Muslim Women's Day: The Story

Muslim Women’s Day Then and Now: A Look Back Through the Years

It is December 7, 2015. We watch Trump read this statement aloud to his raving crowd at a rally in South Carolina: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

As we hear all the cheers and applause, our hearts are broken, dreams are shattered, and trauma reawakened: We’re still alienated; we’re still shouldering the burden of the hatred and the otherness that surged in the aftermath of 9/11 — something that we were never guilty of.

At that moment, little did we know that such a discriminatory statement would soon become our harsh reality — until we witnessed the first version of the Muslim Ban take effect on January 27, 2017.

Knowing that we’re not the enemy; knowing that we belong with everyone else in this “salad bowl” and that we do our best every day to contribute positively to our society, a Muslim-women-led movement became imperative to clean up the mess escalated by Trump’s MAGA regime.

Muslim Women’s Day: The Uprising

From her desk on March 20, 2017, Muslim Girl founder Amani announced teaming up with dozens of media and web partners including — but not limited to — MTV, Huffington Post, Refinery29, Teen Vogue, Tumblr, and Twitter to designate March 27 as Muslim Women’s Day.

As per their pledge to pass the mic to Muslim women, the first Muslim Women’s Day witnessed a tsunami of positive stories and narratives depicting Muslim women in a new light from our top-tier partners and allies!

Muslim Women’s Day Milestones

Starting off as a day for Muslim women to show the nation that they can unite to amplify their voices, Muslim Women’s Day has soon become a global campaign that represents Muslim women across the globe.

2017

Labeled as “the largest Muslim women’s media takeover ever,” Muslim Women’s Day 2017 achieved phenomenal success, as high-level partners and allies flooded the internet with positive representation of Muslim women. In no time, #MuslimWomensDay became the number one trending hashtag during the day — with 72 million impressions worldwide.

Not to mention, Amani sat with Russell Simmons, the chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding — the organization behind the Muslims Are Speaking Out (MASO) movement that challenges the negative portrayal of Muslims in the media — to talk about Islamophobia and media misrepresentation.

The campaign also witnessed relentless love and support from leading digital media platforms like Essence Magazine, Man Repeller, Pret-a-Reporter, PhillyVoice, Bust Magazine, NPR Goats & Soda, HollywoodLife, Refinery29, Al Jazeera English, Teen Vogue, Huff Post Women, ELLE Malaysia, BBC News (UK), FOX23 News, and Bustle. It was also the day that opened the door for countless opportunities for Muslim women to have their own bylines in these major mainstream publications that they always dreamed of having their words in.

The first Muslim Women’s Day took on different nuances for different people: Some Muslim women were astonished to see themselves represented, whereas others took that opportunity to show the world that they exist! Sure enough, it was a day when Muslim women felt included, seen, and elevated; as it raised the bar of representation to a whole new level.

With the unprecedented solidarity and support of our allies, this was the beginning of a new chapter for Muslim women, by Muslim women.

2018

In its second round, Muslim Women’s Day proved that it wasn’t a one-time endeavor; it’s a campaign that is persistent to take effect every single year for so many years to come. And not just that, the campaign came off strong with its theme “Muslim Women Talk Back to Violence;” essentially standing up against gun violence and in solidarity for the #MeToo movement.

In partnership with Lallab Magazine, Muslim Women’s Day 2018 campaign introduced #MuslimWomensDay to France, as they teamed up with high-level digital media outlets to amplify Muslim women’s voices in France and reshape the marginalizing narrative sweeping the French society.

Looking back at Muslim Women’s Day 2018, we immediately remember how ecstatic Muslim women were — with dozens of people including Ibtihaj Muhammad celebrating the day. We also saw Blk Girl Culture celebrating Black hijabis!

2019

Marking the 10th anniversary of Muslim Girl, Muslim Women’s Day 2019 witnessed a significant increase in the number of partners and allies from the mainstream digital media outlets.

With its theme “Muslim Women Talk Back to Immigrant Life,” Muslim Women’s Day 2019 made room for many Muslim women to finally sound off their struggles, concerns, and hopes as immigrants — and children of immigrants — given the evident politicization of Muslim identities.

We also teamed up with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who incredibly took over our Muslim Girl Instagram profile. And with our partnership with UN Women to acknowledge and celebrate Muslim women, we knew that we were on the right track with how we reshaped the misrepresentation of Muslim women — not to mention being acknowledged by the NYC Mayor’s Office!

On top of that, this campaign’s voice echoed in the UK, as MTV UK shared Amani’s message on how everyone can amplify and elevate Muslim women’s voices online. And, let’s not forget having our #MuslimWomensDay Spotify playlist as well as Snapchat filters!

Muslim Women’s Day 2019 was surely one of our favorite years, as we witnessed tremendous love and support from such leading media platforms, partners, and allies as AJ+, Bumble, Spotify, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, StoryCorps, Refinery29, NYLON, Guggenheim Museum, Remezcla, Muslim Women’s Alliance, and Planned Parenthood.

2020

Instagram, @muslimgirl

With the world turning upside down given the global pandemic that swept the world, the #MuslimWomenDay theme for 2020 centered around “Autonomy.” Stunningly enough, we saw the strength and the resilience of the Muslim Girl Army, as they were sure to voice what autonomy meant for them — all from their quarantines — just so that they’d educate the world on how spiritually deep and layered Muslim identities can be.

In the spirit of autonomy, we teamed up with incredible partners and allies like Allure, Bustle, Bumble, Byrdie, Daily Kos, Forbes, GQ Middle East, HerCampus, Huff Post Women, HYPEBAE, Little White Lies, Refinery29, StoryCorps, Simon & Schuster, Teen Vogue, Vogue Arabia, Kode With Klossy, Instagram, Girlgaze, The Global Goals, Girls Who Code, Female Quotient, MAKERS Women, NYLON, UN Women, and Who What Wear to uplift Muslim women’s voices in the midst of the global pandemic to delve into their autonomy and share it with the world.

We also hosted a panel in partnership with American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP) that celebrated four of its high-caliber Muslim health professionals and amplified their voices on COVID-19 and its psychosocial impacts.

For us, Muslim Women’s Day 2020 reflected how solid and unshakable our solidarity is, even in the midst of a global pandemic when so many relations were sidelined, as we still could receive an ample amount of support from media platforms and organizations for the entirety of the day.

2021

In our fifth groundbreaking comeback, we brought the first #MuslimWomensDay digital summit to the whole world on Muslim Women’s Day 2021, as we gathered Muslim women trailblazers, media titans, and culture influencers, along with our high-level partners and allies to represent and elevate the voices of Muslim women across the world.

With the theme of “Healing, Resilience, and Renewal,” we brought in fresh perspectives: having been joined by the phenomenal singer SZA who opened up about her multilayered Muslim identity — from thinking about wearing hijab “all the time” to barely putting weed aside while fasting!

On top of that, we announced our logo design contest and featured the winner’s artwork as the official symbol for the day. We also announced our global essay contest in partnership with Teen Vogue.

What’s more, we had our Muslim Girl writers’ panel hosted by Muslim Girl executive editor Azmia Ricchuito, as she sat with the Muslim Girl writers and Muslim Girl Army to talk about their individual and collective experiences with writing as a means of activism and healing. And, let’s not forget having Amani’s picture light up TikTok’s Discover page for the entirety of the day!

2022

Here we are, witnessing Muslim Women’s Day 2022 after weathering dozens of storms and going through different seasons over the past six years so that we’d finally come today and secure the space that we’ve been working painstakingly to reclaim.

This time, we’ve taken over the Twitter explore page with @haneindoesart‘s stellar artwork.

We were honored to join Twitter Spaces with our #MuslimWomensDay Kick-off Event featuring the Geena Davis Institute, Muslim Casting, Netflix star Tan France, Ms. Marvel co-creator Sana Amanat, and Pillars Fund to spotlight the new Muslim women’s on-screen test and talk about the Muslim women representation in Hollywood.

We also celebrated our anticipation of Ramadan as we ended our day with our Wrap-Up and Ramadan Resolutions Twitter Space with Linda Sarsour, where we talked about our Ramadan goals for the year!

Additionally, we’ve been humbled by the heartwarming devotion of our top-tier partners and allies, who have been flooding the internet with #MuslimWomensDay content and elevating the voices of Muslim women for the sixth year in a row. And we couldn’t be prouder to welcome NASA to this incredible coalition.

As for TikTok’s Discover page, we took it over for the second time in a row, with our #MuslimWomensDay hashtag being viewed by 6.5 million users.

Muslim Women's Day Through the Years

Our Journey’s Just Beginning…

Yesterday we harvested the seeds that we planted over the years and reaped all the work that we sowed. We celebrate all the new opportunities that have been made available for Muslim women and girls — with dozens of our incredible allies and partners proving to have our back over the years, celebrating us and empowering us to reframe the negative stereotypical narratives around Muslim women and girls.

It has always been time to center Muslim women’s voices. And even though we still have a long way to go, we’re nothing short of grateful for all the love and support that we have been receiving as we reshape every post-9/11 narrative, one misrepresentation at a time.

Following our sixth annual Muslim Women’s Day, we’re honored to say: “Happy Muslim Women’s Day, six years and counting.”

To all our partners and allies, to every single person who showed their solidarity, thank you for always coming together to listen when Muslim women talk back.

Muslim Girl's content editor. For submissions, email either Editorial@muslimgirl.com or Jummanah@muslimgirl.com.