As Scots Asian women for independence, we represent both our ethnic heritage and our gender, both equally important to our identities. We are women, we are Asian and we definitely want independence!
As we have canvassed across the different wards in Glasgow and during our recent visit to Edinburgh, we have been overwhelmed by the sincerity of the people we meet on the doorstep, on the streets and who have visited our stalls. Even those that are so against independence melt when we ask them why. Sometimes we may not change the other person’s mind, but what we have all learnt is to respect the other person’s viewpoint. Its important to them. Be gentle and be kind, we are all entitled to our opinions.
We have fantastic representation at the highest levels of Scottish politics in Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh who is the SNP’s National Womens Officer and who has tirelessly campaigned alongside many of us for a prosperous and socially just future for Scotland. Tasmina is standing as a European Parliamentary candidate in the forthcoming elections, and we at SAFY are proud to have such a capable and multi-talented woman emerge from our community.
We have Suki Sangha, a firebrand of a young woman, a youth worker who works with the most marginalised young people in Glasgow and has that indepth understanding of what poverty does to a human being and the sometimes insurmountable barriers that are created due to the unequal sharing of resources and the ever growing gap between the haves and the have nots.
At the grass root level we have Ghazala Ahmad who is a student, and mother of two young children, who has been working extremely hard to convince people of why independence is so important to those that live in Scotland, and Nighet Riaz, a PhD Researcher at the University of the West of Scotland.
We have Humma Majid, another student who is engaging with community groups, and many more women in our midst who are quietly discussing the positive case for independence with their families, colleagues, community and religious groups, in order to bring about the change that is needed for a more democratic and progressive nation. We are growing in number, and we will do our best to bring the positive argument to the forfront – not as a confrontation, but as a vision we can all translate and implement as a step to a better future.
N N Riaz