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Czech RepublicDoctorMuslim

Bohuslava Kecková

Bohuslava Kecková, the first woman to earn a medical degree in what is now the Czech Republic, paved the way for future generations of women in medicine. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she obtained her medical degree in 1880 and provided valuable medical care to the Prague community. Her dedication to medicine extended beyond Prague as she served Muslim women in Bosnia and Herzegovina and made a lasting impact on the local community.

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BangladeshMyanmarPakistan

Anita Schug

Anita Schug, M.D., is a Rohingya neurosurgeon and human rights activist who has made significant contributions to the medical field and the advocacy for the Rohingya community. She was born in Rangoon, Myanmar, and her childhood was marked by the discrimination faced by her family due to their Rohingya Muslim identity.

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IranMuslimRoyalty

Tadj ol-Molouk

Tâdj ol-Molouk, the daughter of Brigadier General Teym?r Khan Ayromlou, played a crucial role as Queen during her husband Reza Shah’s reign in Iran. She became the first Queen after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century to participate in public royal representation, paving the way for future queens to actively engage in public life. Her contributions to women’s rights, including the abolition of the veil and increasing women’s participation in society, remain significant in Iranian history.

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PakistanActivistLawyer

Nisha Rao

Nisha Rao, a Pakistani transgender lawyer and activist, overcame numerous obstacles to become the first transgender law graduate in Pakistan. Her passion for justice and equality drives her to advocate for the rights of marginalized communities. Rao aspires to establish her own NGO to further support the transgender community and create a safer, more inclusive society for all.

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United StatesActivistMuslim

Blair Imani

Blair Imani is an American author, historian, and activist who has made significant contributions to social activism. She focuses on fighting for equality, challenging gender and racial norms, and advocating for marginalized communities. Imani has founded organizations, worked with Planned Parenthood, and authored books that highlight the achievements of overlooked individuals. She remains dedicated to raising awareness through her writing and informative videos, and her activism during the protest in Baton Rouge showcased her resilience and determination. Blair Imani’s commitment to social justice has earned her recognition and admiration.

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RussiaFigure SkaterMuslim

Alina Zagitova

Alina Ilnazovna Zagitova, born on May 18, 2002, is a Russian figure skater who has left an indelible mark on the sport. With a glittering list of achievements, she has become a true icon in women’s figure skating. Zagitova’s journey in the world of figure skating began at a young age. At just four years old, she had her first formal skating lessons in Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, under the guidance of coach Damira Pichugina.

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LebanonDancerMuslim

Layal Abboud

Layal Mounir Abboud is a Lebanese pop singer, folk music entertainer, and Muslim humanitarian. Born in the southern Lebanese village of Kniseh, she has made significant contributions to the music industry, especially in Lebanese folklore. Abboud’s captivating stage presence and commitment to humanitarian efforts have made her an influential figure in Lebanese society.

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MoroccoMuslimPirate

Sayyida al Hurra

Sayyida al Hurra, born in 1485 in Morocco, was a powerful and influential figure in the Islamic West. As the Governor of Tétouan, she proved herself to be a capable leader, maintaining stability and security in the city. She formed an alliance with Barbarossa of Algiers, exerting control over the Mediterranean and challenging European powers. Sayyida al Hurra defied societal norms and became one of the most important female figures of her time in the region.

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South AfricaActivistJournalist

Shamima Shaikh

Shamima Shaikh (1960-1998) was a prominent Muslim women’s rights activist, Islamic feminist, and journalist from South Africa. She dedicated her life to fighting for social justice and challenging patriarchal barriers within the Muslim community. Despite her untimely death, her legacy continues to inspire activists and feminists today.

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AustraliaLaw EnforcementMuslim

Maha Sukkar

Maha Sukkar is an Australian police officer in Victoria, known for breaking barriers and championing diversity. She is a symbol of empowerment and the embodiment of cultural integration within the law enforcement community.

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United StatesArcherComputer Scientist

Megan Squire

Megan Squire is a professor of computer science at Elon University, specializing in the study of right-wing political extremism online. She has conducted extensive research on platforms like Facebook and Telegram, shedding light on the ways in which they shape and mediate extremist ideologies. Her work has been referenced in lawsuits against Facebook, highlighting the platform’s failure to address the proliferation of extremist groups. Squire’s investigations have also revealed the financial ecosystem surrounding these groups and their ability to generate income through video livestreaming and gaming platforms. In addition to her academic pursuits, Squire has been involved in activism throughout her life and is recognized as one of the strongest allies of the Antifa movement.

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United StatesBoxerMuslim

Laila Ali

Laila Ali, daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, is widely regarded as one of the greatest female boxers of all time. She achieved remarkable success during her boxing career, retiring undefeated and holding multiple titles. Beyond her athletic achievements, Ali has become a symbol of female empowerment and resilience, inspiring countless young girls to pursue their dreams.

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SomaliaMuslimRunner

Samia Yusuf Omar

Samia Yusuf Omar, a remarkable sprinter from Somalia, overcame numerous obstacles to pursue her athletic dreams. Born in Mogadishu in 1991, she faced harassment and threats from local militia groups who opposed Muslim women participating in sports. Despite the ongoing conflict and dangers, Omar remained resolute in her training, eventually earning a spot in the 200 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Tragically, she lost her life in 2012 while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life. Her story is one of tremendous bravery and resilience in the face of adversity.

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IraqSwedenActivist

Sara Mohammad

Sara Mohammad, a Kurdish-born Swedish human rights activist and pharmacist, has dedicated her life to fighting against honor killings and honor-related violence. Her personal experience with forced child marriage fueled her passion for advocating for the rights of women and girls. Through her organization GAPF, she has made significant contributions in raising awareness and preventing these forms of violence. Sara’s fearless commitment has been recognized through an honorary doctorate and her outspoken criticism of oppressive cultural norms has made her a prominent figure in the fight for women’s rights.

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FranceUnited KingdomMuslim

Noor Inayat Khan

Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, also known as Nora Inayat-Khan and Nora Baker, was a British resistance agent in France during WWII. She was the first female wireless operator sent from the UK to aid the French Resistance. Noor was captured and executed at Dachau concentration camp. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her gallantry and remains an inspiration for bravery and dedication.

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LiberiaActivistMuslim

Asatu Bah Kenneth

Asatu Bah Kenneth, a prominent Liberian activist, played a crucial role in ending the Second Liberian Civil War and founding the Liberian Muslim Women’s Organization. She collaborated with Leymah Roberta Gbowee to lead protests and advocate for peace, employing tactics such as sex strikes and sit-ins. Asatu’s activism and career in law enforcement made her a key figure in implementing reforms and addressing malpractices within the Liberian police force. Her dedication to peace and social justice continues to inspire and impact Liberia.

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IndonesiaActivistLawyer

Nani Soewondo-Soerasno

Nani Soewondo-Soerasno was a prominent Indonesian lawyer, suffragist, and women’s rights activist. Born in 1918 in Semarang, she played a crucial role in advocating for women’s rights and gender equality in post-independence Indonesia. Soewondo-Soerasno dedicated her career to shaping legislation and improving the legal protection of Indonesian women, leaving a lasting impact on the country’s legal landscape.

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IranActivistLawyer

Shirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi, born in 1947 in Hamadan, Iran, is a Nobel laureate, lawyer, former judge, and founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. She became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her pioneering efforts in advancing democracy and fighting for the rights of women, children, and refugees. Despite facing threats and harassment, Ebadi continues to be an influential voice for human rights.

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NetherlandsUnited StatesActivist

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, has dedicated her life to speaking out against the mistreatment of Muslim women and advocating for their rights and self-determination. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1969, she has experienced firsthand the oppression faced by Muslim women and has become a vocal critic of Islam’s oppressive practices such as forced marriage, honor killings, child marriage, and female genital mutilation. Despite facing controversy and threats, Ayaan has remained steadfast in her commitment to exposing injustice and sparking discussions about the need for reform within Islam.

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EgyptActivistEducator

Ihsan El-Kousy

Ihsan El-Kousy (born in 1900) was the first Egyptian Muslim woman to graduate from the American University of Beirut. She played a significant role in promoting women’s education and empowerment in Egypt during the early 20th century.

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FranceActivistMuslim

Ndella Paye

Ndella Paye Diouf, a militant French Afro-feminist and Muslim theologian, fights against the requirement for young Muslim women to wear the hijab in French schools. Born in Senegal circa 1974, she moved to France at 19 to join her diplomat father. Ndella’s work focuses on promoting racial and gender equality and empowering her three daughters. Her unique perspectives on religion embrace Islam while advocating for the equality of men and women.

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PalestineUnited StatesActivist

Tahanie Aboushi

Tahanie A. Aboushi, a Palestinian-American civil rights lawyer, made history as a Democratic candidate for Manhattan District Attorney. Her platform focused on advocating for marginalized communities, holding law enforcement accountable, and protecting immigrants. Aboushi’s experiences growing up in Brooklyn and witnessing the struggles faced by marginalized communities fueled her determination to fight for justice and equality. Her notable cases have brought attention to issues such as religious rights and police brutality, and she continues to be a dedicated advocate for the rights of individuals and communities in need.

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United StatesActivistAsian American

Linda Sarsour

Linda Sarsour, born in 1980, is an American political activist who has made significant contributions to the advancement of civil rights and social justice. As co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March, the 2017 Day Without a Woman, and the 2019 Women’s March, she has played a pivotal role in mobilizing women across the country to stand up for their rights. She has also served as the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, where she worked tirelessly to empower and uplift marginalized communities.

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IndiaChoreographerDancer

Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal, an Indian actress, dancer, and choreographer, made a significant impact on the Indian film industry. Despite losing vision in her left eye, she pursued her passion for acting and became one of the most celebrated actresses of her time. Sehgal’s talent and versatility allowed her to portray diverse characters, earning her critical acclaim and a devoted fan base. She also made notable contributions to Indian theatre and received numerous prestigious awards for her exceptional talent and contributions to Indian art and culture.

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IndonesiaActivistDisabled

Opu Daeng Risaju

Opu Daeng Risaju, a fearless Indonesian independence activist, dedicated her life to fighting against Dutch colonization. She faced imprisonment, forced labor, and torture but remained undeterred in her pursuit of freedom. In 2006, she was posthumously honored as a National Hero of Indonesia, a testament to her strength and determination.

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IndonesiaMuslimSport Climber

Aries Susanti Rahayu

Aries Susanti Rahayu, known as “Spiderwoman,” is a renowned sport climbing athlete from Indonesia. She made history by becoming the first woman to conquer the speed wall in less than seven seconds. In addition to her remarkable achievements in climbing, Aries has been recognized on Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list and serves as an inspiration to aspiring climbers worldwide.

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TurkeyArchaeologistFencer

Halet Çambel

Halet Çambel was a Turkish archaeologist and Olympic fencer. She was the first woman with a Muslim background to compete in the Olympic Games. Çambel’s life was marked by her passion for archaeology, her groundbreaking achievements in fencing, and her dedication to preserving Turkey’s cultural heritage.

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IndiaMilitaryMuslim

Abbakka Chowta

Rani Abbakka Chowta, the first Tuluva Queen of Ullal, fought against the Portuguese in the 16th century. She repulsed their attacks for over four decades, earning her the title of “The fearless queen”. Abbakka is regarded as one of the earliest Indian women to fight colonialism and is celebrated as a warrior and patriot. Despite being captured and imprisoned by the Portuguese, she remained an inspirational figure and left a lasting impact on the history of Tulu Nadu.

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IndonesiaActivistFigure Skater

Cut Nyak Dhien

Cut Nyak Dhien, a prominent figure in Indonesian history, was a remarkable leader who courageously fought against the Dutch for 25 years during the Aceh War. Her resilience and determination made her a symbol of resistance, inspiring generations of Indonesians.

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DjiboutiMuslimSprinter

Fathia Ali Bouraleh

Fathia Ali Bouraleh, born in 1987 in Djibouti, is a renowned track and field sprint athlete. Her inspiring journey to becoming an international athlete is a testament to her determination, resilience, and ability to overcome societal obstacles. Today, she continues to make a profound impact in the world of athletics, coaching and empowering young female athletes through organizations like Girls Run 2. Fathia’s unwavering spirit and commitment to breaking down barriers make her an inspiration to women everywhere.

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AfghanistanMuslimPolitician

Robina Muqimyar

Robina Jalali, also known as Robina Muqimyar, was a trailblazing athlete and political figure from Afghanistan. Born on July 3, 1986, in Kabul, Jalali defied societal expectations and cultural norms, showcasing her tenacity and determination in both the world of sports and politics.

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PakistanActivistMuslim

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani female education activist and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is known for advocating for the education of women and children in her native homeland, Swat, where the Pakistani Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement.

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SudanActivistJournalist

Lubna al-Hussein

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein is a Sudanese Muslim activist and journalist who gained international recognition in 2009 when she was prosecuted for wearing trousers. She used her platform to criticize the government of Sudan for its treatment of women and became a symbol of the ongoing struggle for women’s rights in the country. Her courageous stand inspired many and earned her the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Award.

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BangladeshActivistMuslim

Sufia Kamal

Begum Sufia Kamal, born in 1911, was a prominent Bangladeshi poet, feminist leader, and political activist. She played a significant role in the Bengali nationalist movement and became a civil society leader in independent Bangladesh. Kamal’s contributions to society and women’s rights were immense, leaving behind an enduring legacy of empowerment and social change.

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PakistanJournalistMuslim

Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah

Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah, born in Calcutta on December 25, 1918, was a pioneering Pakistani writer and journalist. She became Pakistan’s first female editor, publisher, and columnist in English, playing a significant role in shaping Pakistani literature and journalism. She founded Pakistan’s first social glossy magazine, the Mirror, and her work extended beyond borders, breaking barriers for women in journalism. Her legacy lives on through the women who followed in her footsteps, redefining the role of women in Pakistani journalism.

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BangladeshActivistMuslim

Nawab Faizunnesa

Nawab Begum Faizunnesa Choudhurani, the first female Nawab in South Asia, was a prominent advocate for female education and social issues in colonial India. Her dedication to empowerment and social change earned her the prestigious title of “Nawab” from Queen Victoria in 1889. Her establishment of schools and promotion of female education had a lasting impact on society, inspiring future generations of women to strive for equality and education.

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