#Okay100Women

ILHAN OMAR

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Ilhan Omar is especially inspiring in America right now, as we endure the presidency of Trump. Omar represents everything Trump is against—she's a woman, Muslim, an immigrant and a former refugee—yet everything she is and stands for is a part of what makes America great.




Born in Somalia, Omar and her family sought refuge in Kenya during the civil war. In 1995, they moved to the U.S., settling in Minneapolis. She learned English and began attending caucus meetings with her grandfather, where she translated for him.



Now, Omar is a Minnesota State Representative, as the Democratic Farmer Labor Party legislator. She is also the Director of Policy and Initiatives of the Women Organizing Women Network. "This really was a victory for that 8-year-old in that refugee camp," Omar says in an interview with NPR. "This was a victory for the young woman being forced into child marriage. This was a victory for every person that's been told they have limits on their dreams."



-AA

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Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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