Bangalore: The Founder-director of the Iqra International School and prominent educationist Noor Ayesha was selected among the list of 100 most influential women of Karnataka. Modeled on the pattern of the “BBC 100 Women”, an initiative called Rising Beyond The Ceiling (RBTC) has culled Muslim women from the state who have excelled in 14 different fields, from politics to social service.
It is an effort to smash negative preconceptions about Muslim womenfolk frequently perpetuated by a section of ‘Upper castes’ dominated media.
The profiles of these women were published in a book form which was launched on March 4 by former Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva here. The book is also titled Rising beyond the Ceiling (RBTC).
The initiative, according to RBTC founder Dr. Farah Usmani, seeks to bring attention to the diversity of Muslim women in India as well as the contributions they have made to nation-building.
As the director of the United Nations International Civil Service, Dr. Usmani has made it her mission to dispel the misconceptions about Muslim women. Under her guidance, her team compiled the book which highlights inspiring profiles of 100 Muslim women from Karnataka. The success stories of these women demonstrate their contributions to the country in terms of innovation, creativity, and tenacity. Innumerable women are highlighted in the book who overcame challenges to go from poverty to achievement, many of whom did so even after getting married. Also highlighted are their mentors, who are frequently their husbands. Their fight and resolve to overcome obstacles reflect their leadership, perseverance, and courage. The book shatters the myth surrounding Muslim women. Zoya Fatehally and Aiman Ansari took over 18 months to curate these names of achievers.
Former IAF wing commander and physician Dr. Farah Afraz lauded the initiative for its capacity to broaden the limited viewpoint of Indian Muslim women. She claims that the event showcases the outstanding work being done by women in a variety of sectors and that what has been shown so far is just the beginning.
Speaking about Muslim women, Noor Ayesha opined that “I will leave it to you to judge about the rest of the country if in a state like Karnataka which can alone boast so many smart Muslim women from all walks of life with such remarkable achievements.”
“The RBTC book debunks the mainstream narratives that objectify Muslim women and that often use the image of the hijab to do so. The archetype most commonly associated with them is that of the oppressed and imperiled victim confined to just being a housewife. The RBTC initiative shatters the much publicized and misused worldview of the Muslim women seen as a threat to liberal values, justifying violence against them and their communities.”
Every honouree mentioned and their actual lived experiences/ accomplishments which are complex and extend well beyond a singular trope stand in stark contrast to the most common misconception in India and beyond. If one state of India that is Karnataka alone can have these many (and more) intellectual Muslim women from every walk of life with such great achievements, I’ll leave it to you to do the math as to how many of us are making a huge difference all over India and the world which most often goes unnoticed unless somebody takes up initiatives like RBTC. Hope these facts serve as a relief to confined minds that limit the capabilities of Muslim women, she added
“We do exist and we do matter,” she asserted.
The 650 students of Iqra School have received awards for receiving a top-notch education. Moreover, the Iqra School received the Most Reliable School Award. She underlined the problems with the present educational system. Because of this, educated people are living standard lives but are unable to make significant contributions to society or deliver high-quality education.
Children at Iqra International School get a quality education alongside being educated in social responsibility so they can pay back to society.
It is mentioned that the RBTC endeavor seeks to highlight inspiring biographies of women who have overcome challenges to achieve success and to show how Muslim women are shattering stereotypes. The group wants to publish these lists of 100 inspirational women in 14 states of the country every two years, modeled after the “BBC 100 Women” and Forbes’ “The World’s 100 Most Influential Women” lists. The book serves as a reminder that Muslim women exist, have value, and should not have their potential constrained by unfavorable perceptions. (Source:inputs from The Cognate.com)