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 Newham News Stories

17:07
Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara surprised pupils at Sandringham Primary school in Newham to launch this summer’s Premier Sport ‘Inspire to Engage’ summer programme

A former footballer-turned-pundit turning up at a school might be unbelievable to many – but not to pupils at Sandringham Primary School.

Portsmouth
13:49
Newham University Hospital. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Missed appointments at Newham University Hospital cost the NHS £6million a year and have a huge knock-on effect on patient care. But why do 104 patients every day fail to turn up, wasting £160 a time? EMMA YOULE reports

Newham University Hospital
13:04
London Metropolitan Police from Stratford Police Station recovered drugs and weapons

Officers seized several knives plus a “large quantity” of class A and class B drugs during a search of Stratford’s streets this morning.

Ed Miliband addressing students at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre

How does a party leader deal with losing a general election?

European Union

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe