International Women’s Day: Celebrating Diversity
March 8th 2017, marks the commencement of International Women’s Day. Women from around the world are getting together to celebrate diversity, gender equality and the accomplishments of women.
Women from all faiths and backgrounds unite on this day campaigning for positive change. There has been an unprecedented number of organisations who are hosting a range of events from diverse communities across the UK and in different countries around the world under the official ‘Be Bold For Change’ IWD theme.
The hashtag #BeBoldForChange has been shared across the world on social media as a vehicle to raise awareness on campaigns and events that are helping to forge a better working world and a more gender inclusive one.
Many regional events have taken place such as the Be Bold for Change event organised by the Muslim Women of Merton (MWM). Project Co-ordinator for the MWM International Women’s Day event, Sabah Sufi, said that,
“ The “Be Bold for Change” events allowed us to broaden our scope in the local community and create awareness about the inspirational stories of many modern muslim women. The art exhibitions and stalls displayed the creativity of all our contributors. The MWM women in History exhibition is still on display at Crown house Creative, Morden for a limited time”
Sufi further stated that,
“We invited twelve female Muslim speakers to inspire and motivate the attendees by sharing their own bold moments, reflecting on their decisions at certain times of their lives. Based on the feedback we have received from the wider community indicated a start in our success to change the stereotypical image of the Muslim woman as a silent bystander in society at large.”
Host of the MWM IWD event, Raeesa Nurani, stated that, “For me, watching women talk about overcoming their personal and professional challenges in such an eloquent way made me feel inspired. Particularly as the range of talents were so extensive from food to fashion, from humanitarian work to education. The showcasing of Muslim women who have revolutionised millions of people throughout history was a real eye opener”.
Nisa Nashim, an UK organisation that aims to bring Jewish and Muslim women together organised an interfaith conference pledging to fight bigotry and hatred together and promote interfaith understanding. Julie Siddiqi, Co-Founder of Nisa Nashim, stated in her keynote speech that, “Be Bold For Change” is the theme of International Women’s Day 2017.
Are we feeling bold to make changes, to speak out, to not continue with the status quo?”
Nisa Nashim event organisers Jullie Siddiqi and Laura Marks at the conference
Siddiqi further stated that, “As women of faith we don’t need to be anti-men, we will continue to work with men on this and we need their support. But the status quo needs to change. It needs collaboration and co-operation; it means respecting difference while celebrating similarities”.
Nisa Nashim have also been sharing the message of ‘Be Bold For Change’ through their innovative interfaith work and are spurring positive changes for women to unite.
International Women’s Day enables women to celebrate eachothers’ achievements, dispel myths and stereotypes and campaign for better equality around the world.