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Celebrating Senior Nun Chứng Nghiêm: One of the World’s 100 Most Influential Women

Ven. Master Cheng Yen Honored by BBC as One of the Most Inspirational and Influential Women of 2022

Recently, Ven. Master Cheng Yen, a prominent leader of the engaged Buddhism movement in Taiwan, has been recognized by the BBC as one of the 100 most inspiring and influential women globally in 2022.

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Ven. Master Cheng Yen

As the founder of the Tzu Chi Foundation, Ven. Master Cheng Yen has become a global symbol of engaged Buddhism. A revered Buddhist nun and a pioneer in the development of modern Taiwanese Buddhism, Ven. Master Cheng Yen believes that everyone has the potential to show great compassion like the Buddha. She tirelessly engages in charitable activities to promote the message that true compassion is not only about empathizing with others’ pain but also about actively alleviating human suffering through concrete actions.

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“BBC’s ‘100 Women’ list has honored 100 truly inspiring and influential women globally this year based on their efforts and achievements over the past decade. Each honoree has overcome significant personal, social, and global challenges to bring hope to many and show us what’s possible. We are extremely grateful to share the recognition of our founder, Ven. Master Cheng Yen,” shared a representative from the Tzu Chi Foundation.

In 1966, Ven. Master Cheng Yen established the Tzu Chi Foundation in Taiwan. This non-governmental organization, recognized by the United Nations, regularly works in humanitarian aid, healthcare, education, and sustainable environment areas.

Previous nominees of this list also include notable figures from the Buddhist world: in 2021, Buddhist activist Manjula Pradeep, an attorney and renowned advocate fighting for the fundamental rights of marginalized communities in India; in 2019, Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, the first fully ordained female monk in Thailand; and in 2018, Dr. Tashi Zangmo, a Bhutanese Buddhist activist and the executive director of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation.

“This is the 10th season of the global-influence ‘100 Women’ initiative,” BBC stated. “So, we’re taking this opportunity to explore achievements made over the past decade. Despite significant advancements in women’s rights, from the number of female leaders to the MeToo movement, there’s still a long way to go for women in many parts of the world. This year’s list also reflects women’s roles in the world’s conflicts in 2022, from the brave protesters demanding change in Iran to the prominent female faces in the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”

Other influential women nominated by BBC in 2022 include: Aye Nyein Thu, a doctor in Myanmar who has volunteered in the country’s crisis and poverty-stricken areas; Sanjida Islam Choya, a student in Bangladesh working to change the practice of child marriage in her country; Sandya Eknaligoda, a human rights activist in Sri Lanka who has assisted thousands of mothers and wives who lost their loved ones in the Sri Lankan civil war; and Zhou Xiaoxuan, a face of China’s MeToo movement who has supported women experiencing sexual harassment.


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