Search

Newham College student organises seminar on FGM and forced marriage

09:42 14 April 2014

Abdul Vajid, 15, organised the women

Abdul Vajid, 15, organised the women's rights conference at Newham College

Archant

A 15-year-old student at Newham College organised a seminar on women’s rights that featured speeches by famous campaigners.

Forward UK's Dina Baky talks to studens at Newham College about FGMForward UK's Dina Baky talks to studens at Newham College about FGM

Abdul Vijad, who lives in Manor Park, held the seminar at the College’s East Ham Campus as part of his Citizenship GCSE.

Abdul, who was born in India, says he chose to invite speakers to discuss female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage because they affect the lives of many young people.

He said: “We split our class into two groups - one organised forced marriage and the other FGM.

“We know that they are culturally sensitive issues and some people don’t want touch them.

“But we also know that if we don’t look at them nothing will ever change.”

He added: “FGM can cause physical harm and long lasting health issues. Young people should be aware that forced marriage is a cultural issue, but they should also know that they shouldn’t have to go through it without their informed consent.”

The seminars featured speeches by Sara Khan, director of the Islamic women’s group Inspire, and Dina Baky, Youth Projects Officer for the FORWARD campaign against FGM.

Sara Khan said: “It’s fantastic that Abdul’s initiated these seminars. It’s really quite inspiring. He’s a model for young men in that he’s showing these issues affect not just women but everyone in the community.

She added: “A lot of young people don’t really know about forced marriage, and what they can do about it. Now, if their friends are effected they will know what to do.”

Abdul said the seminars were a success, with around 80 students attending, and would like to organise others on tackling sexism and racism.

After his GCSEs he hopes to study sociology, anthropology and journalism at King’s College London and pursue a career in photojournalism.

For more information visit wewillinspire.com and forwarduk.org.uk.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 08:00
Hoskins Close residents won a victory on mould in their homes

Tenants and residents celebrated a victory against mould by baking “mouldy” gingerbread house biscuits for the council.

Fri, 15:45
Representatives from What You Do Matters with the shoeboxes

Supporters of What You Do Matters have helped the organisation smash their Toy Appeal target by collecting 339 shoeboxes full of gifts.

Fri, 11:40
Young patients at the Royal London Hospital receive their gifts. From left:  Rhyanne Gasper, 14, from Newham, Naeem Agbongbon, 8, from Ockenden, Essex, Eron Ufuah, 9, from Canning Town, and Harshika Partheepan, 4 months, from Newbury Park, with volunteers from the Kindness Offensive Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Children being treated in hospital over Christmas received hundreds of gifts in a surprise visit by well-wishers.

Royal London Hospital
Fri, 11:19
The cellar in Betty's old house where she cowered as a child

From the baby-sized gas mask to the make-shift beds, Betty Sexton has had a poignant year saying goodbye to her old belongings.

London

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition