Through activism, many Muslim women have found an outlet to promote understanding of Islam primarily through education and outreach. Nearly all of the organizations enact their respective missions by educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike. While many founders of these organizations are “scholar-activists,” their trailblazing is creating a space for all Muslim women, regardless of education, socioeconomic status, race, or nationality, to be both seen and heard in public discourse.
Find out more about the work of Muslim Women Activists through the following organizations:
ASMA Society (US, Non-profit, established 1997)
The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) seeks to foster greater understanding about Islam through education and the arts. Through interfaith work, community outreach, and leadership programs for young Muslims, ASMA is helping create a space for the next generation of American Muslims to share their experience and increase societal awareness about Muslims and Islam in the US.
KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights (US, Non-profit)
KARAMAH (an Arabic word meaning dignity): Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights is an organization devoted to educating women about their own legal rights. Many women are unaware of their rights because of the dominating patriarchal discourse on women’s rights under Islamic law. KARAMAH educates women about their rights under both Islamic and civil law, facilitating education by conducting lectures and workshops as well as legal outreach and advocacy. Although the focus of KARAMAH is on Muslim women, the organization also works towards global human rights advocacy.
Muslim Women’s League (US, Non-profit)
The Muslim Women’s League works to “implement the values of Islam and thereby reclaim the status of women as free, equal, and vital contributors to society.” With a focus on education through public talks, published articles, networking, and the cultivation of a public dialogue about Muslim women, the MWL’s goal is to “reclaim” women’s space in society, using Islamic beliefs and ideology as their “driving force.”
North American Council for Muslim Women (NACMW) (Non-profit)
The North American Council for Muslim Women (NACMW) provides a powerful voice for Muslim women through education about their own faith as well as giving them practical skills that help equip them to participate in a public forum. The organization’s lectures, workshops, interfaith work, training in speaking and conflict resolution all contribute to creating leaders in the North American Muslim community.
Women in Islam, Inc. (US, Non-profit, 1992)
Women in Islam, Inc.’s mission is “to advance the spiritual and intellectual development of women to empower them as dynamic participants in civil society and as advocates for human rights and social justice.” Like KARAMAH and many other organizations for Muslim women, Women in Islam goes beyond helping just Muslim women. Through the education of Muslim women in particular, they are educating these women to be activists, advocates, and active members of society with aim of promoting “global social justice.”
The Pluralism Project (founded 1996)
Based out of Harvard University, The Pluralism Project is an invaluable resource for information about the plethora of religious communities in the US. Providing information by religious tradition, the Project is not only a resource in and of itself, but it provides links and information about countless other organizations within each religious tradition.