Zainah Anwar, founding member and first executive director of Sisters in Islam, received the United Nations Malaysia Award 2019 for contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the human rights fundamental freedoms category on 24 October.
The award, which honours outstanding contributions of individuals and organisations embodying the underlying principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, recognises Zainah’s decades of hard work and dedication in promoting the rights of women living in Muslim contexts. This includes co-founding two ground-breaking women’s groups, Sisters in Islam and Musawah, the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family.
This adds to Zainah’s impressive list of accolades and recognitions in the area of human rights. In 2018 she was honoured by Harvard Law School as one of the 25 “Women Aspiring Change” globally in law and policy.
Zainah has also been named by Newsweek and the Daily Beast as one of 150 women “who shake the world”, by Women Deliver as one of the 100 most inspiring people in championing the rights of women and girls, and by the online International Museum of Women as one of the 10 most influential Muslim women at the global level.
Johor Bharu-born Zainah is not only admired among colleagues but is also an inspirational role model for young girls. A trailblazer, she is a powerful force for change in Malaysia and across the world.
“We at Sisters in Islam are proud to be part of her journey,” said executive director Rozana Isa.