Women in Islam

Women in Islam

The topic of women in Islam — their fashion, their values, their rights — is a source of constant fascination for people young and old alike. It’s likely that students will bring their own preconceived notions to the classroom, so it’s important to address this topic with sensitivity and kindness.

Click here for a guide on how to address difficult topics in the classroom, and find below a collection of resources for educators: articles, books, and infographics to inform how you teach about women in Islam; lesson plans and scripts to help plan your curriculum; and multimedia resources like novels, films, and podcasts to supplement your own lesson plans.

This resource guide is one in an ongoing series developed by MEPC staff and interns. New guides are published every two weeks, so send an email to mgeissler@mepc.org to be added to the list or to request a specific topic.

Recommended Topics to Discuss

  • Veiling — who does it and why?
  • Women’s rights in Muslim countries
  • Marriage and divorce in Muslim countries
  • Women in the Quran
  • Women in Islamic history

Background Information

Lesson Plans and Teaching Guides

Films & Documentaries

  • He Named Me Malala this documentary tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for women’s education in Pakistan (free on Netflix)
  • Wadjda is a film about one girl in Saudi Arabia’s determination to own a bicycle, and more broadly about her experiences coming of age in a patriarchal society. It’s directed by Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker, Haifaa al-Mansour (for rent on Amazon Prime)
  • Feminism Inshallah is a documentary about the largely unknown history of Arab and Islamic women’s rights movements across multiple Middle Eastern countries (available on Kanopy with a public library login)
  • A Revolution in Four Seasons is a documentary following two women in post-Arab Spring Tunisia, one of them secular and progressive, one an Islamist, fighting for their visions of Tunisia’s future (free on Youtube)

YouTube Videos


  • Fiction
    • First, “Save the Muslim Girl,” an article from Rethinking Schools, on how to recognize and address stereotypes in fiction about Muslim women
    • The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf is a novel about the journey of a teenage Syrian immigrant growing up Muslim in Indiana
    • Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah is a funny, touching novel about friendship, growing up, and veiling through the eyes of a Muslim-Australian 11th grader
    • Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson for Marvel is a graphic novel about an ordinary Muslim American teen who unexpectedly receives extraordinary superpowers
    • Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali tells the story of Layla, a second-generation Indian-American Muslim, attempting to reconcile her identities as independent American and good Muslim daughter as she travels to India for an arranged marriage


  • This Muslim Girl – an Arab-American woman born in Yemen and raised in central California shares stories to empower young women of all faiths
  • Salam, Girl! – hosted by two American converts to Islam, this podcast talks about the experience of conversion, their personal relationships with Islam, and what it means to Muslim in America today
  • #GoodMuslimBadMuslim – two Muslim women discuss, satirically, the good and the bad of the American Muslim female experience (more here)
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