Women Can Help Unite Us

March 8, 2007

Source: Lancashire Telegraph


WOMEN from every faith can lead the way in the fight to unite the communities of East Lancashire.

But women of different cultures should make an effort to learn English.

That was the message from religious and community leaders in Blackburn who gathered at Blackburn Cathedral to take part in a debate entitled "Women and Faith." The event was designed as a prelude to a series of women-only conferences set to take place in Blackburn under the banner "Women and Interfaith."

It was organised by Val Edge, women's project officer for the Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Council, and Anjum Anwar, who also acts as women's project officer and works within the Lancashire Council of Mosques.

The debate was designed to look at the roles women and faith play in the local communities, and comes just days after Blackburn MP Jack Straw called for a debate about whether Asian women should be required to speak English before they are handed a visa.

During the event, attended by about 25 people, Mrs Anwar, a Pakistan-born Muslim who moved to the UK aged ten, and Mrs Edge, a campaigner who was brought up Christian in a Welsh mining village, spoke of their different religious upbringings.