4 Arab Women Who Are Smashing Stereotypes and Inspiring Actions
The world is changing. Or to be more specific, women’s position in the world is changing. It isn’t easy being a woman in the Arab counties, but in the past, it was even harder. The belief that women shouldn’t have an opinion, education, or ambition still exists in some parts of the Arab countries. However, all strong-willed women, as well as men, understand how unfitting that is.
What made it possible for Arab women to fight for their rights are brave individuals who stepped up and said enough is enough! Evolution demands leaders – opinionated and strong women who won’t be afraid to fight for their rights.
Their actions aren’t just changing their lives. They are changing the lives of their mothers, sisters, friends, and anyone who is dismissed and endangered. But who are these women who are smashing stereotypes? What did they do to motivate other women to fight for their freedom and happiness? Read these names carefully because once you learn about their brave actions you will never forget them.
1. Tawakkol Karman
“The Mother of the Revolution” is how Tawakkol is called in Yemen. This name explains her enormous impact in the Arab world.
Tawakkol Karman strongly but nonviolently fought for women’s rights and the safety of women in Yemen. She was the forefront of many demonstrations, an advocate for women journalists’ rights, and the co-founder and president of Women Journalists Without Chains.
Accused of causing riots, Tawakkol was arrested in 2011. This act angered the people and was the last drop that got them to rise against the former Yemeni government of Ali Abdallah Saleh.
In 2011, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. At that time, she was the youngest recipient, the first Arab woman, and only the second Muslim woman to win this prize.
“We have led a long campaign to end the repression of women, and the struggle continues. This will not happen within a matter of days or months, but I remain convinced that we will succeed one day,” shared Karman in her interview with Unesco. She also added, “My goal is clear – it is to contribute to the establishment of democratic states that respect freedoms and human rights.”
2. Sara Toumi
Inspired by her father who was the Tunisian humanitarian and social activist, Sara went to Bir Al Salih to fight for a better future for Tunisian women. She replaced Parisian streets with her father’s village and became a part of the change.
In Tunisia, Sara founded NGO Dream and Acacias for All that fights for reversing desertification through a reforestation project.
Sara is directly involved in the lives of Tunisian women. “We have implemented specific activities for women in the village. For example, they didn’t have access to a midwife previously. Now, there is one who comes twice a week, as well as a gynecologist with their own office,” shares Toumi in the Orange Foundation interview.
She also teaches women how to make handicrafts and helps them to sell them. This gives them an opportunity to make money on their own, builds their self-esteem, and inspires them to pursue their independence.
Sara was on the Forbes list of 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs Making Change in Europe and around the World in 2016.
3. Lina Khalifeh
Lina Khalifeh is a Jordanian woman who is helping women to fight against sexual harassment and domestic violence. Using her expertise in martial artist, she teaches them how to defend themselves.
The idea came to her after her friend had been attacked by her father and brother. Determined to do something about the violent behavior of some men, she founded an NGO called SheFighter. The organization came into existence in 2010.
SheFigher was the first self-defense studio for women only in the Middle East. Now, SheFighter is an internationally-known organization that aims to increase women’s safety and shows the world that women won’t stand silently if someone tries to attract them. Her book SheFighter: From Trouble Maker to Global Change Maker reveals her inspiring life story.
4. Madeeha Al Bermani
When Madeeha Al Bermani was a girl, she had to go to an all-boys school to make her dream a reality. She was a talented girl who was intrigued by science, but there wasn’t a high school for girls that will provide her with the education she needed. That is why she decided to provide girls in her home town the possibility that she didn’t have.
Her knowledge in medicine saved many lives, but her kind heart and courageous spirit will keep saving young girls’ lives by giving them a chance for something better.
In order to help girls in Hilla to get some education and pursue a career, she donated 2 million dollars for building a high school for girls. Besides donating the money, she was also actively included in choosing the teaching staff. The school is well-equipped with the latest technologies such as touch-smart whiteboards and high-end laboratories.
She shared encouraging words about Iraqui women in the interview with Niqash, “I have noticed that Iraqi women excel in all fields inside and outside the country, so it is important to encourage them. They are more efficient and active than men, despite the social pressures and those pressures justified by fictitious religious reasons. Iraqi women have proven their ability in all fields of work and they are performing much better than men.”
Some Final Thoughts
In the past, Arab countries were dominated by the opinion that women’s place is only at home and with their husbands. They had no right to pursue their dreams, feelings, or ambitions. That belief is changing more with each year as Arab women prove to be more than just a man’s property.
Nowadays, we have Arab women who are Nobel Prize winners, leaders, educators entrepreneurs, activists, and so much more. All of the above-mentioned women have proved how much a woman from an Arab country can accomplish. Even if she comes from a surrounding where most people will try to hold her back. The fact that they managed to break those chains and speak up emphasized their courage even more. We should thank Arab women like them for reshaping societies and making actions towards gender equality.
Estelle Liotard is a seasoned content writer and a blogger, with years of experience in different fields of marketing. She is a senior writer and content editor at the professional college essay writers service. Above all that, Estelle aspires to motivate women to pursue their dreams and dismiss society’s judgment and limitations.
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