- Melisa Shafiee
Prominent Female Muslim figures in U.S. politics
Updated: Dec 29, 2021
Welcome to this week’s Color for Empowerment blog! As this month is Arab-American heritage month, we wanted to dedicate this week’s blog to two very special Muslim women in the United States. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are currently, the only two Muslim Congresswoman in the U.S. who are already leading a path for positive change. Both women advocate for causes such as human rights, workers rights, and the abolishment of ICE. Not only are they history-makers, but they are also change-makers.
Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia along with her six siblings. She began her career in politics on a smaller scale, such as by working as a campaign manager for local elections, being a community nutrition educator, and an advocate for East African women in politics. Omar became the first woman of color to represent the state of Minnesota. Currently, her work as a congresswoman involves being in committees pertaining to higher education, global human rights, and international development.
Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit, Michigan to Palestinian immigrants. Tlaib began her political career by interning for a state representative, becoming a state legislator, as well as practicing law. Tlaib has also had an enormous impact on Palestinian women around the world. For example, when Tlaib wore a traditional piece of Arab clothing, a thawb, as she was being sworn into congress, she inspired Palestinian women to embrace their culture through social media. Currently, her work Tlaib is part of committees involving civil rights, natural resources, and finances.
It cannot be emphasized enough how significant the roles of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib are for the Muslim community. Muslims receive little representation, especially in the U.S. political landscape. With the stereotypes that Muslim women face, both Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are breaking barriers and expanding the horizons for millions of Muslim girls. As more young girls are being inspired to pursue a career in politics, it is clear that Omar and Tlaib’s work is just the beginning.
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