On Sunday 5 March, the University of Westminster hosted the Nisa Nashim Inaugural Conference ‘Challenging the Narrative’ which aims to change negative stereotypes about Jewish and Muslim faiths and create connections between female representatives of both communities.

The event welcomed more than 180 Jewish and Muslim women from all over the UK, including students and academics from Westminster. The event intended to show that Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain can forge closer relationships through their female communities as well as challenging the negative misconceptions about both faiths and the role that women play within them. The conference programme included discussions on creative interludes, workshops on education, representations of faith in the media and personal well-being.


From the left to the right: Julie Siddiqi - National Co-Chair Nisa Nashim, Rose Hudson-Wilkin - Keynote Speaker and Laura Marks - National Co-Chair Nisa Nashim (Credit: Sara Cuono, Photography student at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design)

Andrea Montalvo, Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator from the University welcomed the attendees and gave the opening remarks, saying: “As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy of the University we celebrate equality and diversity, cherish culture, embrace difference and individuality, promote well-being, and forward-thinking. We work continuously to create a rich, dynamic, and inspirational university based on world-leading research and community engagement."

The aim of Nisa Nashim’s inaugural conference was to provide a ground-breaking and powerful event that brought together women from Jewish and Muslim communities to build friendships, grow as leaders and enrich their communities.

The event was a platform to increase opportunities and to raise awareness of social action. Laura Marks, National Co-Chair of the Network, said: “With everything going in the world, we think the topics discussed will resonate more than ever."

Westminster academics and students also got the opportunity to take part in the event. Kaniya Abubakar, International Relations and Development student who attended, said: “The event has been phenomenal. It was refreshing to able to see two distinct religions coming together despite their differences. I enjoyed interacting with women who held so much passion behind their words.”


From the left to the right: Naima Mahamoud - International Business Student, Westminster Business School, Tanisha Sharma - Business Information Systems Student, Faculty of Science and Technology, Andrea Montalvo – Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator University of Westminster, Zara Patel - International Relations Student, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and Kaniya Abubakar - International Relations and Development Student, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (Credit: Sara Cuono, Photography student at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design)

For the University of Westminster, strong female role models are incredibly important to ensure that through equality, diversity and inclusion we can inspire the next generation of global citizens and professional leaders, who will take our social responsibility ethos of ‘Change for Good’ with them onto the local, national and international stage.

Find out more about the University of Westminster Change for Good values.

Find out more about the University of Westminster Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.



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