Female political leaders in Islam and in Muslim-majority countries

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton standing with Afghan female politicians, which includes Fauzia Koofi on her right and Sima Samar to her left.

Women in Islamic societies have held many positions of political significance.[citation needed]

Islamic texts[edit]

Some argue that the Qur'an gives women the right to participate in public affairs as there are examples of women who took part in serious discussions and argued even with Muhammad himself.[1] In addition, during the Caliphate of Umar, a woman argued with him in the mosque, proved her point, and caused him to declare in the presence of many people: "A woman is right and Umar is wrong".

Female leaders[edit]

The late Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan.

There are many more contemporary examples of women leading Muslim-majority countries. The majority of all Muslims in the world live in countries that have, at some time, elected women as their leaders. Indeed, the three most populous Muslim-majority countries have had women as leaders:

Other Muslim- majority nations which have had female political leaders include:

Nearly one-third of the Parliament of Egypt- the fifth most populous Muslim majority nation- also consists of women.[8]

Women still face many pressures as political leaders.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Qur'an [Quran 58:1], [Quran 60:10]
  2. ^ "Megawati: The Princess Who Settled for the Presidency". Time. 2001-07-27. Retrieved 2010-05-02.  Gerlach, Ricarda: 'Mega' Expectations: Indonesia's Democratic Transition and First Female President. In: Derichs, Claudia/Mark R. Thompson (eds.): Dynasties and Female Political Leaders in Asia. Berlin et al.: LIT, p. 247-290.
  3. ^ Ali A. Mazrui, Pretender to Universalism: Western Culture in a Globalizing Age, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volume 21, Number 1, April 2001
  4. ^ "#33 Khaleda Zia". Forbes. 2006-08-31.  Gerlach, Ricarda: Female Political Leadership and Duelling Dynasties in Bangladesh. In: Derichs, Claudia/Mark R. Thompson (eds.): Dynasties and Female Political Leaders in Asia. Berlin et al.: LIT, p. 113--150
  5. ^ Tansu Çiller - Prime Minister - Turkey - 1993-1995 - Tansu Ciller
  6. ^ "Atifete Jahiaga Elected As Kosovo's First Female President". Huffington Post. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  7. ^ http://kabar.ru/archives/1120
  8. ^ Shaheen, Jack G. (2003). "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 588 (1): 171–193 [184]. doi:10.1177/0002716203588001011. 
  9. ^ Bhat, Devika; Hussain, Zahid (2007-02-20). "Female Pakistani minister shot dead for breaking Islamic dress code". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-02.