Women’s Self-Defense for the Resistance

Women’s Self-Defense for the Resistance

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Project Description and Purpose:

International Muslim Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (IMWISE) will facilitate a series of self-defense workshops for Bangladeshiimmigrant and/or Muslim young women and their allies as a response to the uptick in vitriolic anti-Muslim,anti-immigrant, and anti-women rhetoric made over the last year, as well as the already existing discrimination, sexism, harassment, aggression, and gender-based violence womenencounter daily within homes, workplace, and other institutions.

Given that anti-Islamic sentiments and discrimination continue to alienate young and older Muslim women in the US, Rana Abdelhamid formed IMWISE to provide a space to heal from their negative experiences of violence, hone their individuality, and learn ways to turn negative experiences into adrive for positive social change.

Self-defense training is a tool that IMWISE administers to instill women with physical strength and support them overcome violence and become ambassadors for women’s self-determination.Alongside self-defense, there’ll be a focus on other skills trainings centering financial autonomy and wellness.

Who it Serves:

The sessions will prioritize Bangladeshi and/or Bangladeshi Muslim women in the Kensington neighborhood but are open to all women in the district as a tool for community-wide resistance building in the Trump Era alongside combating patriarchy within and outside of the community. Kensington, Brooklyn currently lacks a Women’s Center for Bangladeshi women whose social and political needs are often overlooked. The self-defense workshops are especially geared toward curating a permanent safe space with a goal of continued programming for Bangladeshiwomen in order to build up to a Women’s Center in the future.

Your Vote Matters:

Giving IMWISE a home in Kensington through Participatory Budgeting willprovide an outlet for Bangladeshi women in the neighborhood to build emotional and physicalstrength, connect with women allies invested in protecting immigrant/Muslim women of color, anddevelop leadership qualities to pursue all else required for the community to survive in a state ofviolence.

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