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Everywoman
Morocco's Female Preachers
The women who defy convention and change opinions.
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2007 13:09 GMT

Female preacher, Samira Marzouk

We start with the great strides women have been taking in the field of religion.

Women have become Buddhist monks in Thailand, ordained as priests by the Church of England, and adopted as rabbis by liberal Jews.

But perhaps most astonishing of all, last year women in Morocco were appointed as Islamic preachers.

The murshidat, as they are known, were created after the 2003 bombings in Casablanca.

As Everywoman reports, it is hoped that these female guides will encourage a more tolerant Islam.

Comedy

Comedian Maysoon Zaid
What do you get if you cross a Palestinian woman with an American comedian?

You would probably get Maysoon Zaid - a Muslim, and a cerebral palsy sufferer, but also one of the funniest stand-ups of her generation.

And she is using her talent to bridge the gap between the Middle East and the West.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks in America, she launched the Arab American Comedy Festival.

Her fans say she is hilarious. Her mother says she swears too much.

Jenni Williams and the Women of WOZA

Jenni Williams, the founder of WOZA
There are many battles going on in Zimbabwe: political, economic, even a daily battle for survival. And for women, there is also the battle for equal rights.

The Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA is an African group which aims to empower women through knowledge and skills.

The women organise non-violent demonstrations but under Mugabe's regime they are threatened with beatings and imprisonment.

Zaiba Malik went to meet their founder, Jenni Williams, and some of the women of WOZA.

Shaimaa's Scarf

TV presenter and radio DJ, Shaimaa Khalil
Shaimaa Khalil used to be something of a wild child and a party girl.

But all that changed when she rediscovered her religion, donned a hijab and chose to live a more conservative life.

When we caught up with her in Qatar, she was working as a TV presenter and a radio DJ.

So how has her new found spirituality changed her? 
 
Watch this episode of Everywoman here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This episode of Everywoman aired from 10 August 2007.


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