Not so much confined to women in islam, but as it is a women's issue I felt it was best placed here. Truth be told even young muslim girls are only ever really taught about the wives of the prophet and his buddys, so the only role model they are getting is how to be a strong wife for your more worthwhile husband.
They love Nicki Minaj and Adele – but where are the real guides for girls?
Survey links narrow range of inspirational figures to stereotypical career ambitions
They look to Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry, Jessie J and Adele for their role models. But few girls can identify any successful businesswomen and most failed to name a single sportswoman.
According to a report by Girlguiding UK, the Disney starlets Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez were role models for children aged seven to 11, while teens admired the Harry Potter actress Emma Watson and the singer Nicki Minaj.
The study concluded that the narrow range of female role models available to girls and young women was linked to the limited and stereotypical aspirations they had for their future.
Researchers noted as "worrying" the assumption by girls that sportswomen were less successful than sportsmen, despite dozens of British female world, Olympic and Paralympic champions in recent years.
Television shows such as Jersey Shore and Skins were found to be hugely influential in shaping girls' views of relationships with boys and their own behaviour. Some of those interviewed could name a handful of successful businesswomen, whom they respected for what they had achieved but found it hard to relate to on a personal level.
The researchers said: "The danger is that many celebrities are at a different life stage to the girls who seek to emulate them. Girls know little about the reality of their lives, so their behaviour is seen without context and appears free from consequences. When this is combined with reality programming that also normalises behaviours such as promiscuity or excessive consumption of alcohol, the result in the 'real world' of girls' experience is that the normalisation of sexual relationships in Year 10 [15-year-olds], for example, becomes as unexceptional as the aspiration to become a pop star or be on TV."
Often girls would cite women from the entertainment industry who had branched out into business, such as Lily Allen, but researchers argued that this risked distancing their view of business from their everyday life.
The study also found that girls and young women dismiss careers such as engineering or construction as "jobs for boys", and instead wanted to be actors, singers, writers, dancers or fashion designers, often inspired by celebrities whom they admire. One girl told researchers: "Part of my architecture course is engineering and I actually hate it. I don't want to know anything to do with soils, the ground or rocks."
The findings were drawn from six focus groups of 39 girls and young women aged seven to 21, which were run by Childwise – an independent market research agency.Source
I think this is pretty true. I'm even racking my brain for strong female role models to now teach my little girl (and my sons) about. I can think of a few, but I was raised amidst the same sort of "women are crapper than men at everything" society, so even though I always believed I could do whatever a man could do, I wasn't aware of the names of the women who were doing it too.
As to what it says, about girls thinking that women sports players aren't as successful or as good at what they do, that is actually something that is 'enforced' social conditioning by all the people, men and women who continue to say women are shit at everything. They don't get the TV time that men do, people on the streets continue to repeat the same standard sentence "women footballers are a joke". and young girls slowly begin to think that women in sports is tolerated but not something they can excel at. (not when it would be having a mannish figure and being slated for it by pretty much everybody except a small selection of dudes with a muscle fetish on women)
So anyway, in this thread, post the women you think are inspirational. Women who have made success without being on the disney channel or making a crappy hip hop bikini wearing video.