Lady Gilda Levy attends the launch of the Women’s Faith Forum

“On Wednesday 28th of February, I was privileged to be invited to a meeting in the House of Commons organised by Women’s Faith Forum, a new initiative, on gendered Islamaphobia and Antisemitism hosted by Marsha de Cordova MP and chaired by Laura Marks. I have never known a time when divisions and disunity between communities have been so prevalent, not even after 9/11. I was therefore extremely interested to take part with many women from diverse faiths and none who joined in on the conversation with the Muslim and Jewish community

We heard from Muslim and Jewish women representatives who spoke about their experiences of verbal abuse and intimidation. A shocking revelation is that 65% of Islamic abuse is against women (statistic provided by Tell MAMA), a reflection of society today. We also discussed how women have had their hijabs pulled from their heads and stones thrown through their windows, not to mention the daubing of swastikas outside Synagogues and Mosques. I spoke about our work at WIN, and other attendees included those from: Together we Thrive, Scripture Based Dialogue, Solutions not Sides, Nisa Nashim, Church of England and FODIP, spoke about their work and fears for the future of unity in this country.

When the discussion was opened to the floor, everyone talked about their concerns and fears, including the problems faced by Jewish students on campus who are having an extremely difficult time. Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, joined us and spoke very movingly from a women’s parliamentarians’ perspective urging us to use our voices to speak out against prejudice and hate. The overriding message that emerged from this meeting is the necessity of women to work together in fostering greater empathy, understanding and humanity. Women’s Faith Forum are planning to meet every few months to influence parliamentarians

I left feeling both concerned and also uplifted because of the amazing women in the room and the feeling of warmth and sisterhood that was generated. As women, the future is in our hands and we owe it to the next generations to leave a world that is safe and secure for all.”

Lady Gilda Levy

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