On 4th March 2016, 6pm at the People’s History Museum it was a real pleasure to take part in a diverse panel with a group of women of all backgrounds in an event part of ‘Wonder Women’ festival. Our topic for discussion was “What are we chaining ourselves to the railings for today ?”.
Different reasons were given. For me it was three reasons:
- Violence against women
- Women Education
- Discrimination of Muslim Women.
The audience was interactive and took part in lengthy discussions including two men and one woman who shared her experience of what it was like for the working class women of Britain. One member shared the experience of what life was like growing up in a Nigerian society as a girl, facing barriers and her success in becoming an engineer.
Another discussed about the experience of school children with diverse, multiple identities. Other panelists discussed issues relating to transgender and rape.
I talked about my experience as a woman growing up with multiple identities, compared it to experience of women in another country, for example, Pakistan. I agreed that class radically affects women’s lives. I spoke passionately about how Muslim women are made easy hate targets. That women have a choice to dress as they want including wearing the veil. I reiterated it’s an equality issue. I also discussed the importance of education for women & young girls. In many parts of the world young girls are still disadvantaged in not having fair access to education for various reasons.
Unfortunately we did not have enough time to discuss in detail the issue of domestic violence, including about rape, topic of my second novel ‘Typhoon’ and relating to the mass rape of women in Srebrenica. Read my Bosnian Trip Blog ‘Remember Srebrenica – Day 2‘.
Thank you to Rebecca Lomas and the rest of the People’s History Museum team for hosting us.