“I hope that Rise shows how these remarkable women are, and always have been, on the frontline of change and creativity."
Growing up, Pakistan-born author/illustrator Maliha Abidi struggled to find stories of women with whom she could identify, finding “little space for more women of colour in mainstream media,” explains Abidi, who decided to correct that deficiency. Following the 2019 success of her first publication, Pakistan for Women, Abidi widened her scope. In short profiles accompanied by colorful portraits, she introduces 100 pioneering, inspirational women from over 30 countries: Esther Afua Ocloo, Ghana’s food-processing pioneer; Negin Khpalwak, Afghanistan’s first female orchestra conductor; Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, founder of the Nigerian Women’s Union; Hayat Sindi, a Saudi Arabian biotech scientist, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, a US entertainer. “I wanted to create Rise so that women of color could find themselves, and empowerment, in a book,” notes Abidi. “These trailblazing women not only stood up for themselves. They paved the way for so many others.”