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Group tasks Muslim women on excellence to tackle challenges

By Shakirah Adunola
19 August 2022   |   4:02 am
Towards ending the stereotypes associated with Muslim women who adorn the hijab, Bounties Charity Initiative Muslimah Impact has urged Muslim women to be unique and efficient at their skills, and qualifications as this will reduce the complex challenges they are subjected to.

Speakers at roundtable during Bounties Charity Initiative Muslimah Impact Exibition in Lagos.

Towards ending the stereotypes associated with Muslim women who adorn the hijab, Bounties Charity Initiative Muslimah Impact has urged Muslim women to be unique and efficient at their skills, and qualifications as this will reduce the complex challenges they are subjected to.

Speaking during Bounties Charity Initiative Muslimah Impact Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, the Team Lead, Corporate Communications Bountils, Zainab Abebefs, said wearing a hijab is a personal religious decision, adding however, that but many Muslim women are facing undue consequences for exercising their right to wear what they choose.

“As Muslimahah, we have so many issues that are peculiar to us and one of the challenges is that Muslim women find it difficult to wear hijab to work in a professional area and as such, so many Muslim women are dropping out of the professional line thinking that it is not meant for them. Due to the stereotype, they are not able to do a lot of things.” Abebefs said.

According to her, to overcome those challenges, encourage and inspire Muslim women, the group decided to showcase Muslim women who are excelling in their professional fields.

“We organise the exhibition to bring out Muslim women professionals in different fields to inspire and talk about how they have been able to overcome the different challenges they encountered. We are trying to encourage more Muslimah that there are others who are excelling within the professional field and they also can do,” she said.

She advised women to be patient, focused and prayerful as Islamophobia will not go away.

“As Muslims, we are taught so many etiquettes on how to address, cope, react and overcome such circumstances. Let us prioritise it and endeavour to always do what is right.”

She added that apart from the exhibition the group also organises free health counselling, widows summit and Ramadan programmes.

“We have four key programmes that we organise yearly. We organised Muslimah exhibition, which is the first, Muslimah health in October every year, widows summit in May/June and Muslimah Ramadan Programme,” she explained
A family therapist, Aameenah Yunus-Ali, said a career Muslimah can manage and balance her life alongside being true to her Lord.

“This is the ultimate for every Muslimah who is trying to ensure that whatever she is doing career-wise has to do with pleasing Allah every day.”

She urged Muslim women to endeavour to change the narrative of islamophobia with kindness wherever they found themselves.

“ Community engagement is the primary thing that will ensure that the narrative of islamophobia changes towards true Muslims who are always making the world a better place. We can constantly change the narrative by actually engaging in our communities by helping people and ensuring that our work tallies with making the world a better place. If you are a medical doctor, you should ensure that your patients are taken care of with love, and kindness, by showing humanity what Allah[swt] has already blessed you with. If you are an entrepreneur that doesn’t mean you can not impact your society, go for voluntary acts, go for awareness programmes, and do things positively.

“Volunteer as much as you can, sooner or later you will find someone who will point things out for you. That was how I became who I am today. I kept volunteering at different events and Alhamdulillah, I found what it is that I was good at. I was good at listening apathetically, I was good at speaking, I was also good at helping people think of solutions that were inside them, so while you volunteer pay attention to everything, pray and I am sure Allah would guide you,” she advised

Consultant, General Hospital Lagos/ Director Marie Specialist Hospital, Akesan Lagos. Dr Saidat Adetokunbo Badmus said the exhibition is indispensable in the life of Muslim women, as coming together in such event helps to build confidence, while striving to be the best worshipers of Allah [swt] at the same time wanting to make the best out of this world.

“We have unique challenges as Muslimahs, a lot of people out there want us to feel inferior because we are covering our hair. This is an event that creates that interaction between those that are upcoming to be confident in pursuing their goals in different works of life, it is an event that is inevitable and I pray that Almighty Allah continues to strengthen the organizers and make it easy to be a sustainable event.”

The Chief Executive Officer at Arabel, Sherifat Abiola Andu, said it is wrong to remain idle as a woman with the current economic hardship.

According to her, women cannot afford to be idle, as it would amount to wasting their talents.

If women, she said choose to be idle, it means half of the population is not working, which hurts the economy.

She urged Muslim women in business to be hardworking and harness opportunities in technology.
Her words: “Entrepreneurship is not an easy thing. it is very tough and being a woman is double toughness. So you have to be able to work very hard and think strategically. You have to go beyond just entrepreneurship, take a step further, be friendly and be techy. You can’t do it the same old way, you have to add something to it.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Egret Media Concept, Mutiat Olagok, said Muslimahs are doing amazing things regardless of the challenges on the use of Hijab in public places. “ There is greatness to be heard by us, amongst us, within us and this is an opportunity for us to bring Muslimahs in professional careers, those in business, to encourage more people to get out there and have a purpose beyond just whatever the society is stereotyping them about.

“Knowledge of self is the beginning of all wisdom, I leverage on my strength. I like to talk, and meet people. I don’t get overwhelmed with people, and I don’t get overwhelmed with talking. Others have strengths that are not like mine.

“The prophet (S.A.W) was a perfect human being ,yet he had to leverage the strength of people around him,when you look at the top 10 men around him they were different and he leveraged on Umar, Abu Bakr and Uthman’s charisma and these were things that came handy in the success that they had. It is the same thing for all of us,” she declared.