Maliha Abidi

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Maliha Abidi is a Pakistani-American author, visual artist and activist.

Her work focuses on advocating for social justice including women’s rights, gender equality, girls' education and fighting for marginalised communities.

Maliha has been sharing st​ories of women from around the world through her art and illustrated books for over a decade. She has worked with organisations such as United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals|Global Goals, Malala Fund, Chicago Bulls and Adobe Inc. Her work has featured on various media platforms such as The New York Times.[1], Good Morning America[2], TRT World[3], Vogue Singapore[4] and more.

Maliha is also the founder of Women Rise, an Non-fungible token.

Early Life

Maliha was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, and migrated to California, United States at the age of 14. She was interested in art from a young age and how it could be used to raise awareness of causes close to her heart.

Published works

Maliha's first book, Pakistan for Women: Stories of Women Who Have Achieved Something Extraordinary[5], was self-published (4 March 2019). It was the first book of its kind to be published in Pakistan as it brings together stories of real Pakistani women, from astrophysicists to firefighter to mountaineers and more.

Maliha's second book, Rise: Extraordinary Women of Colour Who Changed the World (published 4 November 2021, Saqi Books) celebrates the stories of 100 remarkable women of colour. Women featured in the book include activist Malala Yousafzai, artist Yayoi Kusama, businesswoman Esther Afua Ocloo and publisher Margaret Busby.

Her most recent book, Journey to America: Celebrating Inspiring Immigrants Who Became Brilliant Scientists, Game-Changing Activists & Amazing Entertainers (published 5 July 2022, becker&mayer! kids) is an exploration of America’s rich history of diversity, profiling 20 immigrants and children of immigrants who have affected the nation’s culture or business. Aimed at children and young adults, profiles include Alexander Hamilton (founding father), Sergey Brin (Google co-founder) and Michelle Kwan (figure skater).

Women Rise

Women Rise[6] is a Web3 initiative situated at the intersection of art, storytelling, activism and tech. The focus is on advancing women’s rights and girls’ education. Women Rise is a collection of 10,000 art pieces, generated using an algorithm developed in a collaborative effort by the developing team and the artist. This produced a set of beautiful visuals with vibrant colours showcasing a wide range of diverse backgrounds and professions. The collection includes images of female astronauts, scientists, artists and activists, plus ten unique pieces inspired by true stories of women from around the world.

Women Rise was launched in November 2021 and is one of the few projects run by a woman of colour. All 10,000 pieces sold out within four months. Maliha continually advocates for bringing more women into tech and she has spoken at conferences including South by Southwest, NFT.NYC and Veecon. In November 2022 she spoke at Meta Creator's Week at the Tate Modern in London to Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram. Her collection has been featured in Business Insider[7], The Guardian[8], Reuters[9], Rolling Stone[10], Vanity Fair[11] and Forbes[12].


  1. Oldershausen, Sasha von (2020-10-16). "The Perfect Phrase for This Relentless Year". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  2. America, Good Morning. "How one woman is celebrating powerful Pakistani women through her artwork". Good Morning America. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  3. "Artist Maliha Abidi's new book celebrates Pakistani women". Artist Maliha Abidi's new book celebrates Pakistani women. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  4. "You can soon share NFTs via a digital wallet on Instagram—here's how". Vogue Singapore. 2022-07-28. Retrieved 2022-11-16.
  5. Romer, Christy (2019-07-08). "Maliha Abidi, the 23-Year-Old Artist Celebrating Amazing Pakistani Women". Global Shakers. Retrieved 2022-11-16.
  6. "Instagram on Instagram: ""Come for the art, stay for the cause." 🎨🫶🌟 Artist and author @maliha_z_art (Maliha Abidi) put meaning into her work after moving to the US from Pakistan. "The culture shock, homesickness, the isolation and the lack of English fluency left me feeling various emotions as a teenager in a new land. Art was my way of not only coping with it but processing it all to make sense." And now? "I create art to take up space as a brown woman and in that space, I share stories of women from around the world that inspire me, movements that inspire me. My art is a celebration." She also started @womenrisenft, a collection of NFT art pieces. "The idea is to celebrate women scientists, artists, coders, activists and more through art on the blockchain." Maliha is part of Creator Week 💫 Check out @creators for special announcements and inspiring convos with your favorite creators ✨ Art by @maliha_z_art"". Instagram. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  7. Bort, April Joyner, Stephanie Palazzolo, Emilia David, Julie. "The 53 most promising crypto startups of 2022, according to VCs". Business Insider. Retrieved 2023-02-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. "Day of the Girl is critical, but support is needed year-round, say campaigners". the Guardian. 2021-10-11. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  9. "FEATURE-Crypto queens: Women stake out space in blockchain world". Reuters. 2021-11-08. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  10. Dvoskin, Larry; Dvoskin, Larry (2022-01-17). "Why Community Is the Secret to NFT Success". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  11. Nast, Condé (2021-07-27). "The Rise and Rise of NFT Artworks". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  12. French, R. Kenner. "Council Post: Building A Strong Community With NFTs". Forbes. Retrieved 2022-09-26.

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