Zainah is tops among influential Muslim women

Zainah is tops among influential Muslim women

PETALING JAYA - Sisters in Islam (SIS) founding member and Sunday Star columnist Zainah Anwar (pic) has been listed as the most influential Muslim woman by the San Francisco-based International Museum of Women (IMOW).

Also in the top 10 of the IMOW list is Zarizana Aziz, a prominent figure in Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML),.

The two joined a list of women luminaries from around the world and from various fields in the IMOW's virtual exhibition, Muslima: Muslim Women's Art & Voices, curated by Samina Ali.

The IMOW is an online museum that showcases art, stories and ideas to celebrate, inspire and advance the lives of women around the world.

"No matter what part of the world these women hail from, not one of these exceptional leaders is limited by her faith or gender.

"Each uses her identity to overturn conventional roles and blaze an extraordinary path for herself," said Samina in US online news portal The Huffington Post.

Samina places Zainah first on her list for her role as an SIS founding member, commending on her two decades of efforts in fighting discrimination against women.

Samina quotes Zainah as saying: "The Muslim world needs a paradigm shift on how we regard and treat women.

"If we had been true to the message of the Quran, we really should be at the forefront of the feminist movement today."

Zarizana, a human rights lawyer and the board chairman of WLUML, was placed seventh on the list. She was praised for her work in the UN working group on discrimination against women in law and practice.

WLUML is an international solidarity network that provides information, support and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs in Islam.

Others on the list are Iranian lawyer Dr Shi­rin Ebadi; the first woman prosecutor-general in Afghanistan, Maria Bashir; Sudanese activist Fahima Hashim and Israeli artist Laila Shawa.

The others are Afghan women's education activist Dr Sakena Yacoobi, British-based lesbian, bisexual and transgender activist Tamsila Tauqir; Afghan Human Rights Commission chairman Dr Sima Samar and Yemeni photographer Boushra Almutawakel.

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