Cantopop singer Denise Ho Wan-see and football coach Chan Yuen-ting are among those honored in the BBC 100 Women list for 2016, Apple Daily reports.
Ho, 39, is described in the citation as a Cantopop icon and a pro-democracy campaigner “whose outspokenness has earned her the adoration of fans and has angered China’s communist rulers”.
The BBC quotes Ho as saying: “Do not say that you have no choice. Everyone has a choice.”
The British public broadcaster called the 28-year-old Chan “the first female football manager in the world to lead a men’s team to a domestic top-flight league title”.
Chan is quoted as saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Commenting on the award, Ho told Apple Daily that she is honored to earn international recognition as a Hongkonger, although she said she doesn’t consider herself having achieved anything spectacular.
She said she only chose to do what she thought was right “in an evil era”.
Ho was on the frontlines of the 2014 Umbrella Movement and was among those arrested when police cleared protest sites in Admiralty.
Ho’s political stance has taken a toll on her career, with several advertisers pulling out advertisement contracts and cosmetics brand Lancôme canceling a concert.
The commercial boycott has prompted protests and a customer boycott against Lancôme.
Afterwards, Ho decided to become an independent singer and staged her own full-house concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum last month.
Chan Kin-man, one of the founders of the Occupy campaign for genuine universal suffrage, said he is pleased with the BBC award for Ho, praising the outspoken singer for standing up and speaking for the people of Hong Kong.
He said Ho has proved for herself that she is a capable artist who can survive and thrive without relying on the mainland China market.
Eastern Long Lions head coach Chan Yuen-ting said she was taken by surprise by the BBC award, noting that she always thought political or entertainment figures would stand a better chance than women from the sports sector.
Nicknamed “Beef Ball”, Chan led her club to the BOCG Life Hong Kong Premier League title in April this year, setting a world record.
Chan said she hopes her success story would help convince women that they can enjoy equal opportunity in any work they pursue.
BBC 100 Women was launched by the British public broadcaster in 2013. It pays tribute to a hundred influential and inspirational women around the world to bring focus to the role played by women in the 21st century.
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