Kerala witnessed the release of a unique publication titled 100 Inspiring Muslim Women to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence and 66th Kerala Formation Day. This is the first collective of its kind and highlighting the success stories of 100 Muslim women shattering the glass ceilings to become role models for the new generation. A special report by Kaliph Anaz
100 Inspiring Muslim Women, published by Rising Beyond The Ceiling (RBTC), celebrates the exemplary accomplishments of Kerala’s Muslim women. They are from across all the districts of Kerala- from Alappuzha, Ernakulum, Malappuram and Palakkad to Kochi, Kollam, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kasaragod, Kottayam and Wayanad, among others.
The 100 inspiring women are shattering the stereotypes in uniform, are leaders in administration, are creative contributors to the arts, are impassioned authors and writers, inspirations in politics, change-makers in social development, achievers in law and academics, professionals in medicine, are taking strides in entrepreneurship and private sector, shining in sports, under-30 youth achievers and are making an impact across the globe in many countries.
Rising Beyond The Ceiling (RBTC) was founded as a global social change initiative. Its mission is to celebrate the achievements and contributions to nation building by Muslim women of India. Rising Beyond The Ceiling aims to change the stereotype narrative surrounding Muslim women in India, doing so in an integrated way, with collaboration of all faiths.
This initiative was launched in 2020 and took two years of research and selection, which was done meticulously from a huge list of nominations received through various bodies and think tanks as well as individuals.
“Kerala’s Muslim women have come a long way since Maliyekkal Mariyumma from Thalassery defied the conservatives in her community in the 1930s to study English and pursue her school education.,” the editorial panel said in a statement. “The Muslim heartland of Malappuram now produces toppers in all sorts of educational competitive examination thanks to the tireless work by organisations such as the Muslim Education Society and the Centre for Information and Guidance India among others.
“The hundred women featured here are from varied back grounds and they have overcome stiff barriers like Mariyumma did almost a century ago and moved ahead in their professional path. We want to place these role models before you so that you can see and get inspired, shed that self-doubt, and start taking those few steps and actions for a joyful journey in finding your true calling or profession. We thought this is a practical way to nudge the common average woman to look at ways and means in navigating the educational and professional fields by looking at these path breakers and learning and get inspired from their stories.”
Over 100 million Indian women, who identify themselves as Muslim, reach across a spectrum of ethnicities and languages, states, and union territories, do not look the same or sound the same, and contribute to India’s growth and development in a variety of ways. RBTC Kerala is unique in many ways, with high education status of women in the state as well as a high percentage of more than a quarter (26.5%) of Kerala’s 33 million population identifying themselves as Muslim. RBTC chapters other states are in the process of being identified as well as a global inspirations compendium of Muslim women from India who have made their mark in countries across the world. While the focus of Rising Beyond The Ceiling is on journeys travelled by Muslim women achievers, these stories will inspire all women and girls in India, and around the world, at every stage of their lives, in all areas of endeavor and open a door to new ambitions.
RBTC has also launched an online women’s mentorship programme open to all young women and girls between the age of 18 to 25 years from all communities.
Dr. Farah K. Usmani, who is the Founder and Chairperson of Rising Beyond The Ceiling, is a New York based international health and development expert. She has over 25 years of experience working with the United Nations International Civil Service in several countries across the world in policy and programming leadership with a focus on women and girls. Farah believes that this first RBTC 100 list is only a small sliver of the many amazing Muslim women in Kerala and more stories of courage, grit and service need to continue to be told. Other editors include Ameer Ahamed, Shaheen Usmani, Aneesunneesa P, Afzal Edappakath.
The editorial panel said that every RBTC honoree has been a role model in their specific fields, and it has been tough to choose from the many nominations to finalize the 100 inspiring Muslim women of Kerala.
Sadhiya Shiraj, Nargees Basheer, Nasreen Basheer, Afrah Boo provided the research support and c cover was designed by Sabiha Hasan Sumbul. Artworks team includes by Jamila Mammi, Lujain Zulaikha, Zaina Sajid and Shabna Sumayya.
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RBTC 100 WOMEN KERALA 2022
SHATTERING STEREOTYPES IN UNIFORM
Afra Abdullah, S. Ajeetha Begum, A. Noujisha, Shajna Karim
LEADERSHIP IN GOVERNANCE
Adeela Abdulla, Hamna Mariam Khan, K.A. Kadijabi,
Nagma Mohamed Mallick, Neethu Sona, Noushaba Nas,
CREATIVE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE ARTS
Aisha Sultana, Aysha Haseen, Jameela Mammi Hajee,
Nazriya Nazim, Nilambur Ayisha, Rehna
IMPASSIONED AUTHORS AND POETS
Fathima E.V, Khadija Mumthas, Rukhaya MK,
Sarah Aboobacker, EK Sheeba, BM Suhara, Ummi Abdullah
INSPIRATIONS FROM POLITICS
Jameela Kanathil, Jebi Mather, Kamrunnisa Anwar,
KP Mariyumma, Sabitha Beegum, Shama Mohamed,
Shanimol Usman, L Sulaikha, C, Zeenath
CHANGE MAKERS IN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Hafsa Shamsuddin, Jameela Ibrahim, KV Rabiya,
A Rahmathunnisa, PK Noorbina Rashid, Raihanath Kappan,
Seenath Kokkur, Shameema Islahiya, Sharnas Muthu,
Sheeba Ameer, Sifiya Haneef, Tahira, VP Zuhara
ACHIEVERS IN LAW & ACADEMICS
M Fathima Beevi, Fathima Beevi KS, Fathima Nizaruddin,
Khadija Mohamed Ali, Shamshad Hussain KT,
Neema Noor Mohamed
PROFESSIONALS IN MEDICINE
Assuma Beevi, Laila Beegum, Mubaraka Beevi,
Shareefa Beevi, Saffia PM
STRIDES IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP & PRIVATE SECTOR
Abida Rasheed, Parveen Hafeez, Nimmy Sheriff, Sabira Mohamed,
Sabitha Nasar, Sahla Parveen, VP Rajeena. Rasha Kutty,
PM Shabnam Samad, Yasmin Arimbra, Zara Sheikha
SHINING IN SPORTS
Hadiya Hakeem, Jinsha Basheer, Majiziya Bhanu, Swaliha Rafeeq
UNDER 30 YOUTH INSPIRATIONS
Aysha Renna, Fathima Thahiliya, Jushna Shahin,
Laiba Abdul Basith, Nagma Nasser
Najma Thabsheera, Noor Jaleela, Rehna Shajahan,
Safna Nazrudeen, Shabna Sulaiman, Subeena Rahman
MAKING AN IMPACT AROUND THE GLOBE
Alisha Moopen, Ayisha Abdul Basith, Hasina Nishad,
Jugunu Rafeeq, Jumanah Kadri, Netha Hussain, Nisha Lathif,
Nisham Rayees, Reena Abdul Rahman, Salma Raheem,
Sapna Saleem, Shabana Faizal, Shabana Sayed, Shanila Laiju,
Sunayna Iqbal, Ummul Fayiza, Yasmin Karim