Women’s History Month has served as a practical and necessary reminder of the important and often unacknowledged contributions of women throughout history since its original iteration as a 1978 feminist educational initiative in Sonoma County, California schools when it was, notably, only a week long. Since then, it has expanded not only in length but also in scale, becoming an important international symbol of ongoing efforts to address historic and present-day gender-based discrimination.
Over the years, this work has recognized and incorporated new critical frameworks in order to achieve this aim, allowing for expanding conceptions of womanhood and women’s history. Thanks to those frameworks, we are able to celebrate the achievements of women ranging from Audre Lorde; Sylvia Rivera; Dolores Huerta; Assata Shakur; Frida Kahlo; and Dorothea Dix alongside the traditional heroines of Women’s History like Simone de Beauvoir and Gloria Steinem.
Women have come far from the days when suffrage had to be fought for, when women had to demand a position to work outside of the home, and earn the freedom and independence many strive with today. But there is still much to be done.
Women are, of course, an integral part of the Muslim community in the United States and abroad. Their experiences, struggles, and triumphs have strengthened our societies and complicated our understandings of the human story. We are proud to honor their labors.
In that spirit, MALA has partnered with the Lean In and The New Agenda. We aim to create a network that is dedicated to developing programs and resources regarding self esteem, goal planning, and confidence for women to access across the USA.
Furthermore, MALA has been featuring a collection of stories of Muslim women that promote a more accurate and inclusive vision of America. These women are distinguished artists, innovators, scholars, leaders, and individuals.
We encourage everyone to share their stories of forming and shaping their identity. If you would like to add your story to our collection, please share it here.
By Sabina Hajdarovic, MALA’s 2017 Fellow, and Isabel Carter, MALA’s 2017 Spring Intern.