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WFWP UK - Changing the narrative how social media can break the cycle of violence against women



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

change.


The use of hashtags such as #tech4good and #WFWP demonstrates a commitment

to leveraging technology and social media for positive impact, aligning with the

overarching goal of using these platforms to drive meaningful outcomes and societal

change.

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