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In the early years of the 21st century, a number of Muslim women have achieved positions of influence. Women who care about the society in which they live and bring up their children are increasingly finding a voice and working together to make things happen. There's some way to go in harnessing the potential that lies at the heart of this change, but there is plenty of evidence that Muslim women are paving the way forward in new dynamic, challenging and creative ways. This book is all about women who have shown courage, dignity and strength; pioneers who have recognized their potential in the public and private realms of society, who have struggled, made sacrifices, taken pride in their multiple identities and who are committed to positive and peaceful change in the UK. This book presents the stories of 20 women from Bradford between the ages of 14 and 80, from their own perspectives. Based on a broader project called OurLives, which was designed to explore the insights and experiences of over a hundred women in Bradford, it belongs to a long tradition of oral history, where practical kwledge is passed from generation to generation. The book offers an intricate mosaic of the experiences, views and hopes of these women and in so doing emphasises the power of people's lives to aid deeper debate and understanding and gives voice to an important and often marginalised group. It will be fascinating to a range of people with an interest in Muslim women's lives and views and of wider interest to students, academics, policy-makers and professionals.
Wahida Shaffi is the Coordinator for the OurLives Mulsim Women's Digital Media Project, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. A qualified social worker with an MA in international politics and security studies, she has an extensive background in community research as well as diversity and conflict resolution training, both in the UK and around the world. Her specialist areas of interest include media, gender equality and peace and reconciliation.