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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- 100 Extraordinary Muslim Women
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- WISE Conference 2011 Participants
Women have special needs in conflict and post-conflict situations; they have a stake and a contribution to make in peacemaking and peace-building; and they are essential agents in longer-term development.
—Nafis Sadik, Statement by Dr. Nafis Sadik at a panel discussion for International Women’s Day, “Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future,” 8 March 2005
Known For: Special Advisor to UN Secretary General
Dr. Nafis Sadik, a national of Pakistan, is Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, with the rank of Under-Secretary-General and UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. Dr. Sadik undertook her medical studies at Dow Medical College and Johns Hopkins University. She was Pakistan’s Director-General of the Central Family Planning Council; she was responsible for developing, preparing, and evaluating the country’s health and family planning programme as part of the nation’s development plan. Dr. Sadik joined (UNFPA) in 1971, served as its Executive Director from 1987-2000, and was the first woman in the UN system to head one of its major voluntarily funded programmes. Under her leadership as Secretary-General of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Cairo, 1994, the approach to reproductive health (including empowering women through education and economic opportunity) was unanimously agreed upon by the international community. Dr. Sadik is well-known for her dynamism and guiding force in the fields of maternal and child health, reproductive and sexual health, and advocacy for education in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. She has received many international and national awards and was the Laureate, in the individual category, of the UN Population Award 2001.
Currently, Dr. Sadik serves on the Board of Trustees/Directors of several national and international organizations. She is the author of publications on reproductive health and family, population and development, women, and gender and development.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States