Learn about her reflections on International Women’s Day.
Women’s Day is a strong reminder to remember, honour and value the struggles of all women all over the world, but I particularly acknowledge the struggles of Indigenous and Black women and women of colour. It is a time to engage with intersectional feminism, a feminism that is bold, critical and ready to take risks. I engage with a feminist lens that defies essentialism and the supremacist feminist “saviour” frameworks, a feminism that advocates for feminist solidarity that transcends the boundaries of geographies, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, class and copes with the current challenges of displacement, im/migration, racism, and sexism.
We all have biases, conscious and unconscious, and they are deeply internalized. Most of us are reluctant to admit that they exist. Biases impact the way we see, interact, and engage with individuals and communities. They also shape the way we lead and they inform our practices and decisions. If unchecked, biases reinforce stereotypes and prejudices and will ultimately lead to discrimination which perpetuates exclusion, inequities, and other harms. Hence, it is important that we acknowledge our biases, unpack them and break them so that we can embrace diversity and engage with our differences as assets that enrich our community.
Each one of us is responsible to create environments where everyone feels safe, valued, heard, and treated equitably. Breaking biases is necessary to understand and dismantle the barriers to inclusion and to redress unjust systems and revive our humanity. When we confront and break our biases we commit to reinventing and engaging in a different reality informed by an anti-oppressive lens.
As an Anti-Racism Advisor, my daily work is centred around training and education that aim to raise awareness, build capacity, inform practices and support all initiatives of the Faculty of Medicine to change culture, value diversity and engage with equity and inclusion. All the work I do brings biases to the center of our conversations, examine how they impact us and how we can break them. As a member of the REDI office I provide consultations, conduct training and conversations to reflect on, examine and break biases.
My work to break biases can’t be disconnected from my personal experience as an immigrant, a woman of color and visibly Muslim in Canada. Biases lead to stereotypes, discrimination and consequently exclusion. My team and I in the REDI office are committed to break this circle of exclusion.