Every August 26, is celebrated as the Women’s Equality Day. Legit.ng is dedicating this write up to selected Muslim women who have been changing the world in remarkable ways.
Aside being an entrepreneur and activist, Ibtihaj Muhammad is an American sabre fencer on the USt fencing team. She won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.
Muhammad is the first woman to compete for the US wearing a hijab, and the first female Muslim-American to earn a medal at the Olympics.
Muhammad became a sports ambassador serving on the US Department of State’s ‘Empowering Women and Girls through Sport Initiative’.
In 2014, she and her siblings launched Louella, a clothing company aim to promote modest fashion for both Muslims and non-Muslims.
In 2017 multinational toy manufacturer Mattel introduced the first Barbie doll in a hijab in the image of Muhammad.
Mehwish Hayat is a Pakistani actor, singer and philanthropist who is making waves through her activism and humanitarianism around the world.
Hayat recently hit the headlines for advocating for positive representation and peace in Pakistan.
She recently received the award of Pride of Performance award in Oslo. Hayat lately spoke out against divisive nationalism. She emphasised on the responsibility which actors and role models have to promote peace and be responsible humanitarians. She writes:
My intention when speaking about women’s rights, girls’ education, or supporting humanitarian charity work is to unite people — not divide them.”
Hayat was honoured by the government of Pakistan with the highest accolade any citizen of Pakistan can receive, the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.
Manal Rostom is an inspirational sportswoman. The Egyptian athlete, fitness influencer, clinical pharmacist is the founder of online community Surviving Hijab. She has a successful career as Nike Run Club coach and inspiring position as the first ever face of Nike Pro Hijab.
Her other achievements include conquering three world’s tallest mountains in aid of building Palestine’s first paediatric oncology unit as well as helping towards multiple autism charities.
She also ran several international marathons to raise money for Syrian refugees, the homeless in America, and planting trees across Egypt, as well as the London Marathon, in which she ran in 2019 with Penny Appeal.
She participated in UNFPA – an initiative to cross Egypt by foot in January 2018, to raise awareness about Egypt’s pressing social issues.
Linda Sarsour of Palestinian descent is an American political activist who was a co-chair of the 2017 and 2019 Women’s Marches. She is the former executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York.
Sarsour was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2017.
The political activist started gaining attention after her protests against police surveillance of American Muslims. She then became involved in more civil rights issues such as immigration policy, feminism, and police brutality.
She has organised many Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Sarsour played a role in the successful campaign to have Islamic holidays recognised in New York City’s public schools, which started observing Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha in 2015.
Sarsour was recognised by the White House as a Champion of Change and was a surrogate for US Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign.
She started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to repair and restore work after an anti-Semitic incident which led to the vandalisation of a Jewish cemetery in 2017.
IIhan Omar was elected to serve as a member of the US House of Representatives from Minnesota in January 2019. She is the first woman of colour and the first Somali-American to be elected from Minnesota. She is also one of the first two Muslim women, along with Rashida Tlaib, to serve in the congress.
Omar remain committed to her cause as she proposes ideas such as affordable housing, an improvement to the living wage, and abolishing ICE – the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Legit.ng had reported that the government of Saudi Arabia announced amendments to its laws to allow women travel abroad without permission from their guardians, a condition that had faced heavy criticisms.
It was gathered that the government also approved amendments to the laws in relation to travel documents and civil status. This would now make it easy for women, over the age of 21, to secure passports that would enable them travel without permission from their guardians.
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