Muslim women have been making strides in various areas of empowerment, including education, politics, and economics. Despite variations across regions and countries, several trends and initiatives have contributed to the progress of Muslim women worldwide.Education has been a significant driver of Muslim women’s empowerment. Many women are pursuing higher education, equipping them with knowledge and skills to participate fully in society. Saudi Arabia has lifted restrictions on women’s freedom, allowing them to drive and attend universities, while historically, Muslim women such as Hazrat Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra have played prominent roles in transmitting Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence. The establishment of the University of Al Quaraouiyine in Morocco by Fatima al-Fihri in 859 CE is another example of the rich legacy behind Muslim women’s educational empowerment.
In politics, Muslim women are also making their mark, with several women holding prominent positions in government. Kamla Haris, Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel, and Draupadi Murmu are some of the examples of women’s political empowerment. Muslim-majority countries also have a large participation of women in politics, with women holding 25% of seats in parliament in Indonesia and 47% of seats in local government in Tunisia. Additionally, Muslim women have been leading political activism and advocacy efforts, such as the One Million Signatures campaign in Iran and the advocacy of women’s rights by Nurul Izzah Anwar in Malaysia.
Economically, Muslim women have been breaking barriers and achieving financial independence. Hazrat Khadija bint Khuwaylid, the Prophet’s first wife, was a successful businesswoman and a well-known figure of mentorship and guidance to other women in the community, inspiring other Muslim women to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. Women like Hina Johari, Nuzhat Hashir, and Farah Arif Khan in India have made their mark in the business world, showcasing the economic positioning of Muslim women.
The empowerment of Muslim women is influenced by cultural, social, educational, and political factors, and there is still much work to be done to achieve equality for all Muslim women. However, with the progress made so far, there is hope for a more equitable and empowered future for Muslim women across the globe.