MTVH host two conferences on International Women’s Day

28 March 2024

Summary:Events held in Brent, London, and Nottingham, were timed to coincide with International Women’s Day. The MTVH ‘She is Summits’ brought together young women and girls with residents and local politicians to discuss the barriers they face, look at opportunities and seek lasting solutions.

MTVH was delighted to host two ‘She is Summits’ recently – the first was held at the Brent Civic Centre in Wembley on Thursday, 7th March, and the second at the Albert Hall in Nottingham on Friday 8th March. They brought together girls, young women, local residents, politicians, practitioners, and influencers to generate ideas and solutions to value women and girls in their local area and beyond. Both events were timed to mark International Women’s Day 2024 and were focussed on the United Nations theme for the day of ‘Invest in Women: Accelerating Progress.’

The She is Summit in Brent was in its third year successive year and MTVH hosted it along with our partners the Young Brent Foundation and Brent Council. Also in attendance was the local MP, Dawn Butler, and Brent Council Leader, Muhammed Butt.

The Summit in Nottingham was the first time it was held outside of London and here it was hosted by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire and was supported by MTVH. Along with other local partners the event was used to launch a new five-year plan to tackle Violence against Women and Girls in Nottinghamshire.

At both events the major themes included how to tackle gender based violence as well as supporting young women’s aspirations and employment opportunities. There were discussions and activities focused on tackling place centric gender-based violence in schools, institutions, and public spaces, supporting young women’s aspirations through building connections and learning networks. The Summits also provided a space to listen, better understand and generate ideas to improve the lives of girls and young women who often under-represented, marginalised and not heard.

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing said:

“Events in recent years have made it clear that we need to listen to the concerns of young women and girls to understand how discrimination takes place and what measures we can take to eliminate gender-based violence to improve their safety and protection. At MTVH we are proud sponsors of the She is Summit which for three years have worked in partnership with the Young Brent Foundation, Brent Council, and many other partners to bring girls and women together to tackle abuse and to confront discrimination.

“We’ve found our strength is in our numbers, because when we come together we are more powerful and more influential. So we’re delighted to learn that this year the She is Summit expanded to Nottingham bringing discussion of these important issues to a much wider audience. These Summits have generated a variety of ideas and practical initiatives and are an important forum where young women can discuss and share experiences, to listen, better understand and seek solutions.”

In London the local Labour MP for Brent Central, Dawn Butler spoke passionately to delegates and said, “the importance is of empowering women and girls, especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities.”

Ayan Abdi is as an MTVH resident and was co-host of the event in Brent and said:

“What we hope to achieve from the She is Summit is to instil confidence and hope among other young women and girls. For them to be excited to hear from other women who’ve done so much in their communities.

“In Brent, it’s not just being a woman that’s the barrier or the struggle. It’s also being a black woman, or an Asian woman. This is such a diverse place, so we need to think about how identities intersect and how to inspire inclusion, and the She is Summit talks about how to open up all the different kinds of opportunities for women and girls from all backgrounds.”