Reflecting on Female Leadership in relation to recent events

On Friday 15th March 2019, the people of New Zealand were subjected to an terrorist attack.

The Strong Sisters in their weekly session on the following Sunday discussed the incident and the leadership of Jacinda Arden, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The demography of our Strong Sisters is quite diverse, allowing a platform of learning, understanding of cultural, societal, religious and personal differences amongst our Sisters; thus forming a sound basis for the group’s open and caring nature.

Jacinda Arden – an inspiration

“We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it.”

Jacinda Ardern: 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand, 38 years old and a female leader. 

Being raised from a background where her father worked as a police officer and her mother, a school catering assistant, she was brought into the political scene by her aunt, Marie Ardern, who was a long standing member of the Labour Party. Her aunt recruited her into a campagn  for New Plymouth MP, Henry Duynhoven, during his re-election campaign at the 1999 General Election. She later herself joined the Labour Party at the age of 17.

Since her graduation from the University of Waikato in 2001, her career began working as a researcher in the office of the current prime minister at the time, Helen Clark, and later she worked in the U.K, as a policy advisor for Tony Blair. Besides being in politics, Ardern volunteered at a Soup Kitchen in New York.

In 2008, she was elected as prime minister of the International Society of Socialist youth, an organisation founded in 1907 which was based on socialist principles of democracy, human rights and youth policy.

Fun Fact: She was the 2nd elected head of government to give birth while in office when her daughter was born on the 21st June 2018!

Why Jacinda Ardern is important to us?

In the recent events of the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern’s response was greatly acknowledged by the public eye worldwide. While condemning the terror attack that unfolded on Friday 15th March 2019, Jacinda Ardern brought a new hope to the world and restored faith back into humanity which everyone believe had been long lost and almost seemed irretrievable.

Following the attacks, an Islamic prayer initiated the debates in Parliament of New Zealand from which Ardern talked directly to the families of the victims, “We cannot know your grief, but we can walk with you at every stage.” Inspired by Ardern herself, a series of acts of kindness sparked by the community of Christchurch filled the hearts of the world with a new warmth. This is something no other political leader could have ever done like Jacinda Ardern has.

Jacinda Ardern: a female leader, an inspiration and someone who has shown us how small acts of kindness can change the world.

Research and Post by Strong Sisters: Fatimah and Salihah

Acronyms, Aspirations and Attributes

On Sunday 24th March 2019, the Sisters found themselves streamlining ahead, and therefore took a step back and analysed and celebrated their existing attributes and aspirations.

Using their poetic and literary diction, the Sisters came up with their own ethos and values in the form of an Alphabet.

The Strong Sister Alphabet reads as:

We made the news !!!

On Thursday 7th March 2019, Blackburn Youth Zone were contacted by the BBC with regards to the Strong Sisters Project appearing in a news segment, ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March 2019.

The Sisters engaged in discussions about Women who they found inspiring around the world. We talked about global personalities in the music industry such as Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Dolly Parton, talk show host – Oprah Winfrey, education enthusiast – Malala Yousafzai and more local legends such as first female cabinet minister – Barbara Castle, current Blackburn MP – Kate Hollern and Blackburn’s first South Asian female councillor – Saima Afzal.

In their interviews, the Sisters did a great job of talking to reporter Naomi Cornwell, about Women who inspired them and promoting the project.

The Group grew …

Sunday 3rd March 2019 saw the project attract more young people. The girls introduced themselves to each other and continued working together on their views on Women’s Entrepreneurship, incorporating research brought to the table by the new sisters.

Dr. Rashmi in her overview of Women Entrepreneurship, opens her article stating that: ” Women entrepreneur may be defined as the woman or a group of women, who initiate, organise and operate a business enterprise. Government of India has defined women entrepreneur as an enterprise owned and controlled by a women having a minimum financial interest of 51% of capital and giving at least 51% of employment generated in the enterprise to women.”

Rashmi, 2016. Women Entrepreneur in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in India – An Overview. International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research. Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2016, PP 60-64. Accessed on 03/03/2019 at:
https://www.arcjournals.org/pdfs/ijmsr/v4-i2/6.pdf

“So technically, we could say that Blackburn Youth Zone is Women Entrepreneurship, as female staff account for more than 51% of the team” – discussion point made as a result of the day’s research by young people.