MWWA calls on women to be ‘bold for change’ on International Women’s Day 2017
Each year, the Muslim Women’s Welfare of Australia invites local women to join the global celebration in March of International Women’s Day. This year, the Muslim Women’s Welfare of Australia acknowledged and celebrated this global event with a brilliant lunch encouraging women to #be bold for positive change in our schools, communities and lives.
It was a timely opportunity to celebrate inspirational women who have overcome barriers in their bold journeys to success.
In addressing this year’s International Women’s Day theme of, ‘Be Bold for Change’, the Muslim Women’s Welfare of Australia invited high-achieving guest speakers who offered their views on the importance of women in the public sector and shared their insights for women to realise their full potential.
As a defining example of what it means to be ‘bold for change’, the President of the Muslim Women’s Welfare of Australia Faten El Dana OAM affirmed the organisations coherent role of notably protecting, assisting and empowering vulnerable women in our community.
“I would like to firmly resonate that the ongoing message of MWWA is NOT to stand for oppression in any of its variations, including extremism and racism. MWWA has always been vocal in condemning extremist views in any shape or form and highlighting the negative ramifications on the Muslim Community because of the extremist practices adopted by some misguided minority groups”
“We understand the fear some people may have. Nevertheless, it is important to note that resorting to abuse and victimisation will not improve the situation. Therefore, we call upon the Australian Government to provide protection for Australian women from violence and abuse.”
Ms Farah Khairat, representing Mrs Omneya Negm the spouse of the Ambassador of Egypt Mr Mohamed Khairat expressed the vision behind the cook book that she and her mother published, as a way to give back to the Egyptian community where social disparities are quite drastic. She also encouraged women to be optimistic as they go about their daily lives, despite all the hardships which they may face.
Attendees at the MWWA event were given an insight into their recently published book titled ‘Minnie’s Taste of Mediterranean Delight” which includes the recipes to an array of dishes from the Middle Eastern cuisine. Miss Khairat also shared her mother’s recipe for Crab Salad by live cooking demonstrating how the salad is prepared live on-stage.
The President of MWWA, Mrs Faten El-Dana OAM also presented a cheque on behalf of Darulfatwa for Mrs Omneya Negm’s Cookbook Charity Fundraiser. Ms Farah Khairat and the Deputy of Head of Mission at the embassy of Egypt Mrs Aliaa Aboulnaga received this check on Mrs Omneya Negm’s behalf.
Inspiring women to be bold for change, a wave of influential messages continued to roll out during the event including a video message from a highly recognised supporter of MWWA, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells; the Minister for International Development and the Pacific who commended the organization for its astounding work.
Member for Granville, Ms Julia Finn applauded Muslim women for being bold and brave in Australia. “You are being bold; it actually is quite brave in Australia to walk down the street and be so demonstrably proud of your religion and your background and to put that out there in a climate of Islamophobia”.
Also in attendance was Ms Aisha Amjad, representing Ms Michelle Roland the member for Greenway. Ms Amjad is currently Director of Community Relations in the Office of Senator Sam Dastyari and she shared some strong words of praise for MWWA stating that “Under the leadership of Hajjah Faten El-Dana OAM, I commend you all for the fantastic work you do in engaging and empowering women from diverse backgrounds. This includes providing unique platforms to develop skills, gain opportunities and strengthen support systems in the wider community. All of this contributes to Australia’s social fabric as well as our economic prosperity.”
Ms Myrna Chaar, Senior Multicultural Caseworker at the Department of Family and Community Services took the opportunity “to emphasise how important the services which MWWA offers for women are. The most remarkable service you offer is encouraging women to develop their skills and integrate into Australian society without sacrificing their customs, traditions and most importantly, their belief, their religion”.
Ms Lucy Emery who works as an Ethnic Liaison Officer at the Department of Immigration and Border protection stated “The Muslim women’s welfare of Australia does a wonderful job to really celebrate and empower and advocate for Muslim women from diverse background and really strengthen participation from the wider community and that is such a wonderful initiative and cause”.
Each of the words given by the prominent guest speakers gave women in attendance the encouragement to realise their full potential, to be ‘Bold for Change’ and transform their lives and communities as leaders and change agents. Every woman and girl in attendance was challenged to reflect on how they have taken bold action and driven change for women and the broader community.
The attendees were also engulfed with a heartfelt musical performance about the importance of our mothers. The mother has a high virtue in Islam and it is of great importance to treat her with dignity and kindness. This performance was an important reminder of how essential it is for one to treat their mother well and recognise the sacrifices which she has made along the way.
Adding to the vibrancy of the event, a luxurious variety of prizes and gift bags were distributed to the women in attendance. And of course, attendees were treated to a delightful lunch and dessert courtesy of the Muslim Women’s Welfare of Australia.
Once again, MWWA wins the hearts of women and continues to be a beacon of light and a source of security for them. It is an organization that encourages and aids women to ‘be bold for change’, building on the organisation’s previous campaign to ‘be informed, be inspired and be enlightened’.