Feminists and activists across the world have fought long and hard to galvanise legislative bodies and the authorities to protect women’s welfare and rights. One of them is Zainah Anwar, whose illustrious public profile – as co-founder of Sister in Islam, and the current executive director of Musawah (a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family) – has led Harvard Law School (HLS) to include her in its 2018 portrait exhibit for International Women’s Day.
Running for the fifth year, the exhibit features 25 inspiring women around the globe who have greatly influenced the fields of law and policy. The honourees, whose portraits will line the first floor of Wasserstein Hall until March 9, were nominated by HLS students, faculty or staff for their strong voices in their respective fields.
Educated at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and MARA Institute of Technology, Shah Alam, Zainah Anwar’s contributions are wide-reaching: She’s a former member of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia; chief programme officer for the political division at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London; senior analyst for the Institute of Strategic and International Studies; and an articulate writer who shines a spotlight on religion, women’s rights and politics.
Among those joining Zainah Anwar on the wall of fame are Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Anna Neistat, senior director of Research for Amnesty International; Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender woman of colour elected to public office in the US; Hala Aldosari, women’s rights activist-blogger as well as researcher of health and gender-based violence in Saudi Arabia at the Radcliffe Institute; and Tarana Burke, the civil rights activist and creator of the powerful #MeToo movement that has taken Hollywood and the world by storm.