Muslim Women: Past and Present

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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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Tawakul Karman

“We want to show the world that women can do everything.” -Tawakul Karman

photo of Tawakul Karman Photo Credit: Hani Mohammed/AP

Known For: Chairwoman of Woman Journalists Without Chains
Country: Yemen

About

Founder and chairwoman of Woman Journalists without Chains, Tawakul Karman is a Yemeni journalist and activist who has devoted herself to the fight for journalistic freedom for Yemen—a fight which has proven to be difficult, particularly due to the Yemeni government’s adamant opposition to the group’s cause.

In response to her crusade, Karman has faced continuous death threats and harassment. These threats of violence have also been extended to her family. In spite of meeting legal requirements, Karman and WJC have been denied a newspaper license.

Karman has produced the Semi-Annual Press Freedom Report which indicates an increase in violence against Yemeni journalists. She also led journalists in weekly sit-ins to protest a ban on news alerts through SMS. In an extension of this model, every Tuesday, in the capital city of Sana’a, Karman leads men and women alike in rallies protesting governmental policies and drawing attention to journalists who have been imprisoned for voicing their opinions.

However, Karman is not opposed to the Yemeni government specifically, but rather State Security which uses subversive tactics to block groups like Karman’s from operating fully.

Despite the resistance Karman faces in her quest, she nonetheless continues to pursue her goal of journalistic freedom in Yemen.

Sources

Holmes, Oliver. “Just off Freedom Square in Yemen.”  Press Freedom Online - Committee to Protect Journalists. 2009 (accessed November 9, 2009).

“The Jawa Report: Targeted Yemeni Woman Journalist Fights for Rights.” The Jawa Report v3.0 Beta. 2007. (accessed November 9, 2009).

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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.