We wanted to put a twist to our usual “Top Ten” this week, and give some attention to the men who really deserve it. Seeing men supporting, encouraging, and fighting for women’s rights is not the most common nowadays, but when we do see it, we are FLOORED... to say the least!
In today’s piece, we’ve rounded up 10 men — both those who are with us today and those who have departed — who have been fighting for women’s rights in their own respective ways.
I may just be a tad biased as the writer, but I’d highly recommend you read about them and what they are doing/have done, specifically in the world of women’s rights. I’m inspired, and I’m sure you will be too.
#1 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (c. 570- June 8, 632)
A man of kindness, honesty, fairness, and equality — in one of the sayings of the Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says, “The best of men are those who are best to their wives.” When it comes to women and their rights, the Prophet (pbuh) said to the men during his Farewell Sermon: “You have certain rights over women, but they have certain rights over you.”
Joe is a Muslim revert who is constantly encouraging everyone to fight together for the right’s of women and gender equality. He is passionate about voicing when and where women are being mistreated or judged for the wrong reasons. See attached photo for an example of what some of his recent FB posts have been looking like.
Joe also talks a lot about the unfortunate circumstances women go through revolving sexual assault and rape. He says,“I can even personally attest to the fact that I have had debates with non Muslim colleagues and relatives about the mistreatment of Muslim women by Muslim men. I do not deny this as I am not going to deny facts as they are. However, it is pure arrogance to condemn the abuse of Muslim women by Muslim men in a tone that suggests that non Muslim women are safe from abuse by non Muslim men. He whose house is made of glass should not throw stones.”
Imam Khalid Latif is known around the board to be the first to speak up against any kind of mistreatment towards women. He has written numerous articles and led just as many (if not more) Friday sermons and lectures focused on the encouragement of gender equality, specifically from the angle of how we all can do better when it comes to the world of women and their rights. His articles and lectures have varied from how the women’s entrance area of a masjid shouldn’t be disrespected — sharing the same space as trash cans and completely unlit, to how we can end violence against women.
Tariq is a native of West Baltimore — a husband and father who only speaks of the women in his life like one would of queens. His art, advocacy, and engagement tugs at heart-strings across the world.
“Have you seen a women who bends gravity? And carries the universe in her left pocket? She who stares through the souls of men? Have you not seen the woman of brick and butterflies? - excerpt from “For Black Girls Who Fight”
#5 Harry Belafonte
This Jamaican-American singer, songwriter, actor, and activist is an advisor to the organizers of the Women’s March! He told the Associated Press that he advised the organizers on strategies for a more successful, yet peaceful protest — sharing his experiences as a civil rights activist who marched in D.C with Martin Luther King Jr.
Arunuchalam is a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, India. He is more commonly known as “Padman” — with an entire movie that has been based off of his story. He initiated low cost sanitary pads for women in rural areas as well as villages in India, and quickly became a highly respected, world-renowned legend because of it.
While serving as the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is not afraid to show his passion about women’s rights, realizing that the fight for women’s rights is a fight for all.“Equal rights is not just a fight for women – all of us need to stand in solidarity with our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to say that discrimination, in all shapes and forms, will not be tolerated. When we achieve true equality, we all benefit,” he says.
#8 Imam Mohammed Magid
As the Imam of All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia, Imam Magid has been working hard to do what he can to raise awareness and eventually diminish violence against women. Along with his many other attributes and achievements (including co-authoring three books), Imam Magid has been organizing several workshops for Imams and religious leaders (domestically and internationally) on violence against women.
From commenting on the Weinstein Scandal a few years ago, to disagreeing with men who say we need more female versions of him (see attached photo) — the young actor is constantly fighting for gender equality/women’s rights. Most recently, Justin launched original TV series “Man Enough”, where he explores the meaning(s) of being a man and the misconceptions of masculinity when it comes to topics like fatherhood or sexual assault.
#10 Henry Browne Blackwell (1825-1909)
Henry Blackwell immigrated to the U.S from England with his family when he was a child. In his later years, he became an activist for both social and economic reform issues in the U.S. In 1870, he published the Women’s Journal with his wife (a feminist of her time) Lucy Stone (1818-1893) and also founded the American Women Suffrage Association — a group that lobbied state governments to enact laws expanding women’s right to vote in the U.S!
Irum is a writer, photographer, and author of 'Nothing to Summit' - a collection of short essays on gaining strength, fighting against one's fears, falling, regaining hope, and ultimately finding inner peace before the cycle/climb begins again. She received her Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Michigan State University and is currently dabbling in several photojournalism and writing projects, while also working as a communications specialist.
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