Muslim women praise ‘Imam-e-Hind’ Shri Ram (Representative photo)
Saudi Women in Security Positions Challenge
Overcoming Challenges: 'Pakistan Girls Have To Walk
the Extra Mile'
Syria Trio’s London School Linked to More Girls Trying
to Join Daesh
Banned in Kenya, LGBT Film Tells Tales of Taboo Love
IS Female Brigade Packed With British Jihadi Brides
and Sex Worker
Saudi Women Voice Their Importance in Times of
Why It's Wrong To Underestimate the Islamic State's Female
Pittsburgh Muslim Women’s Association Holds Fundraiser
for Needy Women
South Africa: Multi-Party Women's Caucus Says SA Must
Be Rid of Homophobia
Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2015: Meet the
Accomplished Females Who Are Flying High And Mighty
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Indian Muslim Women Praise ‘Imam-e-Hind’ Shri Ram
Binay Singh, TNN | Mar 29, 2015
VARANASI: Several Muslim women here on Saturday
offered prayers to Lord Ram on the occasion of Ramnavmi and claimed that he was
their imam and Ayodhya was their place of pilgrimage.
"Ayodhya Hai Hamari Ziyaratgah Ka Naam, Rahte
Hain Jahan Imam-E-Hind Shri Ram (Ayodhya is the name of our pilgrimage,
where our Imam Shri Ram lives)," they recited while praising Lord Ram
during Ramnavmi celebrations. The women, associated with the Vishal Bharat
Sansthan (VBS), have been celebrating Ramnavmi for years to give a strong
message of communal harmony.
Taking the 'Thaal' of Aarti, these women sang
in praise of Lord Ram at Varunanagaram Colony, Hukulganj. They also wrote 'Ram Naam'
in Urdu on pieces of paper and deposited in 'Rurdu Ram Naam Bank'.
Nazneen Ansari, who has scripted 'Shri Ram Aarti' and
'Shri Ram Prarthana', said: "Lord Ram is the ancestor of all of us.
Everyone should take part in his Aarti, breaking the barriers of caste, creed
Being a Muslim, Nazneen has no hesitation singing in
praise of Hindu deity and she believes that the name of Rama is enough to end
all adversities. "That's why a bank of 'Ram Naam' in Urdu has also been
created by these women at the VBS. Anyone can deposit Ram Naam scripted paper
in this bank," VBS founder Rajiv Srivastava said.
"Ram Humare Purvaj Hain Aur Duniya Ke Liye
Adarsh Hain. Humein Is Baat Ka Fakhr Hai Ki Hum Ram Ki Santan Hain. Ram Nam
Hi Nafrat Mita Sakta Hai (Ram is our ancestor and ideal for the world. We
are proud of it. It is the only name which can eliminate hatred)," said
Nazneen, who has also translated Hanuman Chalisa into Urdu.
She is working on the translation of Ramcharitmanas
after scripting 'Durga Chalisa' in Urdu.
Nazneen also presented a 'Ram-Naami Dupatta' to former
central information commissioner O P Kejriwal, who was present on the occasion.
Other members like Najma Parveen, Mohammed Azharuddin, Razia Begum,
Shams-un-Nisa, Hajra Begum and Bilqis Begum also took part in Ramnavmi
They believe that the message from Kashi will be
instrumental in bringing peace and communal harmony in other parts of the
country and advocate for construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Nazneen and her
fellow members had also sent a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging
construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
They believe that Ayodhya belongs to Lord Ram and if
Muslims want respect from Hindus, they should come forward to build the temple
at his birthplace.
29 March, 2015
With a growing number of facilities in the Kingdom, a
need for female security guards arose. More women are joining this field and
are taking their spots in private offices run by women, banks, malls and other
social, educational and health facilities.
Warda Al-Yani recently decided to become a guard and
says people were sceptical at first, telling her she was taking up a man’s job.
Al-Yani said there’s more acceptances of women in this job after many women in
this profession have proven their excellence.
However, workers in this domain say this job is not
for men alone. “On the contrary, these guards have access to zones men can’t
enter like female prayer rooms or toilets,” Khalid Al-Fehaid, manager at a
commercial mall, told Arab News.
He said women need to be over 26 years old and have
enough confidence to do the job with its security aspects and accompanying
problems. “We face sensitive issues like women fainting or fighting, and women
security guards are the only people who can deal with these problems, carrying
the women or touching them,” Al-Fehaid added.
Economist Fadl Al-Bouainain, said work in security
will definitely take Saudi women out of traditional jobs in the health and
education sectors and into other fields. He explained that this new direction
will give women a greater opportunity to fight unemployment.
Al-Bouainain clarified that the Saudi women have
started branching out to include working as lawyers, cashiers, marketing
personnel and even in real estate, adding that Saudi women have proved to be up
to the new challenge, and “woman’s persistence will lead them to prove their
excellence in many fields not only this one,” he added.
“The female security sector will need thousands of
women applicants,” he reports, stressing the importance of training to achieve the
desired goals and meeting the job’s requirements.
Ali Al-Zahrani, general supervisor in a security
company at a commercial mall, told Arab News that more women are applying to
work as security guards adding that a majority of them hold university degrees.
Al-Zahrani said that some malls have a quota for the number of women they
Khaled Al-Mashaan, owner of a security company in
Asir, said that women have proven their excellence in the security field and
have shown to be patient amidst the pressure and workload. He has employed
women in the security sector at parties, schools, universities and other
Al-Mashaan added that there’s a need to spread
awareness in society regarding women working in this job and create an
understanding on the nature of the job. “There should be cooperation by all
members of the community to achieve success,” he explained.
Fatima Al-Zamil, working security at one of Asir’s
malls, said that security guards need to have specific qualities to carry out
the difficulties of this job.”A woman in this job needs to have a strong
personality and to be bold, patient, quick-witted, smart, detail-oriented and a
fun person, and at the same time able to deal with people,” she noted adding
that a security guard needs to be able to maintain security which she described
as a difficult job.
On the other side, there are many skeptical and
unsupportive people, says Security Guard Turkiyyeh Hamed. “We face a lot of
underestimation, especially from women who look on us as inferior,” she
“Sometimes they swear at or criticize us.” Hamed hopes
society will accept them working in these positions which will help them
perform their duties.
KARACHI: In an attempt to help Pakistani women
overcome challenges to achieve success, Chief Executive Officer of Taneez,
Zeenat Saeed, says girls need to convince and impress their parents with their
ability to perform well in their places of interest.
“It is for you to prove that you are able and capable
to do it,” she said, while addressing a panel discussion organised by the US
Consulate, moderated by the Consul General in Karachi Brian Heath and attended
by more than 100 women.
Creative Director for FnkAsia Huma Adnan, who was also
one of the panellists at the event, added that the child needs to bring the
trust element in their parents. “If you are very sure of what you want to do,
do that but let your parents know that you will not break their trust.”
Sharing her words of wisdom, Head of Emergency at
Jinnah Post Graduate Medical College Dr Seemin Jamali said it’s a man’s world
and women don’t have space.
“Dreams do come true but these young girls need to be
resilient, work a mile extra,” she said, while motivating the audience.
Adding to the pieces of advises, Chief Executive
Officer Teach for Pakistan Noorul ain Masood said you should be able to draw boundaries
in a man’s world.
“No means no … I wish someone told me that 10 years
ago,” she spelled out.
Masood also underscored the significance of exploring
unique character traits in oneself, saying that these can be deployed in a
profession, and not just the skills, to show their strengths in a patriarchal
society like Pakistan.
Suggestions like coaching and training younger boys to
get rid of stereotypes as well as learning various self-defence techniques
forming a part of Taekowndo and Karate were also made during the discourse.
Turning the tables, one of the members of the audience
said women alone are to be blamed for making men feel more superior and
referred to the kind of attitude mothers and sisters adopt towards their sons
and brothers respectively.
Singer Tina Sani also said that women fail to work
hard and are lazier than men. “They don’t like to work on their own and need
constant guidance. Men have the pressure to take it, have a career.”
Appreciating the amount of respect given to women in
Pakistani society, Huma said we are privileged than women in other parts of the
world and this needs to be acknowledged.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, the US consul general
said he is convinced that the discourse has started to generate ideas and it
will help more women to engage in workplaces, making Pakistan a stronger
Syria trio’s London school linked to more girls trying
to join Daesh
LONDON — A group of London teenage girls barred from
traveling abroad attend the same school as three others who are thought to have
gone to Syria, the High Court has heard.
Last week High Court judge Anthony Hayden barred five
teenage girls from going overseas due to concerns they too would flee to Syria
to join militants.
He made the girls from east London — two aged 15 and
three aged 16 — “wards of court,” a legal move that prevents them leaving the
jurisdiction of England and Wales without judicial permission.
He confiscated their passports and also those of a
number of adults involved in caring for them, noting that in at least one other
case a young girl traveled on a relative’s passport.
Hayden said Friday it could be revealed that four of
those girls were pupils at the Bethnal Green Academy in east London.
Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-olds Shamima Begum and
Amira Abase, who also went to the school, left their homes in February and flew
to Istanbul, from where they are believed to have joined Daesh (the so-called
IS) in Syria.
They followed a classmate who left about two months
“All involved must recognize that in this particular
process it is the interest of the individual child that is paramount,” the
“This cannot be eclipsed by wider considerations of
counter terrorism policy or operations, but it must be recognized that the
decision the court is being asked to take can only be arrived at against an
informed understanding of that wider canvas.”
The British authorities are increasingly concerned by
the numbers of young people heading to join militants in Syria, after a string
of high-profile cases in recent weeks.
Three teenage boys and a 21-year-old woman were
stopped in Turkey in the past week on suspicion of trying to cross the border.
About 700 people are thought to have gone to Syria
from Britain, of whom almost half are reported to have returned. — AFP
London — A schoolgirl struggling with her sexuality is
suspended for kissing her classmate. A woman and her partner dream of fleeing
home as angry mobs gather to oust gays. A young man walks past a gay bar and
says "I could burn them".
These personal accounts from lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender (LGBT) people in Kenya inspired the anthology film
"Stories Of Our Lives", a centrepiece screening at LGBT film festival
BFI Flare, which wraps up on Sunday in London.
Produced by a group of artists, social workers and
entrepreneurs in Nairobi called the NEST Collective, the film explores sexual
orientation in a country where homosexuality is punishable by law with up to 14
While Kenya's anti-gay laws are rarely enforced, the
collective knew the film would be a challenge to cast and shoot.
LGBT people in Kenya are routinely abused, assaulted
by mobs and even raped by police, vigilantes and organised criminals, rights
Having spent months conducting interviews across
Kenya, the collective, led by director Jim Chuchu, decided to turn some of the
collected stories into short films - shot with just one DSLR camera by a team
with no training in filmmaking.
"We wanted to do this project for many reasons,
but mostly because we wanted to tell stories that are not often heard, stories
that characterize the queer experience in Kenya," the collective said.
"Stories Of Our Lives" tells five separate
tales of the internal struggles faced by LGBT people in Kenya, and the burden
of hiding their sexuality from friends, family and society.
In 'Ask Me Nicely', two schoolgirls are hauled into
the headmistress' office and questioned about their "peculiar"
relationship. "Which one of you is the man?" she asks of the teenage
girls, before suspending them and sending them home.
Another story titled 'Run' focuses on a young man
called Patrick who is insulted and savagely attacked by his homophobic friend
Kama after visiting a gay bar. "You have a dick, why can't you use
it?" Kama screams as he kicks Patrick and threatens to kill him.
The cast and crew chose to remain anonymous during
filming due to fears of legal action and personal attacks, only revealing their
identity at film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in
October last year.
Having also screened in Germany, South Africa and the
United States, the film has received plaudits worldwide, but unfortunately for
the collective, it also drew the attention and ire of the Kenya Film
The board banned the film for showing "obscenity,
explicit scenes of sexual activities" and "promoting homosexuality
which is contrary to our national norms and values".
While the decision to ban the screening, sale and
distribution of the film was predictable, the collective has continued to
exhibit their work at festivals around the world.
"We made this film to open dialogue about
identities, what it means to be Kenyan, and what it means to be
different," the collective said. "By placing a restriction on this
film, the board has chosen to delay this inevitable conversation.
"We hope Kenyans will get to see this film one
day, because we made it for Kenyans."
The Islamic State's (IS) female army, called the 'Al
Khansaa Brigade' has reportedly been composed of British Jihadi brides and
An activist with the 'Raqqa is being slaughtered
silently' resistance group said that, the majority in the brigade were British
women, while others were being women of ill-repute, the Daily Star reported.
These women are being paid 1,000 pounds a month, have
been given plum apartments and are the only women allowed to drive there. They
have enforced strict Sharia laws on females in Raqqa, the regime's capital in
The International Committee for the Red Cross has
warned that IS has been trying to hold water resources in the desert regions
RIYADH — Women social activists, writers, and
businesswomen voiced their role in forging national unity while weathering
instabilities triggered by terrorism or crises surrounding the Kingdom,
Social activist Nailah Al-Attar said women in the
Kingdom are praying for their families and relatives in Yemen.
“Many may overlook the role women play in times of
wars and instabilities. We have a powerful role in such crises. We teach our
children that wars and instabilities are an inevitable part of life and we
teach them to react sensibly in these situations,” said Al-Attar.
She added that she understood how crucial the role of
women is after she attended an international conference on the role of women in
war and peace in Paris.
“The speakers at the conference were women who saw the
war and the bloodshed through their eyes. They said women are the prosperous
aftermath of wars. After the men have fought and wounded one another, it is up
to us to come out and build the nation once again,” said Al-Attar. She also
added it is very important for women to instill patriotism in their son’s
hearts because after the war is over, the children must feel responsible to
rebuild their country.
Writer Nabilah Mahjoob said women have a big
responsibility to stabilize the household despite the external instabilities.
“Women should teach their children to be loyal to
their leadership in order to avoid national revolutions and extremism. We have
already witnessed the ramifications of extremism in Syrian, Iraq, Libya, Yemen
and many other examples throughout history,” said Mahjoob.
She added the Saudi woman should be thankful to have a
leadership, which invests in peace and values stability.
“The Operation Decisive Storm the Kingdom initiated
received a sigh of relief from many households in the Kingdom. Women, now, know
they can trust their government and focus on building a safe haven for their
men,” said Mahjoob.
She also added the weight of building the post-war
generation lies on women.
“Let’s not forget the role of women in the Gulf War I.
They opened their houses to Kuwaiti families and their role extended beyond
preparing the dinner table to raising the next generation. Our absence from the
media does not mean our ineffectiveness. We simply never sought the spotlight,”
Journalist Dalal Dhiaa said the women’s role is to
remind the coming generation that the Kingdom never initiates war but defends
the victims of terrorism.
“With war comes destructive rumors spread through
social media and women need to be aware of that and warn their children against
it. Women need to refer to credible sources of information and know no to
believe everything they read on the Internet,” said Dhiaa.
Businesswoman Ghadah Ghazawi said herself and a group
of women will launch a social media campaign “We are with you and with our
“The campaign is tweets and messages on the importance
of our leadership, the great veterans of our nation and the Kingdom’s efforts
for national peace. We hope to raise awareness against the negative rumours
being spread against our government,” said Ghazawi.
Umm Jihad may very well be who she claims to be, a
20-year-old American university student who was studying business in Virginia
until she left to join the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, in Syria.
When she is asked in a private online chat how she
should be identified, she sends a photo of four women hanging out of a white
Beemer and hoisting AK-47s in the air. Their hair faces and bodies are
completely shrouded in black robes and veils so they cannot be identified.
She responds: “Me and some Aussies.”
It is easy to ridicule as the Islamic State equivalent
of Girls Gone Wild. Much of the Islamic State’s chatter on social media seems
more laughable than serious, leading a CNN host to say last month that the
group lured women with kittens, Nutella and emojis. Then CNN’s Carol Costello’s
suggestion was then widely mocked by Islamic State supporters.
“There are very facile reductions, especially TV
sensationalism of tropes like kittens and Nutella pancakes, and it is really
problematic because it is not getting at understanding the nuanced, complex
factors that lead women from Western nations to go and join forces with groups
like ISIS,” says Jasmin Zine, an associate professor of sociology at Wilfrid
Zine has been researching the impact of the “war on
terror” and Islamophobia on identity and citizenship, as well as radicalization
among Canadian Muslim youth.
“Highlighting only the absurd glosses over the reasons
why women are drawn to the group or the real risks they face,” she said.
Much of what we have learned about the Islamic State
comes from its members, although most of what they post online is to praise the
The risks of moving into a war zone and being caught
between warring factions or aerial strikes are rarely mentioned. In addition,
there are reports of sexual abuse or teenage girls forced to move from one
husband to another as their fighter husbands are killed.
Clearly what is never mentioned in the propaganda is
that joining the Islamic State may be easy — getting out is hard.
Since most online posting is anonymous, it is hard
One of the Islamic State’s most influential online
voices used to be a Twitter account under the name Shami Witness. Last year,
Britain’s Channel 4 uncovered that Shami Witness was not a holy warrior, or
pro-ISIS analyst, but a 24-year-old businessman from Bangalore, India, who
apparently had a lot of time on his hands.
But if Umm Jihad is not who she purports to be, her
statements still echo hundreds of others online and provide insight into what
women drawn to ISIS are either reading or writing.
They talk about the Islamic State’s higher calling,
the sense of sisterhood and they romanticize their marriages, or becoming young
Zine says some are driven by a humanitarian impulse, a
need to do something in response to Muslim deaths of the so-called war on
terror. “It has a lot to do with what’s happening in the world these youths are
seeing in alternative media. They see death and destruction in a way the normal
consumer of Western media culture doesn’t see because it has been mainly a
nameless, faceless war,” she said.
Only a few voices from women inside can be heard
online about how bad it can be for these young women. Some complain that there
is tension between those from Western countries, versus locals in Syria and
Iraq, where the group has declared its Caliphate.
One woman, claiming on Twitter that foreigners are
“subjected to mistreatment and discrimination from the locals,” describes an
incident where a foreign woman was left to bleed at a hospital during a
miscarriage, while doctors tended to local patients.
Most foreign women come from European countries,
Australia and, to a lesser degree, Canada and the U.S. Umm Jihad posted a photo
on Twitter of four gloved hands holding Canadian, American, Australian and
“Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore,” she wrote.
A 23-year-old woman from Edmonton is believed to be among
the recruits. She reportedly left for the Islamic State last summer after
enrolling in an online course to study the Qur’an taught by another woman based
in Edmonton, according to a CBC television report.
In January, Shayma Senouci, a girl from the suburbs of
Montreal was reported missing to police and is presumed to have left for Syria.
Her Facebook account rages against a 2013 proposal by the Quebec government to
ban religious symbols and calls Israel's shelling of Gaza last summer a
“How can we stay impassive when faced with this?!!”
she wrote last July.
Three other Canadian teenagers also tried last year to
join, abruptly leaving their Brampton homes and making it as far as Istanbul,
Turkey, before authorities turned them back after being alerted by their
Umm Jihad says she misses nothing about the West and
she believes it was her obligation as a Muslim to join the Islamic State. A
British woman she met online helped her leave Virginia last November for Raqqa,
Syria, where she says she now lives.
When we started talking a couple of weeks ago, she was
living alone with her husband, whom she did not identify.
But she said women were happiest when their husbands
died in battle and became a shahid, or martyr. The widows then “have to wait
four months and 10 days before they’re allowed to leave the house, remarry, go
shopping etc.,” she wrote in a text. “It’s not hard because it’s for the sake
of Allah and we are happy to observe it . . . When one husband gets martyred,
it’s like a celebration.”
The next day, she got her wish, posting on Twitter
that her husband, Abu Jihad Al Australi was killed, waxing poetically of his
death. “My husband had a dream a week before he went to battle. He dreamt that
he got shot in the head and it felt like a pinch,” she wrote.
“He saw a bright light that he was trying to go towards;
as he was getting closer n closer to it it got brighter n brighter until he
couldn’t . . . handle it. I remember him tell me his dream and laughing.”
If true, she was married to a man from Melbourne,
Australia named Suhan Rahman. Photos of his blood-soaked body were posted
alongside other fighters killed in clashes with Kurdish fighters earlier this
month, including the body of what is believed to be Ahmad Waseem, who was from Windsor
and was known by the kunya, or nickname, of Abu Turab al-Kanadi.
Umm Jihad’s posts on Twitter grew more strident after
her husband’s death, urging attacks on the West, or “that treacherous tyrant”
U.S. President Barack Obama.
But she is polite and conciliatory when answering
questions on the social-messaging app KIK, unlike her Twitter account, which
was suspended Saturday. When asked about disconnect, she responds: “Oh lol. Not
like I can tell u to go kill kuffar,” using the word for the non-believers.
Umm Jihad had earlier made her intentions clear on why
she’s responding to a journalist’s questions. “These journalists think they’re
using us when they message us nicely,” she wrote last week on Twitter. “Little
do they know we’re using them for a means of spreading our Da’wah,” using the
Arabic word for an “invitation.”
The Muslim Women’s Association of Pittsburgh sponsored
a fundraising event in support of their newly opened Guest House for women.
The association is a Muslim Charitable Association comprised
of Muslim women from all over the city. It has been in continuous operation
The Guest House was established to provide temporary
housing for needy women and children. It began operating in 2014. It also helps
women and children to access resources that meet their needs, such as job
training and affordable housing.
Currently, the Muslim women volunteers support the
work of the house. The fundraising event was held at Salem’s conference centre
located at 2911 Penn Ave., in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District, on March
14. Dinner was catered by Salem’s. There was a $20 donation payable at the
Invited speakers included Adrianne Lane, residential
services supervisor from Pittsburgh’s Women’s Centre & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh; Susy Robison,
director of Outreach and Volunteer Services at the Homeless Children Fund; and Arshad Hafeez, a motivational speaker.
Donated funds went to maintain the guest house,
provide security and pay the employees.
The event was open to everyone.
The Multi-Party Women's Caucus has emphasised that the
South African society needs to be rid of homophobia. A culture of equality must
also be promoted.
Committee Chairperson, Ms Masefele Storey Morutoa,
said a strong message of tolerance and respect needed to be sent out. Ms
Morutoa's response comes after the Committee received a briefing from the
Department of Justice on the protection against violence and other human rights
violations against persons on the basis of their real or imputed sexual
orientation or gender identity.
The Committee also received a briefing from the
Department of Health on increasing access to HIV and sexual and reproductive
health services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI)
The Committee heard that government intended to
introduce the concept of hate crimes into the criminal law. One of the key
motivations for the proposed changes to the law, included in a draft policy
framework, was the violent targeting of LGBTI persons based on their sexual
orientation and gender identity, the so-called "corrective rapes" and
murder of lesbian women and transgender men, especially in townships. Other motivators
included a number of recent racist attacks, violence against foreign nationals
as well as vandalism targeting religious institutions.
Ms Morutoa said the Committee welcomed the policy
framework. "It will make hate speech a crime. It will further provide for
the development of measures to combat hate crime and unfair
discrimination." The Committee expressed serious concerns about the use of
word "corrective rape" as this remained rape. The Department of
Justice agreed and said that is why they used the term so-called corrective
The Committee further heard that only 14 million
female condoms were distributed yearly by the Department of Health compared to
the 800 million male condoms. The cost involved in procuring female condoms was
highlighted as the reason for this.
Committee members commended the Department of Health
for yearly increasing this amount but found the lower number unacceptable as
women were a vulnerable group.
ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES
For media enquiries or interviews with the
Chairperson, please contact:
Name: Rajaa Azzakani
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8437
Cell: 081 703 9542
Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2015: Meet the
accomplished females who are flying high and mighty
Fifty accomplished women, including a stand-up
comedian, a TV star and a senior executive at the world’s first Islamic
branding agency, have been shortlisted for the 2015 Asian Women of Achievement
Awards. Now in its 16th year, the event aims to highlight the often overlooked
contribution that Asian women make to sectors including business, sport and
This year’s shortlist includes Shelina Janmohamed,
vice-president of Ogilvy Noor, the world’s first Islamic branding agency. Lucy
Choi, the entrepreneurial niece of shoe tycoon Jimmy Choo, is also shortlisted,
along with Farah Dakhlallah, Arabic spokesperson for the Foreign &
The awards, which will be held in London on 19 May,
were founded by Pinky Lilani, who received an OBE in 2007 for her work to
celebrate women’s achievements. Speaking to The Independent on Sunday, she said
she set up the Asian Women of Achievement Awards to “break the stereotype that
Asian women were just at home, cooking onion pakora. I wanted to find some
Referring to this year’s shortlist, she said: “What
really makes me happy is seeing these women who are hugely talented but are so
collaborative, very kind and humble. They all seem so honoured to be involved.”
Social and humanitarian category nominees
Counsellor, lecturer and founder, Muslim Counsellor
& Psychotherapist Network
Ms Khan is a Leicester-based counsellor and founder of
the Muslim Counsellor & Psychotherapist Network. She works to break down
the stigma attached to mental illness within Muslim and South Asian
communities. She was awarded the Mental Health Heroes Award by Deputy Prime
Minister Nick Clegg earlier this year.
Executive director, Include Me TOO
Ms Dheensa set up a national charity dedicated to
supporting disabled children from ethnic minorities and their families. She has
created a range of initiatives, such as peer and ambassador programmes, to
increase disability awareness within a
Fostering service manager, Foster Care Associates
Ms Kaur, who qualified as a social worker in 1994, has
raised funds for many causes. She slept rough in winter to highlight
homelessness, and climbed Kilimanjaro to help young people with experience of
Pooja Naidu Kingsley
Manager, Coffey International
Ms Kingsley, a rising star at Coffey’s international
development business, ran a £25m peace-building programme in Pakistan. She now
runs a programme in Kenya dedicated to improving security for the poor, and
reducing violence against women and girls.
Ms Sandhu has been a diabetes dietician for the past
17 years, helping make healthcare more accessible for ethnic minority groups.
Her work has been recognised by Parliament as an example of best practice. She
also leads humanitarian relief agency Khalsa Aid.
Founder, Sal’s Shoes
Founded Sal’s Shoes – a charity that redistributes
children’s shoes outgrown by their owners – in 2012. In its first year, Sal’s
Shoes collected 4,805 pairs and found new owners in eight countries, including