Celebrating International Women's Day

Newham Year of the Young Person is celebrating International Women's Day on Monday, March 8.

Newham Year of the Young Person is celebrating International Women's Day on Monday, March 8. - Credit: Newham Council

Newham's women are in the spotlight this week as the council's Year of the Young Person campaign prepares for International Women's Day (IWD) on Monday.

The council asked for responses to this year’s theme Choose to Challenge, in the lead-up to its IWD free webinar at www.newham.gov.uk/IWD2021

Laiba Sheikh, lives in the borough and is a HeadStart Youth Panel Member. 

What does Choose to Challenge mean to you?

“It makes me think about making choices to speak up with pride and courage.”

Which Newham woman inspires you?

“Sarah, one of the youth practitioners from HeadStart…she has inspired me and taught me, without knowing, to take life with a pinch of salt, with passion and bit of laughter. Fight for what matters to you…. “

Alisha Chutoo, 15, is a volunteer with #HelpNewhamHub and panel member at the Newham Council IWD Webinar.

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What does Choose to Challenge mean to you?

“It mirrors the idea that you should never accept something you don’t agree with, it sends a message of power and resilience.”

Which Newham woman inspires you?

"My mother, because she takes care of me and my siblings and makes sure that we pursue whichever career or pathway we want to take. She is a strong and independent woman who never gives up or backs away from a challenge and her attitude towards everything in life is the way I aspire to be in my future.”

Jennifer Pereira, 23, is a national management trainee at Newham Council.

What does Choose to Challenge mean to you?

“To me, this means breaking down barriers and stereotypes that are placed on women’s capabilities, as well as being able to speak out against injustice.”

Which Newham woman inspires you?

"Althea Loderick, Newham Council’s chief executive, because she is not only paving the way for women in leadership positions, she is an inspiration to those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, like myself, as she continues her work on tackling racism and inequalities in the workplace."

Three successful Newham women also share what Choose to Challenge means them.

Delia Barker, director of Deeds & Words and a speaker at Newham Council IWD webinar on Monday, March 8. She said: “For me, it's around the perceptions of who you are and to not let a narrative (from whoever may create that narrative) define or limit you.

"I grew up with people around me that gave me the confidence to challenge wrong perceptions of me.”

Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney, Newham’s Children Commissioner, said: “Challenge yourself every day; accept the challenges that come, keep moving forward, learn and grow and explore every opportunity they bring.”

Lynne Crank, who leads Newham Council’s Youth Empowerment Services, said: “As someone with responsibility for supporting and creating the conditions for young people to be empowered, I Choose to Challenge because I feel accountable to our future generations to call out gender bias and inequalities and to celebrate their achievements. I hope that my challenges will create a more inclusive Newham because I believe challenges, bring about change.”

What’s happening!

This week (March 1-6) is National Careers Week and the borough's young people are encouraged to think positively and with hope about their future. To find out more go to www.nationalcareersweek.com

If you are interested in the creative sector, go to www.discovercreativecareers.com, if you are interested in health go to www.healthcareers.nhs.uk, or if you are seeking general opportunities or to study locally go to www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/EastCareersWeek, www.uel.ac.uk/events/2021/03/national-careers-events and www.whatcareerslive.co.uk

There is so much to explore via videos, tours, real-life stories, resources and advisors all waiting to support young people.