Ladan Takow's: Empowering Somali Women Event London

"Somali women are the backbone of Somalia. 'Empowering Somali Women Event' gives us young women a platform to network with like-minded peers and celebrate what we have personally achieved in our lives. It also gives us a chance to help younger Somali girls accomplish their lifelong goals by giving them advice on what we have already experienced." Ladan Takow

Ladan Takow, 23 year old Journalism and News graduate from Roehampton University; embarked on a journey to India at the end of 2014. Ladan's 3 month trip was organised by International Citizen Service and working with an organisation called Restless Development.

(Ladan covering a story in Nadavada Village, India)

(Left Picture: Restless development team in India.
Right picture: Ladan working with young girls on activities that promote positive body image how to challenge negative attitudes.)

It was during her time in India, whilst working with rural women and young people; that Ladan decided she wanted to play an active role in creating awareness about the issues Somali women face. Soon after returning to London, Ladan connected with her fellow Somali women on twitter and shared her idea's of creating an event to empower Somali women.

"The gathering gave us a platform to share new ideas and challenge each other." - Ladan 

One week after coming back from India, Ladan sat down with 20 young Somali women over afternoon tea at Saatchi Gallery in London. The ladies discussed and connected over similarities in the issues they face as Somali women. There was an overwhelming want for change, opportunity to unite and empower women. The scones were creamed, the tea was flowing and so were the ideas of what the event should entail.

Weeks later Ladan's 'Empowering Somali Women Event' was all over twitter.  She shared on her blog the aims of the event - "The aim is to gather over 100 young Somali women to discuss the question of women empowerment in the Somali community as a holistic approach." - Ladan

The event aims to encourage women to engage in discussion on how to empower each other in factors such as; education, career choices, political participation, justice and other important issues. Ladan aims to create a secure 'woman only' environment that will promote open conversation about the more challenging issues they face. Somali women need to be united and to empower one another throughout their endeavours.

The event also aims to give the attendees the opportunity to network and create life long relationships with other influential women.

Throughout the day there will be variety of entertainment including; dance performances, music and competitions. The theme of the day is creativity and self-expression whilst celebrating the Somali culture, this is reflected in the dress code, music and food choices.

(Baar Hersi will be hosting the event.)

To all the Somali female readers living in London and surrounding areas make sure you save the date and to attend. To all other readers, make sure your share and spread the word.

Date: 7th March 2015
Time: 2 pm to 6 pm
The venue: is Brunel University
The Academy
Kingston Lane,
Tickets are £15 (16 and under go free, tickets will be sold online and at the door.)
Money will go towards Ladan's future projects inshallah.
Dress Code: Strictly Hido iyo dhaqan


Elmimag recognises the work Ladan Takow has done and continues to do for her community and friends. We will be attending and covering the event on the 7th of March and we hope to see you all there.

Ladan will also be joining Sadiya (founder of Elmimag) on her YouTube channel this Saturday (21st Feb) discussing the event and how women can be empowered. If you would like to ask Ladan questions, you can do so by tweeting Sadiya and Ladan with the hastag #AskLadan before Saturday.

Here are a few messages from Ladan's 12 volunteers:

Munira, Journalist

What has inspired me to participate in the Somali women empowerment event is the the whole message behind it. This is an an event celebrating courageous, independent and ambitious young Somali women. I am proud to be a part of an event that celebrates my heritage.

Fardowsa Ali, Undergraduate (Clinical Psychologist)  

Being a feminist is what draws me to this amazing project , I strongly believe women are the real architects of our society as we uphold so many roles and responsibilities which we are often not accredited for . This project inspires young women and it allows them to  shine as it shows the beauty of culture education and how we women can bring a positive change to society . A project like this kicks stereotypes to the curb and it opens room for motivation, support and a bright future for young women . And for all these positive reasons I'm proud to be part of it.  

Aisha, Copy Writer 

I have been on a journey to nurture my passions; writing is the most prominent of those passions. I am a poet, photographer and writer and interested and invested in continuing my personal and creative growth. I chose to volunteer at the Somali women empowering event because for once this is positive celebration of Somali Women. I am extremely inspired and influenced by culture, the arts and people. Somali literature is something that I thoroughly enjoy, language is also something I experiment with, humour in language, meanings in languages; I explore this through spoken word. I will be studying Art and design in University.  

Amal Hussien, Science Student

I love supporting my sisters, regardless of where they're from, but especially my Somali sisters. I believe that our Somali sisters are capable of doing anything! From M.U.A to Doctors over Journalists to Nurses, everything. Empowering Somali Women event can inspire young girls to do something they've always wanted to do or rethink their opinion of us. We have cultural barriers that are holding us back from doing things we always wanted to, in oder to break those barriers we need to step up and show how much some of us have achieved. My main reason for getting involved with this beautiful event is, that we can all gather together and bring back positive changes.

Sumaya, Student

My reason for taking part for empowering somali women is because of my mum. She has been through her ups and down and still has a smile on her face. From fleeing the civil war to start a new life in the UK to studying her Masters Degree, she has shown me to never give up. Without her undying love and support, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Empowering somali women is about celebrating all of our women's successes and spreading the love to our fellow sisters. By taking part, I will be doing my bit to ensure that our ladies never give up and that they continue to bless our lives. 

Aliya Issa, Inspired Make up Artist

My reason for getting involved in Empowering Somali Women Event is mainly because I love my heritage and my people, being part of this event shows how us women from the same background can come together and support one another. 

Sara Abdulrahman, Diagnostic radiographer

I was really motivated to get involved in this event as it is the coming together of talented and ambitious young Somali women to showcase and bring to light how beautifully diverse our community is and show it can shine when we come  together, all of the above and still celebrate our roots? Count me in, it's a no brainer. It's definitely a one of a kind event. 

Iqra Mohamed,  Politics student
What inspired me to take part in this event is that as Somali women and young women of colour there isn't many platforms where we can empower each other to become strong, independent women while embracing and celebrating our beautiful culture. I believe its important for Somali girls to develop the courage and self-esteem to know that they can accomplish anything they want in life.This event will encourage Somali women to dream big and live out what they think and believe, so that they, too, can inspire the next generation of Somali women! 

Habon Jama, Aspiring art director and freelance photographer/makeup artist  

I volunteer in various areas from advertising to fashion. I love nothing more than meeting new people and gaining new experiences. What drew me to volunteer at the Empowering Somali Women event was the fact that I've never seen anything like it before, and having the opportunity to be able to celebrate my people with my people. Meeting so many ambition and creative individuals was the icing on the cake...and I love cake.

Khadra jama, Paediatric nurse

I volunteered to be apart of the Empowering Somali Women Event because I think that this gives us the opportunity to bring the community back together as stereotypes and obsessions with what tribe you are from has been one of the many factors that have divided us. This would be an amazing learning process too, reviving the culture is very important as we are the mothers of the upcoming generation and I would love to spread my newly learnt knowledge and experiences to the future off springs. I really think that this event could also educate others and show them that we are strong and independent  women, that grew up in a western country despite this, it didn't stop us for upholding are roots and following the footsteps of our mothers. 

Sumia Jaama, 20, Student 

I love the idea of celebrating womanhood, past and present, I don't think enough of that is done, especially within our own communities. What I love even more is that it is mainly organised by the younger generation of women, it highlights a closing of the gap many generations before have perhaps struggled to minimise. The gathering of so many young Somali women, for the sole purpose of recognition and empowerment is absolutely inspiring, and to be part of the beautiful team behind it all is nothing short of a blessing.  

Sawiya, Journalist  

My name is Sawiya and I am a journalism graduate. I'm taking part in the Empowering Somali Women event because I love the concept of talking to different Somali women who are passionate about different things. It's time to help each other grow and inspire one another. 


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