She emphasized the idea of empowering Muslim women at a grassroots level in order to tackle the challenges that they may encounter in their day-to-day lives. In a specific address to a group of 22 young women and leaders of London’s “Reclaim Honour Project” which, in partnership with the Status of Women Canada, aims to challenge violence and empower women to protect their rights within their communities, Taylor highlighted that the greatest obstacle that communities face is in challenging and redefining terms such as “honour” which continue to be used to justify acts which continuously disempower and dishonour women.
Following a visit to the Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Toronto, Taylor spoke to an audience of women about the importance of their roles as ambassadors for change. Placing the onus upon both women and men, Taylor stated, “…we must educate and seek to readjust the pre-existing norms and preconceptions of society. When questioning whether it is appropriate for a woman to hold a particular role or office, we must ask ourselves, does gender trump competence?”
Within each visit Taylor highlighted the groundbreaking accomplishments and achievements of Muslim women in North America whose courage to step outside their own comfort zones and traditional barriers has contributed to a more inclusive and empowered community at large. Seeking inspiration from former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Taylor reminded each group that “[they] must do the thing you think [they] cannot do.”
Click here (6:31, 8.9MB MP3) to listen to a podcast with U.S. Public Affairs Officer Scott Walker and Tayyibah Taylor.
Visit and “Like” us on Facebook to learn more about Tayyibah Taylor’s visit and upcoming events at the U.S. Consulate General Toronto.