If you're sad that Women’s History Month is wrapping up in a few days, I have some good news for you: the celebratory days have not ended just yet! This year is the third anniversary of the annual Muslim Women’s Day, celebrated on March 27 around the world, and there are many trailblazing Muslim women everyone should know about.
Muslim Women's Day is an opportunity to elevate the voices of Muslim women by curating content that reflects their experiences. On social media, users are using the hashtag #MuslimWomensDay to bring attention to stories that are often otherwise overlooked by others and to celebrate the holiday.
The founder of Muslim Women’s Day and media publication Muslimgirl.com, a publication created for the empowerment of Muslim women, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh explained in an interview with CNN why this day is so important. “We wanted to create a day where we just celebrate Muslim women... and engineer a new precedent for Muslim women's representation in mainstream media," she told the news outlet. “Muslim Women's Day is a call to action to... center Muslim women's voices for the day, to empower us, to flood the Internet with new, diverse, positive stories and Muslim women's voices, and basically just pass the mic.”
So, in honor of the third annual Muslim Women’s Day, here are six amazing Muslim women everyone should know about:
An English professional boxer, Ruqsana Begum is the only Muslim woman who is a champion in her sport, according to Sky News. Begum not only is a trailblazer for women in martial arts, but also dabbles in designing and selling her own sports hijabs (way before Nike did!), as she shared with Highsnobiety.
Begum has been open about her struggles entering combat sports as a Muslim woman and about mental health, as well.
Aden gained the spotlight as the first hijab-wearing fashion model to walk runways on an international stage, according to TIME. Born a refugee, she was also the first woman to wear hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she became a semi-finalist, according to the Star Tribune. She was signed to IMG Models shortly after, according to Fashionista, and is now a well-known figure in the modeling world. She has given TED talks, countless interviews, and continues to be an icon.
Amani Al Khatahtbeh
The founder of Muslim Women’s Day herself, Amani Al Khatahtbeh is paving the way for countless people by carving out a space in the media especially for Muslim Women. Al Khatahtbeh founded Muslimgirl.com when she was just a teenager, and it is now a well-known online publication with tens of thousands of followers across social media, according to CNN.
Lisa Vogl became the first woman to sell hijabs in a U.S. department store after Macy’s took on her company, Verona Collection, last year, according to CNN. In less than just two years since the company’s launch, the brand expanded to two shipping distribution centers and a store in Orlando, Florida, Bustle noted.
Vogl now remains a modest fashion icon as her company is a major step forward in including Muslim women and modest clothing in the fashion industry.
Blogger and social media influencer Leah Vernon is paving the way for body positivity and style. Her Instagram boasts roughly 41,500 followers and her blog, Beauty and the Muse, is both a safe haven and an inspiration for women seeking diversity and inclusion in the fashion and modeling world.
In addition to advocating for the representation of Black, Muslim, and plus-sized women, Leah Vernon is a public speaker, freelance writer, model, and content creator.
Rashida Tlaib began to make headlines when she first ran for the Senate in the 2018 elections. Now as a U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, according to her website, Tlaib is making waves as one of the first Muslim women in Congress.
She has been unapologetically vocal in her opposition to the Trump administration regardless of backlash and, in what’s almost just as cool, as ELLE reported, she let her kids dab on the floor of Congress after she cast her first vote!
A fencer who made it to the Olympics, Ibtihaj Muhammad is breaking barriers for Muslim women in sports. She became the first Muslim woman to represent the United States at the Olympics while wearing hijab, according to The New York Times, and also has her very own doll, which was the first Barbie to wear hijab.
The Olympic athlete is an inspiration for Muslim women who are on their way to shattering glass ceilings in sports.
Ilhan Omar made history this past year as the first hijabi, according to The Guardian, and the first Somali-American elected to the U.S. House, according to the Star Tribune. Now representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, she and her family came to the United States as refugees, the Los Angeles Times reported. She is now an iconic symbol for many Muslim woman wearing hijab hoping to pursue a life in politics.
These amazing Muslim women are paving the way in their various fields for generations to come. And on this Muslim Women's Day and going forward, let's aspire to be as great as these trailblazers.