Mar 22, 2012

Muslim Women Who Shake the World

By Umber Khan
Women have a voice, no doubt about it. What many fail to see is that they also have power and action in their hands. Thanks to the Internet, we are now able to see and expand the empowered activities of not only women all over the world but also Muslim women, who are traditionally viewed as quiet, homemaking peacemakers. Newsweek's List of 150 empowered women also consists of almost 20% Muslim women who are making a difference in politics, business and education across the world.

No Houston women made the cut, but when the Daily Beast announced Newsweek's 150 Women Who Shake the World, I was interested nonetheless. I love reading about women doing good things for the societies they live in, positive contributions that go beyond cooking dinner and helping their kids with homework (although don't take me wrong, those things are invaluable as well). Most importantly, I wanted to know how Muslim women fared, and I was not disappointed with the answer. From Bahraini activist and blogger Zainab al-Khwaja to Irani journalist and political activist Faezeh Hashimi, Muslim women are using their faith and traditions to make the world a better place for everyone.
One interesting thought while reading the list was that Muslim women in the United States, despite having more freedom, access to education and plentiful resources, didn't make it to the list. Guess we need to work harder here to make a name for ourselves. Not just Muslims but women of all faith should look at these examples of courage, bravery and talent. Those who have stereotypes in their minds about Muslim women, devoid of freedoms to make a difference, should consider these women on the list and re-think their views. If these fearless women can do it despite cultural and traditional obstacles, what's stopping the rest of us?
Umber Khan is a recent graduate of the University of Houston. She currently works in the IT field.


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