WLUML at CSW57 and the WOW Festival!

WLUML had an incredibly positive response to the two events it was involved in on International Women's Day - the 57th CSW in New York and the Women of the World (WOW) Festival in London.

WLUML's International Coordination Office just wrapped up an amazing weekend at the WOW Festival in London. We received a warm welcome at the festival while spreading the word about the wonderful work of our networkers, distributing over a hundred copies of our publications, and raising donations. From our colourful and bustling hub in the main hall, WLUML connected with the Asha Women's Centre, the Feminist Library, No Boundaries, Black Feminists, the Women's Networking Group, Women in Black, and many other women's rights and Diaspora activists, universities and organizations.  Most importantly, we engaged young Muslim women and girls, who were delighted to see publications such as, Walking a Tightrope: Women and Veiling in the United Kingdom.

While we debated and forged new links with the hundreds of women over the weekend, we also attended fascinating sessions on Global Feminism & the Middle East; International Activism; Women's Voices on War and Peace; and the Politics of the Divine, amongst others. There we engaged as WLUML with such inspiring activists and scholars as Zainab Salbi of Women to Women International; Ziauddin Yousafzai, working on girls' education with his daughter Malala; Deniz Kandiyoti of SOAS; BBC journalist Shaimaa Khalil; Jordanian author Fadia Faqir; and Madawi al-Rasheed. 

We had an incredible response to our CSW57 panel on stoning with no seats left and people sitting on the floor! Many of you would have seen the posts and blogs on stoning, so I will just give you a summary of the wonderful achievements thus far. Our Global Campaign on Stoning was launched on 8th March with an overwhelming response.

Open Democracy published an article on stoning by Rochelle Terman; four blogs were posted by Hikma Ahmed, Wazhma Frogh, Tarig Mustapha Ali, and Femin Ijtihad; WLUML engaged in a global tweetathon and tweets on the stoning panel which amounted to over 100 tweets; Women's News Network is preparing an article on the Stoning panel; over 2800 views of our Stoning statement, the blogs, and the Stoning panel updates were registered on our Facebook page; WLUML co-sponsored AWID's Women's Day march with our Board Chair, Zari Abdul Aziz, marching in New York; and WLUML were campaign partners of the International Planned Parenthood Federation and supported the SAY NO TO VAW Campaign via our social media space.

It was a week full of courage and connections; opinions and opportunities; and most of all solidarity. Here's to the collective community of women - what a force of nature!