A day of dialogue with Muslim women

(June 4, 2011) – Over sixty local women in Kitchener-Waterloo are inviting the community to learn more about the lifestyles and attitudes of Muslim women next Saturday.

The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW (CMW-KW) is holding ‘A Day of Dialogue with Muslim Women’ at Kitchener City Hall on Saturday, June 11th.

“The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW hopes that this event will create awareness of the real lives, beliefs and practices of Muslim women and will counter negative stereotypes while building bridges of understanding with the larger community,” Fran Pappert-Shannon, Event Coordinator of the organization, told IQRA.

“The Coalition also hopes that this event will strengthen and promote harmony within our community through meaningful dialogue and friendly community interaction,” she added.

Doors will open at 9:30 a.m.  A light breakfast will be served and participants will be invited to watch a video specially created for the event, titled “Muslim Women:  We Want You to Know!”

The formal program will begin at 10:30 a.m., and will include a panel discussion on five key topics concerning Muslim women in today’s world:  Islamic Dress and Hijab; Marriage, Divorce and Children; Religious Duties and Practices; Rights and Responsibilities, and Education, Careers and Leadership.

Then participants will be invited to visit the “Human Library” and interact directly with local Muslim women to ask questions relating to Canadian Muslim women’s lives, their faith and how it is practiced.  This innovative and informal Human Library session will run from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

The event will end with reflections from the audience on what they have experienced that afternoon.

“We live in an environment in which Muslim women are frequently portrayed as subjugated victims of oppression, and these negative stereotypes have been reinforced by the media,” said Fran Pappert-Shannon.

“Very rarely have “real” Muslim women been invited to share their viewpoints about these stereotypes.”

The Coalition hopes to continue its outreach and educational activities in the future.

“We will be working on strengthening the foundations of our organization while researching new opportunities to provide educational workshops, informative presentations and interactive community forums,” added Pappert-Shannon.

For information on the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW and the upcoming event, visit: http://www.cmw-kw.org/