Monday, December 21, 2009
The Aga Khan, Women and Development: The Path of Education
Research Associate, Hauser Center for Nonprofits, Harvard University
Posted: December 21, 2009 02:10 AM
"I believe the message of Islam is the dignity with which we must treat women in society...and I think it is correct that education dignifies women," His Highness Karim Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's Shia Ismaili Muslims, explained to a BBC reporter at the turn of the century. Like his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah, who was once President of the League of Nations, the Aga Khan has been an ardent supporter of educating women in the developing world for decades. Recently celebrating his 73rd birthday, the 49th hereditary Imam and direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad is still tireless in his effort, pragmatic in his approach, and strategic in his vision. As a religious leader, his moral obligation, rooted in the principles of Islam, holds him to both interpret the faith and improve the quality of life within the communities and societies in which his followers live. In his dual role, the Aga Khan is also founder and Chairman of one of the largest private development networks in the world, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), active in over 25 countries and employing over 70,000 people.
Read complete article in the Huffington Post