:

    Navratilova, Martina - USA tennis player appearing in her last Ladies Final at Wimbledon in 1994
    Oby ezekwesili, a passionate believer in public good from Abuja, Nigeria

    tweets: Please break boundaries, be yourself and believe in yourself- says tennis Legend, Martina Navratilova #100Women


    Martina Navratilova : "If you believe in yourself you can have what you want... Tennis players who don't believe they can win, will lose."

    Jacqui Smith, former UK Home Secretary

    tweets: Martina Navratilova on coming out 'I could be myself and know I saved others' lives as a role model'. She's bloody great! #100Women

    Lizi Gray, feminist socialist with a passion for burlesque

    tweets: BBC - Where’s the best place to be a woman? Nowhere can be "best" if domestic violence & sexual abuse are still commonplace #100Women


    Welcome if you are just joining us. We are coming live from the BBC's Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London with 100 women from all across the world and all sorts of areas of society. Please let us know what you think and join in the discussions with the contact information under the live stream.


    The BBC's Jane Hill is now hosting a debate on feminism and the modern world.


    British feminist writer Natasha Walter is among the women discussing feminism. She says she is proud to be a feminist, and that men should be feminists too. "Feminism is all about equality and freedom. It's great more men than ever before are now coming forward and saying 'I am a feminist'," she says.


    BBC foreign correspondent Ann Leslie talks about how difficult it used to be for women to get mortgages, highlighting how society has changed and the impact of feminism over the years.

    1122: Anna Arrowsmith English porn film director

    Says she no longer considers herself a feminist. She says: "One of the issues we have with feminism at the moment is that we have to move on and look at men and how men are gendered."

    Judith Webb, first female commander of all-male British Army squadron

    tweets: (journalist) Ann Leslie relating story about getting mortgage as a single woman. I was refused but reapplied as Captain Griggs-instantly granted #100Women

    Susana Klien, Peruvian feminist & head of programme at international women's rights and development organisation

    tweets: Sad that the panel about #feminism at #100Women does not have more BME women. Important to remind that gender, class and ethnicity intersect.

    Dhardon Sharling, an exile from Tibet

    tweets: BBC#100Women inspiring. But somehow missed hearing Tibet and Tibetan women


    Coming soon. The BBC's Zeinab Badawi interviews Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino.


    Mrs Bonino is now speaking to the BBC's Zeinab Badawi for HardTalk. We will keep you up to date with any major news lines and videos of the interview will be available online later.

    Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino
    1134: Emma Bonino Italian Foreign Minister

    says Italy has tradition, a conservative environment, but has changed greatly over the last 30 years, so there is hope for the future.


    Emma Bonino is now talking about immigration. She says Italy has five million legal immigrants. But she says there is "no miracle solution" to the mass movement of people wanting to escape poverty around the world and it is not a problem that Italy can tackle alone.


    It comes after hundreds of migrants trying to reach Europe have drowned in recent weeks. Southern EU states including Italy and Malta have relaunched appeals for more support and resources.


    Time for a recap of what's going on at the 100 women conference at the BBC's Broadcasting House. One hundred women from around the world are debating how things are changing for women across the world.

    Zeinab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict

    Zainab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, opened the 100 Women conference this morning. She spoke of her own experiences in Sierra Leone where she and her mother were thrown out by her father after she refused to be married off aged 12. You can watch her speech here.


    Violence against women has been one of the main issues discussed so far today. The BBC's Orla Guerin says there is little hope of justice for victims of sexual violence in Egypt, where human rights campaigners say the problem has reached epidemic proportions.


    Martina Navratilova has also talked about the importance of what she calls "the three Bs" - breaking boundaries, being yourself and believing in yourself.


    And there's been a debate about feminism and the modern world.


    In just a few minutes, members of our 100 Women will give their pitch for the future, and debate their ideas in Big Ideas, presented by the BBC's Lyse Doucet.


    Meanwhile people are getting involved in the discussion. Do you have words of wisdom from a woman who has played an important role in your life? BBC World Service listeners from around the world are sharing theirs on the World Service Facebook page here.


    BBC News website readers share their thoughts on 21st Century life as a woman: Your views: How women view the world


    Six members of the 100 Women are now giving their pitch for the future in the Big Ideas debate.


    Cherie Blair says women should have access to support for their business ideas through mentoring schemes.

    1211: Cherie Blair British barrister and philanthropist

    "I think we need to help women by stretching out our hands to help them gain financial independence. Across the world women are running businesses but are facing disadvantages - there is a huge problem with women being taken seriously in business, and they don't get the same skills, education."

    1215: Cherie Blair British barrister and philanthropist

    "I've got a global online mentoring platform, which has helped women in 55 countries. We have mentors in 45 countries, it's like having a dating agency but a bit better than that," she says.

    1217: Obiageli Ezekwesili Senior adviser, Open Society Foundation

    says women must leverage their population. "There is no reason for women to be weak," she says. "Women can deliver by asking for results." She wants less corruption.


    Writer and activist Selma James says carers should get a living wage. "If I don't go out to work, I'm considered worthless," she says. "How can a mother be worthless?"


    Fawzia Koofi, MP and former Deputy Speaker in the Afghan National Parliament, calls for a separate budget for girls' education. "We need to promote access to education - we want a world with no illiteracy rate," she says.


    Childrens' TV presenter Cerrie Burnell says women need to be empowered to portray their lives through creativity - theatre, literature and television. She says commissioners should invest in new stories of women, and women with disabilities.


    Claudia Paz y Paz, attorney general of Guatemala, calls for greater prosecution of those who perpetrate violence against women.


    In the first vote, 24% of the 100 Women have voted for the Big Idea from Claudia Paz y Paz, attorney general of Guatemala. She is calling for greater prosecution of those who perpetrate violence against women.


    Less corruption, the living wage and a separate budget for education all got 18% of the votes each.


    Fatima Said, a British-Egyptian pro-democracy campaigner, says: "I think one aspect that is being overlooked in this debate is that in many areas around the world, these ideas cannot be implemented in the environments that women live in."

    BBC @wsaudiences

    tweets: #100Women at #BBC get over 5,000 mentions on Twitter in three hours. Trending in UK. Join the conversation

    Helen and the Sirens, all-female baroque band, in London

    tweets: Listening to the BBC's #100Women. One word: Inspiring. Everyone should listen.

    Dilisha Patel, a women's rights activist

    tweets: Great that #100Women isn't just women getting together saying #men are the problem, but working together is the solution.

    Razan Ghazzawi, a Syrian blogger and activist

    tweets: I heart this speaker: Neo-Liberalism is an enemy to women, we need to think radically and change the social order." #100Women #FB

    Shahzeb Mahmood from Bangladesh

    writes on The BBC World Service Facebook page: In Bangladesh, if the class distinction is overlooked, there hasn't been substantial progress (on gender inequality) since the beginning of the 21st Century. That is not to say that there hasn't been any progress whatsoever. The main beneficiary of change has been women coming from middle class, upper middle class and upper class. Much of this problem, needless to say, is because of volatile political situation in the country.


    The 100 Women are still debating the six Big Ideas and others that they believe merit discussion.


    Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican-born British priest, says: "I think as women, we are the ones that are socialising the next generation. Where are we going wrong?

    "If we are going to achieve some of these great ideas, we are going to have to start getting it right in the way we socialise our boys and girls... so that we grow a world where we mutually respect and care for one another alike."


    TV presenter Cerrie Burnell says her idea of better representation for women is "very inclusive". "It involves men as well as women," she says. "When I say better media representation, I mean I want to see something real."


    Fereshteh Khosroujerdy, who is a visually impaired Iranian singer, says: "What about women with disabilities? What about severe disabilities such as blindness... or physical problems? They are invisible and we need to think about that because they are part of the society."

    Gail Rebuck, chief executive of Random House UK

    tweets: @BBC #100Women pitch Big Idea. Women should mobilise & use collective power. Great audience. Only BBC could organise this event.

    Nancy Gaciru

    comments on the BBC World Service Facebook page: My grandmother told me, "remember you are not of this world so don't let the world define you and don't let your body (made for this world) limit you".

    Soha from Alexandria, Egypt

    emails: I'm 28-years old, I'm single and I work as a journalist. I graduated from law school in Alexandria. My family of course encourages girls' education and they are proud of my academic and professional achievements so far. Yet like many families here in the Middle East, there's some that hold on to the belief that the woman's place in the end is at home and nothing can better or surpass raising a family and being a mum.


    The 100 Women are now taking a short break from the conference, so we will be back at about 13:30 with more debates and discussions.


    Welcome back. The next debate will look at whether the media represents women fairly. It will be presented by Razia Iqbal.

    1337: Nadia Al-Sakkaf Editor, Yemen Times

    says women in Yemen do not make the news. "They are not objectified like in the Western world. It's a very conservative society," she says.

    1339: Gurinder Chadha British-Asian film director

    is also taking part on this debate, which is being broadcast on the World Service. She says the interesting thing today is the control women have in the digital space, such as blogs, which has been a success. However she says there are still discrepancies in the film industry.

    "Sadly in my own business it's hard to get a film off the ground if there is a female protagonist," she says.

    1342: Moe Thuzar Aung Deputy Director, Myanmar state broadcaster

    describes the culture in Burma, also known as Myanmar, where most journalists are women.

    1345: Nadia Al-Sakkaf Editor, Yemen Times

    says female journalists are a rarity in Yemen, but when they do make it, they excel. "I think women are better communicators and I suppose that makes them better journalists."

    1352: Gurinder Chadha British-Asian film director

    says it is not until women are in commissioning positions in the film industry that the portrayal of women will improve. She says: "It's not that it doesn't make economic sense to make films that feature women, because women go to the cinema... It's not that most men that run film financing companies are monsters, it's just the way they see the world."


    Up next, the BBC's Lucy Hockings is hosting a special World News Impact programme which will cover topics including the glass ceiling, economic empowerment and women in technology.


    A group of professors has criticised the BBC for failing to include a single scientist in its 100 Women list, a selection of influential females from around the world. In a letter to The Times, the academics accused the corporation of reinforcing stereotypes around female careers by not inviting any scientific researchers to its event.

    Dame Athene Donald, Gender Equality Champion at the University of Cambridge and one of the signatories, welcomed the celebration of female careers, but said: "Despite the many notable examples of brilliant female scientists from around the world, their complete omission from the list yet again reinforces old-fashioned stereotypes of 'suitable' careers for women, giving a subliminal but damaging message to young girls considering their future options."


    The BBC has responded to the criticism. A spokeswoman said: "The 100 women conference does feature women from the world of science, with attendees such as Claire Bertschinger, director of tropical nursing studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Russian-Finnish-Indian engineer Irina Chakraborty; and technology entrepreneur Martha Lane-Fox."

    The event, which is being streamed live on the BBC website, also includes a discussion about women in science and technology.

    Alice in Nairobi, Kenya

    emails: We women we are our own worst enemies. We see ourselves as individuals and have never looked at ourselves as a block. We have a lot of potential to influence change in all sectors of life and society, but the majority of us do not use it. The reason is lack of awareness and fear. Fear is our worst enemy and the tool used to divide us.

    Siti Sarifah Mustikarini Sutalaksana in Indonesia

    emailed to say: I'm a single mother of five children and I'm a politician. Through politics I am trying to promote awareness to my people that women workers are as equally hardworking as their male workers. Yet, women are still exploited and sexually harassed. I'm now in my sixth year of helping Indonesian workers overseas and thank God I've helped many hundreds of women workers who are exploited and forced into illegal labour return home.

    Gaone in Botswana

    tweets: My country Botswana strives to empower women over education but still lacks on health and politics. Gap.. #100Women

    Helen Clark, head of UN development programme & former New Zealand PM

    tweets: Great to be part of @BBCWorld #100Women events in London today: wonderful women gathered here to share perspectives.

    Brad Lemon from Melbourne

    emails: Every brain has the same potential, no matter what body it's in - black or white, male or female. We need to recognise brains and consciousness as being equal across gender and race. We live with patriarchy, but we should fight it. Women in impoverished countries need help from all of us, desperately.


    This debate has seen the 100 Women members discuss the portrayal of women in films and music, quotas in business, and the challenges women face when they step into the limelight. Remember you can let us know what you think using the contact details below.

    Teresa in Florida, USA

    emails her thoughts: One of the things I can take away from this conference is that women already stand in solidarity for one another. We share the same dreams, hopes and aspirations. Now, we must go forth from here and be willing to give our utmost to delivering the message to all of our colleagues, friends, co-workers and family members and never cease in bringing awareness to all.

    Minna Salami, writer, blogger & commentator

    tweets: The tagline for #100Women is "half the world speaks" and credit to organisers for it is indeed a diverse group of women here.

    Camellia Le

    writes on BBC Vietnamese Facebook: When will domestic violence be over? Vietnam has been developing but why are people still not interested in the issue of women or abusing children? There should be a hotline and centre to support the victims of domestic violence.

    Oanh Hai Khuat, founder and director of the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives

    says on Google Hangout: Being a woman is a wonderful thing but not all women have enough support or strength to overcome life challenges. I agree that Vietnamese women have less freedom in making decisions and they always carry their family into decision making.


    Heather Jackson, chief executive of An Inspirational Journey and founder of The Women's Business Forum, says it is not about getting women into the boardroom in the UK, it is about retaining them there.

    1424: Michaela Bergman European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

    says: "There are not only glass ceilings but also glass walls." She believes that women are struggling to get enough experience within a company to help them rise to the top.


    Missed this morning's debates? Catch up by watching a video of Zainab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, opening the conference. She spoke of her own experience in Sierra Leone where she and her mother were thrown out by her father after she refused to be married off aged 12.


    The former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, who is currently head of the UN Development Programme, and Egyptian blogger and commentator Nervana Mahmoud, discussed how to improve the lives of women in Syria.


    Former tennis champion Martina Navratilova revealed the three principles which have guided her throughout her life. The 18-time Grand Slam singles winner spoke about the need to "break boundaries, be yourself and believe in yourself". Watch her speech here.


    The panel of women also discussed the meaning of feminism in the 21st Century. On the panel was the director of porn films Anna Span, transgender broadcaster Paris Lees, journalist Ann Leslie and British feminist Natasha Walter debate feminism. Watch the debate here.


    There was also a special BBC Hardtalk with Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino.


    The BBC World Service's Impact programme is now looking at women in science and technology. Joining the debate is Dame Athene Donald, gender equality champion at the University of Cambridge, who was one of the signatories of a letter in The Times criticising the BBC for failing to include a scientist in the 100 Women list.

    1441: Irina Chakraborty Engineer

    says there is a "dark side" to more women in India studying science and technology. She says it is often so they can "help their sons with their homework" rather than working in the industry.

    1441: Fatima Said, a British-Egyptian pro-democracy advocate

    tweets: It's not that there aren't great female scientists out there, it's the fact that they're not getting the recognition they deserve #100Women


    Dame Athene Donald, gender equality champion at the University of Cambridge, says motherhood is often held up as a reason for why so many women drop out of the science industry but it may not be the full truth.

    She says working in a male-dominated environment is often quite uncomfortable and if steps aren't taken to help women, they may drop out - motherhood may look like the reason but it is more complicated than that.

    Juni Farmanfarmaian from London

    emails: Amazing women, fantastic discussions, wonderful event. However it all feels a bit like preaching to the converted. The essential component missing in this conference is men. Men are the ones who need to hear and listen to this. Our sons, our brothers, our fathers, all created by us. In their ignorance, they suppress us, in their fear, they oppress us, most of the time they just depress us! Of course women need to be educated to raise educated and more evolved and more humane sons, it is the only answer, but it is a chicken and egg question. How do we break the cycle?

    Sarah Gayton from Sunderland, UK

    comments on the BBC World Service Facebook page: I think the fact the BBC's Director-General has made the priority to get more women onto the radio is amazing and I hope ladies start to realise they can have a voice to broadcast. This will start to give views and debates from a female perspective and will do amazing things for both men and women listeners.

    Anna Arrowsmith, an English porn film director

    tweets: It's not enough to talk to men, we must listen to them too and not see it as a turf war.

    Heorte from Maidstone, Kent

    emails: Feminism has been a term over-used by the media, which now elicits a "switching off" reaction, or worse, male ridicule and antagonism. Could it be time for a change in language so that "equalism" replaces the word, thinking and hopefully concepts? Do others not feel that young girls are marginalised? Or imagine two street children, one girl and one boy. Do they not have equal needs? As mothers, we would scoop these children into our hearts equally if we could.

    Stefano Imbriano, English graduate & programme director for educational charity Debate Mate

    tweets: If you have morals, you're a feminist. Feminism is just a movement that believes men and women are equal. #100Women

    Marta Cooper, British-Italian journalist & social media editor at the Telegraph newspaper

    tweets: Good criticisms from audience on how debate on feminism was too short and glossed over how women experience equality differently #100Women


    May Tha-Hla, a Burmese charity founder, tells the 100 Women that the glass ceiling has never existed in Burma and that other countries could learn from it.

    "We have never been paid differently for a similar job," she says.


    A reminder you can join in on social media by using the hashtag #100Women - we'll be using your tweets and posts in the conference as the day goes on.

    Prince Codjoe from Accra, Ghana

    tweets: #100Women from around the globe are talking a lot of sense on @bbcworldservice #gijnewmedia. tune in


    Comedian Shazia Mirza, who previously worked as a science teacher, says the subject should be "sexed up" to encourage girls to follow it as a career.

    Jia Wang from Tianjin, China

    emails: I think the 100 women are great. They have their own opinions and they think independently. Sometimes, because of the group psychology, people don't dare to think for themselves. I consider that we should all think independently from now on.

    BBC World Have Your Say 1501:

    tweets: Are you a mother, do you have a #career? Hear #100women discuss if women really can have both #family


    The conference is asked to vote: Is motherhood a barrier to equality? Let us know your thoughts.

    Selin Girit BBC News

    tweets: "Martha Lane Fox: By 2040 only 1% of technology sector will be made up of women #100women"


    The results are in. About 70% of the 100 Women conference says motherhood is a barrier to equality.


    Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, says: "I think I am pretty defined by being a mother - possibly more than I would like to be."

    1513: Klara Dobrev Hungarian lawyer and economist

    says: "Being a mother is the most important part of my life, but it's not the only part of my life. The model I want to show my children is that you can really be a good mother as well as having a good career. And I hope my husband shows the same example."


    Irina Zhukova tweets: I'm a single mother of three sons, but what I really want is not just be a mother but also be a personality.

    1516: Jody Day Gateway Women network

    describes a "tumble weed moment" when she reveals in a conversation that she doesn't have children.

    "You're seen somehow as a failed woman," she says.


    Justine Roberts answers a question from the audience about why the name of Mumsnet focuses on mothers rather than both parents. She says: "Parentsnet isn't as catchy, so we fudged it.... but the truth is men do not self identify as parents."


    UK-based Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie is applauded when she says men are not recognised by society as successful if their main ambition is to provide and care for their children.

    Deborah Hopkins, humanist, feminist, British mother and political activist

    tweets: #100Women discussion about motherhood and equality evades patriarchy & goes straight to "wot about the men"? Structural inequality ignored

    1527: Zainab Hawa Bangura UN special representative on sexual violence

    says men make women feel guilty, to choose between motherhood and a career.

    @BBCRosAtkins World Have Your Say presenter

    tweets: At 18:00 GMT, #100Women becomes #5men. Looking forward to hosting @BBC_WHYS as my 4 guests + male listeners respond to many issues raised today.


    What advice would you give a woman who has just found out she's pregnant? That's the current question being debated on World Have Your Say.


    Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, says her advice is - if the woman has a partner - to make it clear from the beginning that raising a child is a shared experience.


    Stay-at-home mother Laura Perrins says she is "frustrated" about the tone of this debate as it assumes privilege.

    She says: "For the vast majority of mums and dads, work is a way for providing for families. It's not that they are choosing between them. Their families are the most important thing."


    Writer Kamila Shamsie says: "Motherhood is not a barrier to equality but the way childcare is organised is."

    1551: Ingrid Betancourt French-Colombian former politican

    describes her experience of being kidnapped and held in captivity for more than six years; being taken away from her children and then returning when they were adults.

    She says: "I asked myself what I wanted to do with my freedom I had gained, I didn't want to have any of my life back except being a mother again."

    You watch an interview with Ingrid on her time in captivity here.

    1553: Ingrid Betancourt French-Colombian former politican

    says motherhood is the most incredible thing that happens to us. "The best relationship we have to construct is with our children - it is our biggest challenge." It also brings out the best in us, she adds.


    The 100 Women members were asked to vote again on whether they think mother is a barrier to equality after the debate. The results are the same this time around - 70% still say it is.

    Chipo Chung, an actress & social activist in Harare, London & Los Angeles

    tweets: Ingrid Betancourt [silences] the room by reminding us that motherhood is about love #100Women


    Next up, a debate on whether faith and feminism are compatible.

    Caroline Criado-Perez, a British journalist and feminist campaigner

    tweets: #100Women now discussing if you can have faith and be a feminist. I hate this type of question. Anyone can be a feminist.

    Caroline Criado-Perez

    continues: Surprised 35% of women here think you can't have faith & be a feminist. Don't see why spirituality & feminism = mutually exclusive. #100Women


    Kate Smurthwaite, a British stand-up comedian and activist, queries whether you can be religious and a feminist. She says: "If you take your morality or your views from an all powerful deity then you have to accept the possibility that deity might show up and do something discriminatory."


    British priest Rose Hudson-Wilkin says she is both a Christian and a feminist.

    She says: "I believe and experience a god who may have created me in his own image - so I am just as important and special as any man. I do not see faith and feminism as being incompatible."


    Mirina Paanen, Islamic researcher, says: "If when I meet my Lord I am on an equal standing with men, then we need say little more."


    Caroline Criado-Perez, a British journalist and feminist campaigner who is a Catholic, says people have questioned whether she can be a feminist because of the Roman Catholic stance against abortion.

    Cloudi Lewis, musician from Southampton/Dawlish in Devon

    tweets: This atheist lassy on #100Women speaks so much sense! Richard Dawkins would be proud!

    Shelina Zahara Janmohammed, a blogger, columnist and author

    tweets: Getting heated in the room as faith is called a "deep mistake" and "fundamentally incompatible" with feminism #100Women

    1633: Teresa Forcades Radical Spanish nun

    says the past of the Catholic Church has been misogynist but that she is working, as a Catholic, to change that.


    Atheist Kate Smurthwaite says all major religions have a "deeply misogynistic" history.


    If you are just joining us, the members of 100 Women are debating whether faith and feminism are compatible.

    Heather McIntosh, a feminist from London

    tweets: Don't tell religious women they can't be feminists. The movement needs to be inclusive, not shutting people out. #100Women


    Balvinder Saund, chair of Sikh Women's Alliance, says: "My religion preaches about equality but when people put it into practice they don't follow the preachings."


    Rose Hudson-Wilkin says: "There is always going to be a danger when we put each other in boxes. We have to allow each other to define ourselves."

    Bettany Hughes, historian, author and broadcaster

    tweets: Assertion on @BBC _WHYS that all major world faiths are anti-women. This is not how they begin. Watch #DivineWomen on iTunes! #100Women


    Where is the best place to be a woman? Have a look at these maps, based on the findings of the World Economic Forum, to see how countries fare in categories such as health, education and politics.

    World map of overall gender gap
    Dr Brooke Magnanti

    tweets: Thoughts: be great to see a future #100women discuss healthcare/health outcomes, and post-conference online forum for issues raised today.

    Parveen Hassan

    tweets: This debate could last a month.. #100women very controversial... Passionate voices no longer unheard... #bbc

    BBC Radio Theatre

    The latest debate has been a lively one, with most members of the 100 Women keen to have their say.


    Our 100 Women members have voted on whether they think faith and feminism are compatible. At the end of the programme, 72% said it was and 28% said it wasn't.

    Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir

    Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir, Iceland's champion debater, is now addressing the conference.

    1703: Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir Iceland's champion debater

    says: "Women make 2/3 of illiterate people. Women make up 70% of all those living in absolute poverty."

    1705: Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir Iceland's champion debater

    says that while Iceland performs better than other countries on the gender gap report, there are still many struggles lying ahead, many of which are a lot more intangible than in the past.

    1711: Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir Iceland's champion debater

    "Although it may seem impossible to change outdated rules that stop girls being educated... our world is ruled by little else than thoughts and ideas, and therefore it is within our power to change it."


    Goose tweets: Incredibly composed and intelligent summary from Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir to bring #100women series to a close. An inspirational afternoon.

    Chipo Chung

    tweets: Thank you @BBCWorld for the inspiring & diverse group of #100women you put together, from age, profession, religions, nations and opinions.


    And that brings to an end the live debates and speeches from the 100 Women conference at the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House in London. You can keep the discussions going on Twitter using #100women. You can also find lots of videos and stories related to today's topics in this section of the BBC website.


100 Women 100 Women branding

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.