This year's Women’s History Month is particularly special because Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA is designed to guarantee equal rights for all American citizens, regardless of gender. While it’s disappointing to know that it took so long to ratify women’s equality, we have seen women, such as, Malala Yousafzai, fight for justice in all parts of the world. As a college student and young Muslim women, seeing someone like her who is not afraid to fight for women’s rights while maintaining her Muslim identity is inspirational.
It is disappointing that Pakistan and other Muslim countries deny women the access to education, which is what Malala Yousafzai bravely fought for. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized the importance of education for both genders. He said, “It is the duty of every Muslim man and every Muslim woman to acquire knowledge.”
This Women’s History Month, as we celebrate Virginia’s historic achievement, let us also not forget about Muslim women role models such as Malala Yousafzai or political leaders, such as, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Let’s come together to celebrate the achievements of women from all nationalities and religions.