Shaherazad Umbreen is the Founder of Shoes By Shaherazad – a company that has the purpose of empowering women at its heart. Through GlobalGiving, the company supports our Seed of Hope programme so we asked Shaherazad a few questions about gender equality and empowerment.
Do you think there should be equality for women?
Without question. The planet’s happiness, peace and future wellbeing depend on it.
We are born equal. Society has created an imbalance through patriarchy. It’s time to end that.
What examples of gender inequality have you experienced and how have you overcome them?
Male peers asking me to “arrange the coffee”. My tip? Highlight the issue and ask them to reflect on why they’ve asked me …. again instead of getting up themselves.
Male peers rolling their eyes when they hear of a colleague’s pregnancy and impending maternity – yet they have children themselves. My tip? Tell them it’s not acceptable, firmly and calmly.
Male peers using football analogies all the time in business meetings. My tip? Offer alternatives!
What do you think makes women empowered?
Be who you want to be – confidently.
Why is empowerment important to women?
Because there is not a single country in the world where women are treated equally to men. Not one. It’s time to change that forever. The #timeisnow
What role do you see Vision Africa (or Shoes by Shaherazad or both) having in promoting gender equality?
We both have a role in helping women to stand tall. With confidence and without fear. In enabling women to achieve their life goals whilst engaging wider Society with the overall purpose of equality. Our role is to put gender on the agenda and to keep it there. Period.
What messages would you share with both young men and women to encourage gender equality?
Be strong. Be persistent. Be resilient. You will face setbacks and even hostility sometimes. But by standing tall for gender equality the future will be happier for all of Society.