Throughout the ages, from the earliest days of Islam to contemporary times today, Muslim women have been and continue to be active leaders in their communities and countries across the world. This directory is a growing archive of leading Muslim women scholars, activists, writers, politicians, artists, religious and spiritual leaders, civil society leaders and more. Please contribute to this archive by suggesting Muslim women to be featured through our recommendation form.
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I want to be a […] representative of a new generation of Kosovo leaders ready to build on the successes of those who came before us and lead this country and its people forward in the 21st century.
– Atifete Jahjaga in her post-election address to the Kosovo Assembly
Known For: Kosovo’s first female president
Dates: 1975 - (CE)
Atifete Jahjaga was born April 20, 1975 in what is now Gjakova, Kosovo. She earned a law degree from the University of Prishtina in 2000 and completed postgraduate work in penal law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and in crime science at the University of Virginia in the United States. Studying international relations at the University of Prishtina, she has also received professional training at the European Center for Security Studies in Germany and at the National Academy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
Her expertise in law and crime propelled her to the position of deputy general director of the Republic of Kosovo’s police force. She served in that role from 2009 until she was elected president in April 2011. While Atifete had no prior political ambitions, she was chosen as president for her integrity and clean record.1 She said in her post-election address to the Kosovo Assembly: “Until yesterday, I had no thought of assuming a senior post of political leadership. But, like many of my fellow citizens, I was ready to serve when called by my country.”2 She said she hopes to continue to strengthen the democratic institutions of the young country that she played a role in building and to put Kosovo on a path to greater international recognition and membership in key organizations like the European Union and the United Nations.
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