Reshma, 20, a student at the University of Westminster, is doing a placement at Citizens UK as part of their Good Jobs Campaign. To mark #100years since women got the vote, Reshma discusses the role of the campaign in providing opportunities for young Muslim women and how there's still some way to go before women across society are treated fairly and equally.
The Good Jobs campaign is an opportunity for students and young people to bridge the skills gap in order to secure meaningful employment. As a woman, I feel the area’s most relevant to me are the digital and networking skills I’ve been able to develop.
So far, we’ve been lucky enough to learn from skilled professionals who’ve covered many topics including coding, designing apps, generating creative ideas and giving presentations, when I had the opportunity to do a placement with Global Media Agency known as OMD. This is where students like myself have been able to discover other organisations such as Citizens UK.
I am currently doing a placement at Citizens UK in East London Office as part of my University course. This is a great advantage for me to not only understand the problems the community is facing but how I can play a part in supporting their issues, particularly those that affect young Muslim women. I'd first accessed the campaign through a programme during sixth form at Mulberry School for Girls.
I feel very strongly about this because my own career aspirations have at times been wrongly dismissed by some of my peers, who, though their own entrenched misconceptions assume that as a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, I am destined to be a ‘house wife’.
If this is the attitude of some students in my university community, it shows that even after 100 years since women in the UK won the right to have their voice heard, the casual ignorance of some can lead to missed opportunities for others. The reality is that the world is moving on and it is no longer male subjugated.
Thanks to the work of women 100 years ago, we celebrate the empowerment of women in the quest to live in a fair and equal society. Susan B Anthony believes that “Woman must not depend upon the protection of men, but must be taught to protect herself.” In the 21st century we encourage women from any race to be independent, confident and encouraged to make their own decisions.
Why are you personally motivated by this issue?
I personally believe that the Good Jobs Campaign is a great opportunity to get an insight into the sectors of work that are usually more male dominated. It is crucial that women take up roles in technology and digital marketing as we can bring bright ideas alive.