There is no Equity without an Acknowledgement of Equality

I heaved a sigh of exasperation as I skimmed through an academic essay on the topic of women’s rights. The assertions made in the essay were enough to release the breath that I didn’t know I was holding. My brain needed the time to process what I had read. So I went from initial reaction to reflection, to process and finally to arriving at a good response. The writer of this essay had stated quite boldly that by virtue of gender differences, women shouldn’t be clamouring for equality, but for equity. …

This May Be the Right Time to Turn Towards Body Neutrality

Photo by Leah Vernon on Instagram

Once, we all dreamed of a world where women are appreciated for their minds rather than their bodies. We looked forward to a time when women’s bodies would cease to be objectified, hypersexualised and fetishised. We lamented the ills of capitalism and the exploitation of women. However, the recent proliferation of a variety of naked bodies all over the media in the ongoing body positivity campaign seems like a double-edged sword. For what it’s worth, It doesn’t elevate women to anything more than their bodies. But before I get hunted down by the body-shaming police, let me break this down.


Coping in an oppressive system did not look appealing to me

Photo: DISRUPTIVO/Unsplash

One cold rainy morning, when I was a young teenage girl heading into the spring of my life, my family and I sat in the prayer area of our living room, legs folded the way some people sit to make du’a. We had just finished observing the fajr prayer and the many words of dhikr that followed the pre-dawn ritual when my father cleared his throat and began his usual post-fajr sermons.

“Today,” he started, “I’m going to talk to you about marriage and how to build a successful Muslim home.”

We sat up, ready to listen to what we…

Bridgerton is a Modern Feminist Critique of the Past

We’ve all seen or heard about ‘Bridgerton’ — the Netflix regency style romance TV show which is an adaptation of Julia Quinn’s eight-part book series. “Bridgerton” took the world by surprise with its intense modern spin on a 19th century period drama. Underneath the show’s extravagant portrayal of Victorian aristocratic society is a blade-cutting modern critique of the heavily patriarchal culture of the time. Packed in this household TV series are themes of love, romance and feminism which make us reflect on whether or not today’s society is really different from what it was back then. …

Where Women are Economically Disadvantaged, Mahr Provides Freedom Against Economic Dependence

“I did not pay her Mahr just for her to turn around and challenge my authority.” a man blurted out to my hearing for the umpteenth time and I knew that this was a topic I couldn’t put aside anymore. For some time now, I’ve found myself in circles where the subject of conversation has been about drawing a parallel between slavery and marriage and whether or not there’s any practical difference between the two. Lots of women have argued that the term “marriage” which connotes a union of love and mutuality has been plastered upon slavery to make it…

Women’s History Month Means Celebrating the Greatness of my Predecessors

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Dear Memuna,

My maternal great grandmother. I can feel your blood running through my veins. You departed this world just a year after I was born, before my mind became mature enough to remember your face. But I’ve heard stories of you; stories that make my heart swell at the privilege of being your great-grand daughter. My mother spoke of your sass, your no-nonsense attitude and the way you raised the middle finger at those who tried to stand in your way.

I was told that you were a little woman who took up big spaces. And who am I not to…

Here’s How I Did It.

Photo by Vandan Patel on Unsplash

I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. I used to be so focused and productive. I would write a to-do list and smash almost all the items on my list. Those were the glorious days when it felt like I was not just a dreamer but a doer. As time went on, FOMO got me glued to my phone screen almost every hour of the day. I would wake up to chiming notifications and a beaming blue light beside my pillow. I would spend most of my waking moments tethered to my phone. I would delay projects, postpone assignments…

The Often Painful Stereotypes of Colourism are Linked to Racism

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

My mother showed me pictures of my great-grandmother. She was a smart, petite woman with skin the shade of a walnut. I saw admiration in the eyes of everyone who talked about her. They spoke of her sass, her affluence, and how she raised her middle finger when the world tried to draw her back. I was told that my younger sister shared her traits; the petite body, high cheekbones, and walnut skin. My mother would work thick pastes of Vaseline jelly into my sister’s skin until it came out shiny like raw black gold. I, on the other hand…

Her Desire to be Picked May Cause You Great Harm

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse

It’s 10 pm. I’m doing my usual bedtime reading just before my eyes get heavy and my hands get light enough to drop the book without me even noticing that I did. I’m drawn into the story of Carole, the fourth character in Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other. A few pages in and an involuntary “Oh my God!” glides off my lips, causing my heart to stop for a split second. It’s the second time I’m reading this chapter. Yet, I can’t seem to get over the horror of what happened to her. A chill breeze…

It’s Hard to Let Myself Have a Chance at Friendships.

Photo by Thought Catalog from Pexels

I can’t remember when those nightmares began to haunt me. For as long as I can remember, drifting into the arms of sleep meant drifting into the land of terror. The most recurrent dream was me finding myself in the kitchen of my childhood home, riding a walker as a baby and having scalding-hot water from a stainless-steel kettle emptied unto my body. After that, I would have bouts of insomnia, until the daylight tickles my eyes into full wakefulness. I kept this dream to myself for so many years. …

Wardah Abbas

Founding Editor, The Muslim Women Times. I write about Gender, Culture, Equality and Islam | Visit our Website at

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