The event kick started with Asma Ahmed, the co-director of the Young Women's
Speech Contest UK, who moderated the program and preceded by welcoming
everyone and guiding the webinar, setting the stage for a meaningful dialogue on the
importance of changing the narrative on the evening's topic - How Social Media Can
Break The Cycle Of Violence Against Women and Girls.
Matthew Huish opened the webinar with his inspiring speech and contributed
towards the topic from a male perspective. His acknowledgement of the harm
inflicted on women by men as 'deplorable', he also made emphasis on the role of
men in supporting women and fulfilling their responsibilities is a significant step
toward promoting gender equality and engaging in a culture of mutual respect and
understanding. Matthew is an educator, teaching in a school for children in care as
well as privately tutoring students in English, Maths and Science. He has BSc in
Biochemistry and an MA in Pastoral Theology. His greatest title, however, is being a
parent to their eight children with wife Natasha.
Hina Junejo's emphasis on the potential of social media as a platform for raising
awareness of domestic violence and encouragement to women to use their voices to
effect change, resonated deeply. Drawing from personal experiences, Hina added
authenticity and emotional resonance to her message, making it even more
compelling. She reinforced that it is essential to empower women to speak out and
break the silence surrounding violence against women. In addition to being an
Ambassador for Peace for WFWP UK, Hina is also a TV broadcaster, an award
winning documentary director and actor. She is a couples therapist in pursuit of
creating healthier relationships and curtailing domestic violence.
Sera Mustafa acknowledged the dual nature of the digital world, identifying both its
potential for good and its capacity to perpetuate harm, which is an important
reminder to be safe. Her call for critical thinking, particularly among young people,
underscored the importance of media literacy and the ability to discern and resist
harmful trends. This is especially vital in today's digital landscape. Sera is an actor
and a graduate from LAMBDA, and also spent 5 years as the Head of Campaigns &
Partnerships for Non Profit Project Period. She is the winner of the 2020 Young
Women's Speech Contest, WFWP UK.
Mandy Sanghera focused on her inspirational campaign, her journey and unwavering
commitment to standing up for the rights of women. She shed light on critical issues
such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Breast Ironing, Forced Marriages, Child
Marriages, and the mistreatment of individuals with mental/physical disabilities. Her
fearlessness in addressing these sensitive and often overlooked topics, emphasised
the need to challenge and change harmful cultural practices rather than being
complicit as bystanders. Mandy is an award winning philanthropist, and global
campaigner often referred to as a 'global catalyst'. As well as being an international
human rights activist & motivational Tedx speaker from the UK.
Asma then moved to the second segment of the programme, the Q&A session. The
audience engaged with a plethora of questions and discussions with the guest
speakers, raising poignant issues and expressing a strong desire for positive change.
This highlights the urgency and significance of the issues discussed in relation to
violence against women and girls and how social media can affect these inequalities
yet also bring about change for the better. The exchange of ideas and the collective
passion for driving change are indeed, critical in nurturing a culture of awareness
and collective action.
Asma Ahmed closed the event with huge appreciation and thanks to the speakers
and participants for their informative and productive contributions. In this,
recognising and appreciating the diverse perspectives and insights shared during the
event not only reinforces the importance of coming together to address complex
social issues, but also sees a collective, cohesive and inclusive nature to drive
to leveraging technology and social media for positive impact, aligning with the
overarching goal of using these platforms to drive meaningful outcomes and societal