9 Muslim Women To Honor For The First Muslim Women's Day
Women's accomplishments and contributions to society have been historically overlooked throughout the world, even more if the women happened to be part of more than one marginalized group. Muslim women, in addition to not getting enough credit for strides they've made in the distant past, are still often omitted from narratives in which they play a large role. It was for this reason that the first Muslim Women's Day was created to center the voices of Muslim women and to celebrate the part Muslim women have played in moving the world forward.
"Muslim Women's Day is the celebration of Muslim women, who have thrived for thousands of years," high school student Zerina Iman told Refinery29. "It provides us, Muslim women, with a moment of pride, long overdue. It shows the world that we are not hiding, nor are we oppressed. Most importantly, it's a beacon for young Muslim girls, like me, across the U.S. and the world, letting them know no matter what hate they face in this new era, they should be proud of their religion, of their legacy, and of the women just like them who continue to change society each day."
With that said, this is the perfect chance for you to get acquainted with some incredible Muslim women.
1. Rep. Ilhan Omar
On Nov. 8, 2016, Ilhan Omar became the United States' first Somali-American Muslim woman to be a state legislator when she was elected to a seat in the House of Representatives for Minnesota.
2. Anousheh Ansari
Anousheh Ansari was the first Muslim woman, as well as the first Iranian, to travel to space, and in a field in which women in general struggle to make strides, it's amazing to see a woman from more than one minority group succeed.
3. Ibtihaj Muhammad
Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first female American Muslim to win an Olympic medal for the United States — and she was the first American athlete to compete in hijab. The Duke grad earned bronze in team sabre for the U.S. fencing team in Rio.
4. Malala Yousafzai
By now, you've probably heard of Malala Yousafzai, the brave Pakistani advocate for women's rights, particularly education. In 2012, the then-15-year-old was shot in the head by the Taliban while on her way to school, which had been previously banned in the region she resided.
After surviving the murder attempt, she's gone on to pursue her education in England, travel around the world sharing her experience and speaking on the importance of education for girls, and win a slew of humanitarian prizes, including the Nobel Peace Prize.
5. Shurouq Al Hamaideh
Shurouq Al Hamaideh is an entrepreneur from Jordan who runs a business teaching computer programming to teens. Making a difference all over the world.
6. Shirin Ebadi
Ebadi became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, and she is also the first woman to reach Chief Justice status as a judge in Iran, a position she was later dismissed from for her views.
Her activism for peace promotes the idea of an "interpretation of Islam that is in harmony with equality and democracy is an authentic expression of faith. It is not religion that binds women, but the selective dictates of those who wish them cloistered."
7. Dr. Amina Wadud
Mixed-gender congregations are only to be led by men, according to some Islamic laws. In 2005, Wadud broke this norm, sparking controversy. She later said, "The radical notion that women are full human beings is already inscribed in Islam by our notion of tawhid. So the binary that tries to give women less than full human dignity is transformed into a relationship of equality and reciprocity."
8. Dalia Mogahed
A close advisor to former President Obama, Mogahed became the first Muslim woman to serve in the White House in 2009. She also happens to be a brilliant writer and speaker.
9. Tawakkol Karman
Karman was the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize, which she was awarded for her work to ensure the safety of women in Yemen. Known as "The Mother of the Revolution" in Yemen, Karman organized protest for years before the Arab Spring. She is the co-founder of Muslim Journalists Without Chains and a human rights activist.
These are just a few of the amazing Muslim women out there making all sorts of inspirational strides.