On the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting CHOGM on Monday 16 April, His Excellency Euripides L Evriviades, in partnership with the National Commission on Muslim Women held a reception in honour of the women leading the campaign ‘Change the Script’. The event was held at the High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus, London and supported by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan.
As part of CHOGM 2018 Women’s’ Forum, the CTS team were invited to take part in a series of events on gender equality and women’s empowerment as well highlighting the impact of women’s political, economic and societal contribution.
Esteemed guests included His Excellency, Sulaiman Al Mazroui Ambassador of UAE, His Excellency Mr Omar Al-Nahar, Ambassador of Jordan to the UK and the CEO of the International Islamic Relief Organisation, Dr Ahmad Al Makhdoom. The Honourable Emilia Lifaka MP, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in her speech acknowledged the campaign as being aligned with the Commonwealth’s agenda for promoting gender equality and women’s leadership.
In his address, HE Euripides L Evriviades stated:
“Women like men, want to pursue their goals and dreams, unhindered by stereotypes. I wholeheartedly agree with the core principles of this campaign; empowerment, inspiration and progress for all women.”
Humera Khan, from An-Nisa Society, Dr Husna Ahmed from Global One and Shavanah Taj, PCS Welsh Secretary, shared their personal journey and emphasised the importance of an independent platform that welcomed the opportunity to record women’s longstanding contribution to the UK and to establish their ‘authentic voices’.
The Chair of the NCMW, Baroness Uddin said:
“The campaign is a tribute to women’s leading role, be it their work in the community, chosen professions or family. The purpose of the national exhibition is to document and examine the impact of women’s work, thus creating a legacy, and in so doing, embolden a new generation of women leaders. In the year that marks 100 years of Suffrage, the exhibition will reflect the immense cultural diverse backgrounds and experiences of Muslim women who have and are shaping modern Britain.”
The event marked a milestone of what many guests felt a ‘much needed and timely campaign’ which sets out to counter some of the stereotypes of women:
“It’s so important to have a platform where we ‘can shout about who we are’ as Muslim women and not allow others to portray us,” said a Senior Social Worker, Nadira Huda.
Change the Script’s campaign video and a number of portraits were displayed. The national exhibition is scheduled to be completed later this year.