Sainab is a 2nd year student at KCL, pursuing a degree in Pharmacy. She was Events Officer this year for the Intersectional Feminist Society (iFemsoc) and will be co-President in the 2018/19 academic year. She has been elected as one of the delegates for the NUS Women’s Conference.
Through this role, she create spaces for women of colour (who are a minority in higher education) to mingle and informally network, as she recognised that university can often be very isolating for women of colour. For Black History Month she organised listening parties and socials, celebrating black women and non-binary artists. As well as organising a series of other events, including panel discussions and film screenings. Also as part of iFemsoc, she hosted an islamophobia awareness month event on gendered Islamophobia. In collaboration with the NUS women’s campaign the kicked off a national tour which focussed on how Islamophobia effects broader issues of employment, workplace discrimination and its impact on Muslim women. The aim was to explore the “triple penalty” experienced by Muslim women for being Muslim, being BME and being women.
She is also a part of Demilitarise King’s. They host events such as State Violence 101, which looked at how varying (interconnected) kinds of state violence affect marginalised groups – on both structural and interpersonal levels. The event had speakers including: formerly incarcerated women, representatives from charities supporting women in prison and radical psychologist and therapist who work with women inside detention centres. She also helped to organise workshops that explored how the university contributes to worldwide occupation and state-violence through its involvement in the arm’s trade.
Aside from her work with her societies, she is one of the people spearheading the “The Justice for Cleaners” campaign. This led to open meetings with the principal and that finally led to a working group being formed which is now looking at the possibility of bringing the cleaners in-house. Next year she will be one of the three lead students on this working group, working with members of SMT to review the cleaners contracts and working conditions.
Sainab, alongside her colleague, Heather Abdule, also worked on another campaign for Women’s history Month relating to our State Violence and Prisons event. We raised funds and awareness for charities that support women in prison, and also raised awareness for campaigns which aim to minimise the population of women in prison. She created resource packs which had information about women in prison, information about campaigns and charities to support and a list of readings related to state violence. Tote bags and badges were also made to help raise money.
Advice to my younger self: put all your energy into the things that matter and the things that make you happy!