Happy International Women’s Day – It seems fitting that our first face-to-face public engagement event since the government fully reopened and lifted all COVID-19 restrictions has taken place on 8th March 2022, a global day that is dedicated to honour and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
To commemorate International Women’s Day, ATM hosted a Paint N Poetry event where women came together, shared and celebrated various forms of self-expression through art. This year the theme for International Women’s Day was ‘Break the Bias’, a global campaign to raise awareness of the detrimental impact that bias has on the lives of women, how it works to exclude women and continues to stereotype women and reinforce prejudice and marginalisation. To ‘Break the Bias’ that holds women back, we must bring about meaningful change towards challenging inequalities and creating a level playing field with equal opportunities for the betterment of gender justice.
Marian Mohamed, one of our ‘Lead and Be Led’ cohort members kicked off the event with a keynote speech: “As a woman, it is almost impossible to navigate through life without being placed in a box – it is difficult to break free from the category society places you in. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed too.”
This year’s International Women’s Day was once again held in the shadow of post-COVID-19, which has exposed and exacerbated already existing inequalities and made it even harder for women and girls. As ATM’s research has shown that the pandemic has had greater impacts on women in the economy and the home, in particular women from disadvantaged or marginalised communities. There are many unfair labels and bias attached to women, more specifically black Muslim women and only through breaking the bias can this be removed.
This event gave the space for women to come together and share insights into their own experiences when it comes to encouraging action towards equality, elevating the visibility of women and inspiring women to break the glass ceiling. Women highlighted the importance of diversity which ATM continues to value and celebrate.
To close the night, the event concluded with a striking poem titled ‘The Eldest Daughter’ which was recited by our own very talented poet Yasmin Nur.
She awoke from her slumber,
A morning to herself,
A coffee with the peace and persuasion of a Netflix show,
She had dreams, small and big ones
A day out with her friends,
A holiday to her favourite destination,
She promised to herself that she would fulfil each one in time,
But her responsibilities came first.
fill the teapot, make sure the house is tidy,
cook a meal, make sure you put your all into it!
The boys need to be fed like kings, full until their stomachs swell.
Dare you make a mistake.
She was the firstborn, a leader, a mother,
a model of what is right and what is not enough.
she served herself last, happy to watch her siblings eat,
earning for the future that she longed for,
but content on coming last.
This year’s theme was #BreakTheBias and we’ve assembled a lovely team of women to let us know what International Women’s Day means to them and all the ways they continue to break barriers. Click here to watch it!