Community activist and Grenfell campaigner
What has inspired you most this past year?
The resilience of people. The adaptability of children. Our NHS. The world coming together in the middle of a global pandemic to protest injustices, to uphold our human rights and to hold people and companies to account.
What are you most excited about for the future?
Oh, everything. This last year and a half has felt a bit like a reset; a chance to do things again with a new enthusiasm and outlook. I’d love for this to be the start of a new world - one that puts our climate crisis first, one that believes in education for everyone, one in which everyone has clean water, one that believes in true equality for all regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, sexuality. It’s an exciting time - I hope the pause the world had was enough to kickstart this new world.
What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing women today?
Lack of education in poorer countries, lack of maternity rights including adequate affordable childcare and a decent maternity pay, lack of women in leadership positions, violence against women and unequal pay in comparison to male counterparts. We’ve got a lot of work to do!
Why is it important to support and champion women?
Women have always had to fight harder to be heard, acknowledged and seen. We’re no longer just mothers and homemakers but also Business women, entrepreneurs, creatives, life savers and so much more - and so often we are still overlooked, put down and left out. Everyone needs to come together to support women - we need men to be right there alongside us and in the forefront in the fight for equality. A fairer world ultimately benefits everyone and I want a world in which everyone can reap the benefits, and you aren’t left out because of your gender.
Whose words and views inspire you?
Women around me - I’ve always learnt so much from women.
So many stories to tell, lessons to learn and differences of opinions to explore if you’re open to them.
Is it important to celebrate cultures outside of our own? why?
We live in such a multicultural and diverse world now - to be open, curious and celebratory about other cultures is to be accepting of all those around us. I love to travel the world, taste new cuisines, hear new languages and learn about other ways of life. The world is a wonderfully brilliant place; each place and person is unique and special - I feel it’s our duty to celebrate it all. How can we truly grow as individuals otherwise?
What do you love or remember most about Morocco?
Morocco is my favourite place on earth. I’ve been more times that I can count. Every single time I go back, I find myself in a state of mesmerisation. It’s truly a magical place with tales of times of before and things a new. It’s spectacular in its culture and cuisine, it’s majestic scenes from the mighty Atlas Mountains and the Amazigh people who open their homes to you, to the hustle and bustle of the markets of Marrakech, the chilled coasts of Essaouira to the beach of Agadir - there’s so much to explore and immerse yourself in. But I think one of the things that I always come away with is the spirit, generosity and friendliness of the people - you meet as strangers and leave as lifelong friends. I think I’ve cried almost every time I’ve had to leave. Such a special place.