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Raising expectations: what international women’s day means to me

Raising expectations: what international women’s day means to me

Women 100 and CU London celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) at East London Mosque last year on 7th March with our hosts Citizens UK.

Over 200 local women from different community groups came together to contribute to this IWD theme “An equal world is an enabled world”.

MP for Bethnal Green & Bow Rushanara Ali, spoke about raising aspirations so our young women go on to consider work in public life or in leadership roles. We spoke about accessing Education and how the doors of the wonderful CU London campuses are open for women to progress in their lives - many just needed the confidence to start the conversation.

I spoke with an incredible Somalian woman. Twenty years ago, before the war, she was about to start studying medicine. But, arriving in the UK as a refugee, studying was no longer an option - she couldn’t speak English for a start. However, since then she has raised a family in Tower Hamlets, has perfect English, works part time in a school as a TA and her eldest son is now at Cambridge University. Hearing me speak about CU London’s teaching model she told me she felt now was the time to reconnect with education. CU London’s BA in Early Childhood Development & Learning would be a perfect step for her. It was an uplifting & inspiring day.

Find out more about studying at CULondon here: Study | CU London ( and contact Shweta Vanjeri (Community Development Manager)

We partnered with Women100 for IWD because of our shared mission to amplify the voices of women who – like the woman I met last year – are so often excluded from leading roles in public life and yet have huge leadership capacity demonstrated by their tenacity and initiative they exercise despite the challenges set against them. As Community Development Manager, I am passionate about increasing educational opportunities and aspirations for women in London.


This year the focus of International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge because we know that women across the world face gender bias and inequality – and the legacy of Women100 has been tackling this by training women to tackle structural racism among other issues of injustice. I for one will be looking out for new potential students, with an eye for the women who have chosen to face the challenges despite the odds.

Want to join our IWD celebration this year? Join us Saturday 6th March 2021 2-4pm on Zoom:

Posted by Frankie Webster [East London Citizens] on 19 Feb, 2021