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Amina’s Work in Equality & Human Rights

Amina Helpline Anisha Blog Graphic

The Equality and Human Rights Officer within Amina works alongside the Helpline Team on a number of different events and information sharing across Scotland, including delivering training. Here is a compilation of some of the latest engagements.

Scottish Parliament

Our Officer attended various events held by the Scottish Parliament

  • Engaging Men in tackling Violence Against Women and Girls, focusing on the bystander approach, which has been incredibly successful in the US. This approach provides men with the opportunity to become allies and role models in preventing Gender-Based Violence (GBV), by challenging abusive behaviour of other men and questioning unhealthy attitudes they observe with their peers. The event also referenced the ‘Don’t be That Guy’ Campaign, launched by Police Scotland, and brought to light the clear, widespread frustration of the lack of awareness and training within education. The session was highly optimistic, providing attendees with the ability to encourage others to think differently, step away from harmful gender stereotypes, and create space for conversations.
  • Navigating Migration was chaired by Paul Sweeney MSP, and included panel members who were part of the cross-party group. This event established Navigating Migration as a Human Rights issue, highlighting reasons for negative stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination within society around migration and asylum seekers. Andy Sirrel from Just Right Scotland, addressed the issue as being “complex”, creating uncertainty and distress to members of society regarding the processes of asylum and migration. The event sought to portray the message that public discourse, be it media or otherwise, speaks in a way to “fear” migration, which may often result in anger and hostility towards members of society. 
  • Scotland’s Poverty Problem was chaired by Maggie Chapment MSP alongside other panel members. The panel sought to address the negative views held around poverty being an individual problem rather than a structural issue, highlighting the reality that our society was built with structures set up for two-parent families. As a result, those within single-parent families are often impacted in every aspect of their lives. 
  • The Scottish Government Consultation Event was held for third sector participants to attend, explaining the changes in the upcoming Human Rights Bill, the purpose of the Bill, and the impact this would cause for third sector clients and service users. The session was highly informative, and inspired Amina MWRC to contribute by holding our own Human Rights Consultation Events. We had two sessions titled “Your Rights, Your Say”, to explain the upcoming changes and what they may mean for Muslim and BME people across Scotland. The sessions were highly beneficial, and I look forward to presenting our findings in a formal report.

October: Black History Month Activities

Our Officer has been working closely with Chigozie Joe Adigwe, Digital Network Officer at the Alliance Scotland, to help plan a number of activities for Black History Month in October, with the theme ‘Saluting our Sisters’. I was invited to participate in the Alliance DigiFest Conference, where I co-hosted a stall to celebrate Black History Month, while attending workshops on the Impact of AI on social and healthcare in Scotland.

She helped to plan a short video as a social media tribute to local Sheros for Black History Month, and helped to seek contributors for a radio panel for two themes:

  1. Adversity to Resilience: A Black Woman’s story: Exploring the lives of Black women in contemporary Scotland, turning barriers into opportunities.
  2. Representation: Why, Who, What: Highlighting how more Black women can get involved in networks, be seen, and inspire others. 

November: Islamophobia Awareness Month Activities

November 2023 is Islamophobia Awareness Month, with the theme this year being ‘Muslim Stories’. In October, Amina hosted two Islamophobia engagement sessions to help inform the Islamophobia Awareness Month Launch this month at Scottish Parliament. 

On 1st November, our Equalities Officer spoke at the Islamophobia Awareness Month Launch at Scottish Parliament, highlighting the importance of speaking up against Islamophobia, and challenging stereotypes. She addressed the fact that freedom of expression comes with a caveat – we must be politically correct.

Upcoming Activities and Engagements

Following the success of our ‘Your Rights, Your Say’ human rights consultation sessions, our Equalities officer is looking to host a number of additional sessions over the next few months. The Officer is currently working on a number of reports and will be running more equality-focused sessions in the new year. To stay up to date with our upcoming events follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or visit our Upcoming Events section on the website!

Interested in hearing more from the Amina Team? Read about our Fundraising Intern Fatima Durrani’s experience volunteering at Amina here.