The image of British Muslim women has been shaped primarily by narrow and harmful stereotypes. Not many days pass without a story about the hijab, forced marriages and abuse all contributing to the idea that Muslim women are oppressed. This inevitably impacts on how Muslim women are perceived and treated in society often resulting in harassment, discrimination and increased fear of far-right violence which has become a part of every day.
Now more than ever there is an urgent need to challenge this one-dimensional outlook through which they are viewed and provide a more pro-active perspective. By creating this collective space we aim to provide a platform for British Muslim women who are not adequately represented in the public arena.
The Stats Don’t Add Up
Decades of reports have pointed to Muslims being on the periphery of employment, education and civic life with a recent report stating 65%* of unemployed Muslims are women. Whether Muslim women make the conscious decision to be in paid employment or not, this figure casts a shadow on the lost opportunities of their social, cultural and economic contribution.
Despite many institutional and social barriers they face, there is now an emerging generation who are making their presence felt within different professions and within their communities. Though this is the case, many remain invisible to the public discourse.
These women have quietly gone on making a significant impact by strengthening their family, investing in their education, working within communities as well as their chosen professions. The outcome of their efforts manifests itself every day but still continues to be noticeably neglected by policymakers and mainstream media.
*Report commissioned by the Government’s Women and Equalities Committee refers to the absence of women in the public arena
We want to bring women to the forefront of the public’s attention and challenge the prevailing mainstream stereotypes of Muslim women and depict a more accurate representation.
By raising awareness we can together inspire a younger generation of Muslim girls to invest and safeguard their own education, careers and life choices.
Our National Campaign is delivered on a Variety of Platforms
We are highlighting women on our social media platform as well as our website and are celebrating these outstanding individuals who are shaping today’s Britain. We have invited those working as Mothers, Entrepreneurs, Educators, working in the community, in Finance, Banking, the field of Science and Technology, Law, Social Justice, Medicine as well Sports, Media, culture and the Arts. By developing this national platform, Change the Script will create a historical legacy of Muslim women’s immense contribution to Britain and counter the current narrative that is shaping their identity today.
We’re holding several Forums across the UK, inviting Muslim women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, ages and careers with the purpose of documenting testimonials and recording their personal journey’s which have shaped their lives.
By highlighting their stories, sharing their experiences and challenges, we wish to ameliorate the prevailing stereotypes and thus champion the important matters of economic and social advancement for Muslim women and girls.
We are delighted by the responses to the Forums held in London, Cardiff and Luton. They have been uplifting and gathered a momentum of support and different voices for the campaign. We have reflected their voices in interviews and special features on our website and social media.
NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
We are currently putting together a National Photography Exhibition. These portraits will reflect the longstanding presence and contribution of British Muslim women over the past five decades. To mark the commendable history of Britain’s 100 years since women have achieved the right to vote, we will be celebrating 100 Muslim women and their narratives and life perspectives as British citizens.
Our National Exhibition will accompany a publication which will honour women who have shaped Britain. The publication is intended to recount factually the immense impact Muslim women and their families have made to Britain over the last century.
Our Instagram campaign #WriteYourScript is a call to action. We’re asking Muslim women from all walks of life to join us, share their stories, opinions and express their own point of view. We want to encapsulate a mosaic of talent and diversity which exists amongst British Muslims.