Hear Women Share their #BigChange
Hear Women is an organisation based in North London who work with women and girls from East and North Africa to enable them to reach their full potential.
In December 2016 they were awarded £10,000 Celebrate funding to run a series of Christmas, New Year and Easter events for refugee and migrant communities in the local area, with a particular focus on women and children.
This International Women’s Day we spoke to some of Hear Women’s volunteers, to find out what has inspired them to make a #BigChange for women and their communities.
What has inspired you to contribute to Hear Women’s efforts to make a #BigChange for women?
“What has inspired me is the importance of recognising the potential in women, and for them not to be held back as a consequence of societal expectations which arise due to their gender. The empowerment of women through social, economic and political means ensures that women can be seen as positive agents of change, and become active and confident members of society.
“When it comes to Hear Women’s work in the UK, teaching women English, encouraging them to take control of their health and well-being, and making them aware of their basic rights, these are important steps in making them feel integrated into society. I have a personal interest in encouraging women to take control of their lives and pursue independence, and by volunteering at Hear Women I am able to contribute to this cause.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women are widowed as a result of a series of wars and internal conflicts. Women’s rights organizations struggle against harassment and intimidation, while they work to promote improvements to women’s status in the law, in education, the workplace, and many other spheres of Iraqi life, and to curtail abusive traditional practices such as honour killings and forced marriages.
“All those factors give me the motivation and determination to help women all around the world who suffer from violence, discrimination and abuse. So I decided to volunteer with Hear Women to learn how to advocate for our rights and change my life and other Iraqi women’s life for better.”
“My experience with war in my own home country, Libya, and seeing how much women suffered, made me feel I should play a role in helping them. Women suffer during and after war, as existing inequalities increase and social networks break down, making women more vulnerable to losing their dignity and pride, and much more. I have seen Libyan women suffer from violence, being forced to relocate and becoming refugees. All of this gave me the inspiration to stand by those women.
“I was waiting for an indication to start work on my dream, and to make a difference to those in need, when I was lucky to meet Deqa, the founder of Hear Women, and we talked about women in general and what Hear Women Foundation offers to help. That answered my question and now I have started volunteering; the best experience I have had in my life. It has opened my mind about life and has pushed me to raise the Libyan issue with others.
“Hear Women has made me a better listener, more patient, and has given me the ground to start making my dream come true.”