Queen Soraya of Afghanistan
Born Soraya Tarzi was the Queen consort of King Amānullāh of Afghanistan, she was born and spent a large part of her formative years in Syria. King Amānullāh ascended to the throne in 1926, but the reign only lasted for three years, with the two spending the rest of their lives in exile.
However in the three years as the Queen consort of Afghanistan, Soraya and her husband, King Amānullāh were involved in the modernization of the country, although many of these changes did not last after they were deposed. Soraya focused on the advancement of women in Afghan society (including education of women and in politics); Soraya also fought against the rule that all women must wear veils in public, and against polygamy.
In 1926, Soraya delivered the following message in a speech commemorating the seventh anniversary of independence from England:
“It (Independence) belongs to all of us and that is why we celebrate it. Do you think, however, that our nation from the outset needs only men to serve it? Women should also take their part as women did in the early years of our nation and Islam. From their examples we must learn that we must all contribute toward the development of our nation and that this cannot be done without being equipped with knowledge. So we should all attempt to acquire as much knowledge as possible, in order that we may render our services to society in the manner of the women of early Islam.”
(Thanks to Ink Back and Wikipedia for the information)