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Jewish and Muslim female students say its time to lead the way on faith, leadership and combatting hate

Twenty Jewish and Muslim female students from top universities all around the UK, and one from Germany, came together at a special Parliamentary event hosted by Ruth Smeeth MP and Wes Streeting MP

Labour MP Ruth, who is Jewish, spoke to the students about her experiences as a woman of faith in a leadership position and the challenges and opportunities that brings each day.

Ahmereen Reza, who is a prominent Muslim businesswoman, then led a discussion on the critical role that women can play in changing the narrative on both antisemitism and Islamophobia, if we do it together.

Wes Streeting MP talked about the crucial role of Jewish and Muslim women in leading societal change.

The Parliamentary event was organised in partnership with Nisa-Nashim, which brings Jewish and Muslim women together, around the country, to inspire and drive social change.

Ruth Smeeth MP said: “it was such a positive event – young women who will go on, together, to lead and make a real difference.  It was a real pleasure to meet them”

After meeting with the Parliamentarians, the students went for dinner to bond further as a group, plan events on campuses,  and celebrate International Women’s Day.

The students came from Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge and Humboldt university in Berlin. The event was timed to take place around International Women’s Day 2019 as part of a Faith+Gender programme initiated by Bristol SU Equalities, Liberation and Access sabbatical officer, Sally Patterson.

Sally said: “Through Nisa-Nashim, and this Gender+Faith initiative, genuine friendships are starting to  form between Jewish and Muslim students, both at their own universities and now across the UK, and even Europe. We can all support each other, including in fighting gendered antisemitism and Islamophobia

Nisa-Nashim’s event coordinator Saha Habib, who recently graduated from UCL, added:

“To hear about the leadership journeys of both Ruth Smeeth MP and Ahmereen Reza, was inspirational.  I know that the students here today will be the leaders of tomorrow.”