On International Women’s Day, I want to express our sincere and collective gratitude and respect for all women, both past and present, who continue to make vast social, cultural, economic and political contributions to better the world we live in. I am particularly appreciative and proud to work alongside all of our amazing female colleagues, staff and volunteers at Islamic Relief, who have dedicated their lives and profession to ensuring that essential humanitarian aid is delivered to the most vulnerable so that they are able to thrive in challenging and often discriminatory environments.
As an organization, we continue to dedicate our resources and support initiatives that improve the education, health and livelihood of women and girls across the world. In addition to our unyielding commitment towards women’s and gender justice issues, two of Islamic Relief USA‘s very founders were women who led the efforts in establishing a faith-inspired institution dedicated to alleviating human suffering worldwide. If not for the commitment and perseverance of our founding sisters, such Jill Elbendary and Shahin Ashraf, along with our other co-founders, we would not have the distinct privilege of carrying out our noble mission today.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, reminded all of us in his final sermon of our collective commitment to ensure the rights of women. He said, “Observe your duty to God in respect to women and treat them well.” This among countless other traditions from our faith inspire our commitment to gender justice.
Please join me in honoring and celebrating women across the world by reasserting our values and dedication towards advancing issues that positively impact the lives of women, not merely today, but every day.
Jazakum Allahu Kheiran.