ISTANBUL – Ahead of the International Women’s Day, pioneering Muslim women who have made exceptional achievements in their fields came together for the 3rd International Remarkable Women’s Summit organized by Üsküdar Municipality on March 6, Daily Sabah reported.
Esra Albayrak, member of the Green Crescent Board and the Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Advisory Women’s Council opened her strong speech with stating a fact that “this day, which is dedicated to women around the world, shouldn’t have to even exist in an ideal world. Unfortunately, this is the trick that the history of mankind played on women.”
She recalled examples of women who changed the course of history with their remarkable success.
“The only way for Muslim women to reclaim their place in the world was to rediscover powerful women in Islamic history and learn from their merits,” Albayrak said.
The participating women, who come from different areas of life, shared their inspirational stories and spoke about how to make female voice heard in the face of challenges of the 21st century.
One of the inspirational speakers was the Paralympic swimmer Sümeyye Boyacı who talked about how she managed to find her place in the world although she was born without arms.
“Swimming was my enthusiasm since I was five years old. Although I started as an artist who opened international exhibition, I eventually secured my place in the Turkish national team and was able to achieve the gold medal at the Paralympic European Championship in 2018,” Boyacı said.
As a veiled Muslim woman in America, Samah Safi Bayazid not only had to face the difficulties of being a woman but also being a veiled Muslim.
“After deciding to wear the hijab at the age of 15, I tried hopelessly to find peers especially amid the depiction of Muslim characters in Hollywood as evil or villains,” admitted Bayazid who fights Islamophobia in the USA through her social activism work.
Another exceptional story is of the retired basketballer Nevriye Yılmaz who was born in Bulgaria but traveled with her family to Turkey to start a new life away from Islamophobia.
“Since the beginning of my basketball career at an early age, I knew that if I wanted to become a successful woman I’d have to work twice as hard, not only because I’m an immigrant but also because I’m a woman,” she said.
Discovered at a very early age, pianist Nehir Özzengin is the embodiment of a self-made young woman.
She started playing the piano when she was four years old and won her first international competition at the age of 9 in Belgium. She also won the 26th International Cortemilia Piano Competition.
The last speaker was the architect Ayşe Ören who designs housing for future colonies in space. Since crossing paths with Rick Tumlinson of the Space Frontier Foundation and several other space companies, Ören has continued her work in the new and developing field of space architecture.
International Women’s Day is an important annual occasion.
As Muslims, we already have the foundation for equality, and International Women’s Day should be a reminder to us all, on how to support women’s freedoms and to better live our lives.
From roles as leaders, businesswomen, teachers, medics, as well as housewives, farmers, traders, advisers, and so much more Prophet Muhammad ensured that a woman’s gender was not an obstacle for her to achieve. And when the patriarchal society would object, the Prophet would correct their objection.