The contribution of women to the World’s growth and Development cannot the overemphasized. Over the years, a lot of Muslim women have been prevented from exploring and attaining certain feats because of their Hijabs. Here is an non exhaustive list of Muslim Women who have made their marks.
They have gone over and above stereotypes and this is why they are celebrated every international women’s day. They have served as inspirations for generations to come.
Sit back to read about them and their remarkable legacy.
>>Hauwa Ojeifo: The Nigerian Edo born Muslimah is the Founder and Executive Director of SheWritesWoman; a movement of love, hope and support for women living with mental illness SWW seeks to ensure people living with mental disorders can be comfortable while they share their story and get the help they need to recover and bounce back. She’s also 1 of the 3 recipients of the Queen’s 2018 Young Leaders Award, winner of the MTV EMA’s generation change award, ACE 2017 Awards for the best social enterprise and several others.
>>Ilhan Omar: A Somali-American refugee, one of America’s shining light. She made history by becoming the first Muslim woman of East African descent to be elected as a United States representative. She graced the cover of Time’s Magazine “First Women who are changing the world” Edition.
>>Warsan Shire: The first Young Poet Laureate for London at 25. A Somali-British Poet whose words are featured in Beyonce’s globe shaking Lemonade Album. She’s the Author of the much talked about book “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a Shark”.
>>Ibtihaj Muhammad: African American Fencer and Olympian. First Muslim American woman to compete in the 2016 olympics wearing the hijab, she’s also the first Muslim American woman to win a medal at the Olympics
>>Nadiya Hussain: British Bangladeshi Baker and Author. Nadiya was the winner of the sixth season of the Great British Bake off and was named one of the 500 most influential people in the U.K by Debrett’s. She has a BBC Documentary titled; The chronicles of Nadiya.
>>Halima Aden: She is a Somali- American Model. She is known for being the first Somali-American Muslim to compete in the Minnesota USA Pageant and become a Semi-finalist with her hijab on. Her runway debut was at the Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 fashion show. At 19, she earned the “World’s First Hijab wearing Model title”.
>>Malala Yousafzai: The Pakistani Activist started her activism at Age 16. Her activism is centered around rights for Education and Freedom. She was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most influential people in 2013, she earned the Nobel Peace Prize at Age 17
>>Kubra Dagli: Often times tagged the “Most Beautiful girl in Action” sometimes “The Most beautiful and Bad-ass Turkish Taekwondo Queen”. The Martial Art Tribeswoman was awarded a gold medal in the Poomsae team category of the 2016 World Taekwondo Championships in Lima, Peru. She talks a lot about hard work and why it’s very important you don’t give up because of one’s fear of failure.
>>Hawa Abdi: One of Somali’s first female obstetrician, human rights activist and physician. She is the founder and chairperson of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, a non-profit organization run by she and her daughters. DHAF exists to promote a more peaceful equitable Somalia by providing healthcare, education, shelter and access to sanitation for hundreds of displaced families. Hawa is called the “Somali woman who changed 90,000 lives”. She holds the “Glamour Award for the Saints of Somalia”.
>>Elif Shafak: She is a Turkish-British novelist, essayist, academic, public speaker and women’s rights activist. She is a political scientist, political commentator, award winning best-selling novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey.
>>Zeina Nassar: The Veiled German Hijabi has fought to beat the stereotype in the male-dominated boxing ring and paved way for more Muslim women to do same without fear. The Nike Ambassador holds for the 5th time in a row the Berlin Boxing Champion title
>>Tawakkul Karman: The Journalist, Politician and Human Rights Activist from Yemen is the first Arab woman and second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize. At age 32, “The Mother of Revolution was the second youngest Nobel Peace Laureate, a title she earned as a result of her work in nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work in Yemen. She is also the Co-founder of the “Muslim Journalists Without Chains” movement.
>>Carolyn Walker-Diallo: Despite the hard times Muslims are facing from the effects of Donald Trump’s comments. Carolyn emerged the first judge to swear upon the Quran rather than the Bible with her hijab on. She is the first Muslim woman elected to serve as a Judge in the United States and is the first Muslim elected to serve as a Judge in the State of New York.
>>Zaha Hadid: The Late Architect of Iraqi-British origin was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture prize in 2014. Even in death, she is one of the most highly regarded Architects in the World, she has received the UK’s most prestigious Architectural Award “The Stirling Prize” in 2010 and 2011. She is the first and so far, the only woman to have received the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
>>Zahra Lari: The Emirati Desert region born Ice Figure Skating princess. She is the first figure skater from the UAE to compete internationally and the first figure skater to compete in a hijab
>>Khatijah Mohammed Yusuff: The World-Famous Microbiologist is the only second Asian Scientist ever to win the UNESCO Carlos Finaly Prize in 2005 for her outstanding work in the field. She is a highly respected academician and a much-acclaimed virologist.
Now what isn’t there to admire about these women, they have stayed true to their Craft and blazed trails for women to know that they can be who and what they want regardless of their gender, color, race or religion.
I hope their achievements have inspired you too so feel free to add some more women you also know.
Happy International Women’s Day