Raquel Evita Saraswati

Raquel SRaquel Evita Saraswati is an American Muslim activist who focuses primarily on issues related to the status of women and girls in Muslim-majority societies and communities. She works to eradicate honour and gender-based violence (including female genital mutilation), end forced and child marriages, and protect the separation of religion and state.

Raquel has published in various papers and journals including Publico, Portugal’s largest daily, Aquila Style (a cosmopolitan Muslim women’s magazine published in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei), and others. She has lectured in North America and Europe on issues like gender-based violence and minority rights.

In 2007, Raquel received the prestigious Colin Higgins’ Youth Courage Award, granted to ‘those individuals who have endured overwhelming hostility and hate, yet have handled themselves with the utmost grace.’ In 2010, Raquel received a Durga Award at the 6th annual San Diego IndieFest. The Durga Awards are presented annually to ‘outstanding women who dedicate their lives to healing communities.’ Raquel is the first women under age 30 to receive this award.

Click here to learn about Raquel’s project, The Adalah Initiative, which is still in its early stages. You can follow her on Twitter, and email her at raquelevita@raquelevita.com. (You can also visit her on Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and if you’re still using it, MySpace.)

“Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way. And, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully – you can hear her breathe.” – Arundhati Roy