The theme for International Women's Day 2023 is ‘Embracing Equity’. The focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA. And it's critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. The aim of the IWD 2023 campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren't enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity. Forging gender equity isn't limited to women solely fighting the good fight. Allies are incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity, and to help drive success for all. Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality.
South Asian women have come a long way, navigating paradigm shifts in technology and innovation and are now known to be the fastest-growing community with women who exhibit exceptional leadership and grasping powers. There’s nothing women in the community cannot accomplish if given the right opportunity and support. Whether it’s things as basic as booking online tickets, using UPI, scanning barcodes, or using social media and WhatsApp, women are not behind in any form when it comes to being abreast with technology.
By the virtue of traditional methods, South Asian women have since time immemorial been the master of innovation at home and in professional spheres.
This year, Asian Voice brings you the inspiring success stories of some exceptionally talented, hardworking and determined South Asian women in the UK who have made a name and difference in sectors across finance, technology, arts, hospitality, food culture, pop culture and more.
We have exclusively interviewed Darjeeling Express founder, author and globally acclaimed chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Asma Khan, Mehrnavaz Avari, the youngest and the first woman Area Director to run the IHCL operations, founders of DabbaDrop, a new South Asian tiffin service in the UK, Nina Patel - digital transformation and innovation executive with experience at The Net-a-porter Group, Harvey Nichols and Farfetch, NISAU UK founder Sanam Arora, Dr Swati Dhingra - External Monetary Policy Committee member in the Bank of England, Rupa Popat - entrepreneur, board advisor, Angel Investor and NED, author Sarah Woods, Global CEO Mindforward Alliance Poppy Jaman OBE, Mamta Saha – a renowned psychologist and TEDx speaker and filmmaker Shamim Sarif.
These extraordinary women have spoken about breaking the glass ceiling, making their voices heard in boardrooms dominated by men, their social and emotional support, their struggles and success stories, and most importantly, they’ve spoken about never giving up in life and finding the right support system to keep moving forward with their head held high amid global recognition and success.
We’re also thrilled to have received acknowledgement from the first lady (spouse of the Prime Minister) of the UK, Akshata Murty on recognising Asian Voice and the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) effort to bring together a panel of incredibly talented women this month to discuss how we as a community can embrace equity. This ‘Women in Conversation’ event will be on 13 March and hosted at Edwardian I, in the Taj hotel (admission by invitation only).
To read more about the ‘Women in Conversation’ event, its excellent moderator, and its panellists, please see pages 14-17.