Muslim Women: Past and Present

Recommend a Muslim Woman

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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Sophia Abdi Noor

photo of Sophia Abdi Noor

Known For: Member of Kenya’s 10th Parliament, Shura Council Member
Country: Kenya

About

Sophia Abdi Noor is a Member of the 10th Parliament of Kenya. Born to a Somali pastoralist in Northern Kenya, Ms. Noor fights for the rights of the marginalized through gender equality campaigns. She was one of the few women in her community to receive a high school degree and attend college to train as a public school teacher. After acquiring a Diploma in Community Development, she began to serve her community through her work with several international organizations, including CARE International, MSF-Spain, Oxfam, UNHCR, Save the Children, World Vision, and MIKONO International.

After working for some time, Ms. Noor decided to go to parliament to advance the human rights of women and girls by introducing legislation dealing with issues detrimental to women in the region such as female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriages and wife inheritance.  In 1997, Ms. Noor became the first woman from the region to seek political office however her nomination was cancelled due to the cultural and religious arguments used against her as justifications that a woman cannot lead a Muslim community. She then spent several years as Chief Executive Director of a local NGO.

Ms. Noor recently obtained as a BA in Development Studies at Arusha Tanzania and a Masters in Executive Management development from USIU. She was the recipient of several awards including: a social justice award from the International Leadership Institute in Minnesota; the International Democracy Fellowship from the Lees Aspen Center for Governance in Washington DC for her work in women’s empowerment and democratization in 1996; and the Father John Kaiser Human Rights Award of the Year in 2007 by the Law Society of Kenya for her exemplary leadership, courage and benevolence. She has attended trainings in Ireland and Greenland on indigenous marginalization at the International Training Center for Indigenous People (ITCIP).

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This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women alphabetically by their first names. Many Muslim names have alternative spellings once rendered into English so if you cannot find the name you are looking for, please try the general search tab where you can enter keywords of your choice.
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This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women chronologically by the Common Era century. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women by their Country. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women leaders by entering the keyword(s) of your choice. If you cannot find a particular woman that you are looking for, please let us know by completing our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.