While the Aga Khan advocated comprehensive reforms for Muslims both as a leader of Indian Muslims and as the Imam of Nizari Ismaili Muslims, he adopted a more hands-on approach when it came to the latter. For Shi’a Ismaili Muslim women in particular, he stands out as a salient figure. At a time when avenues for women’s development were extremely limited, he used the weight of his spiritual authority to create an enabling environment for women’s progress.
While this article surveys the Imam’s efforts in the realm of women’s educational advancement, it is important to remember that these efforts were not undertaken in isolation. He also reformed communal laws and policies, including increasing the age of marriage and instituting policies to ensure adequate representation of women on decision-making bodies, such as the Ismaili Councils.
By: Shenila Khoja-Moolji (Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College)
Read the article at the source: Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III: Laying the Foundations for Ismaili Women’s Progress