Women in Mosques Development Programme 2018 (Pilot)
As part of MCB’s mosque capacity building programme based on the theme #PeopleNotBuildings, a pilot Women in Mosques Development Programme was launched in March 2018, designed to accelerate the development of 20 upcoming female leaders in their local communities
The programme involves 1-to-1 mentoring between mentees and an experienced mosque trustees or board member, as well as a series of personal development workshops over a 6-month period (July to Dec 2018)
The program also includes visits to best practice mosques across the UK, training on topics such as charity law, governance, volunteer management and public speaking, and networking with organisations looking to recruit female trustees and managers
Who’s on the programme?
20 upcoming female leaders are on the pilot programme. They are all interested in making an impact in a leadership role in a mosque or third sector organisation in future, and they have demonstrated past experience in organising events or initiatives in their local community, mosque or university student society.
What happens next?
The Women in Mosques Development Programme is one of a number of initiatives planned by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2018-19 and beyond to support the capacity building of women in Muslim communities.
The learning points and feedback from this pilot Women in Mosques Development Programme will be reviewed in early 2019 with a view to launching a new improved programme later in 2019.
For further information, feel free to get in touch here.
- Full speech by Harun Khan, MCB Secretary General, at launch event in March 2018 can be downloaded here.
- Press Release for launch of programme in March 2018.
See some of the coverage of the programme below:
|BBC Inspirit with Jumoke Fashola – Are Women’s Roles Changing Within Islam? – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06n6d5p|
|BBC 4 Woman’s Hour – Do British Mosques need more women in leadership roles? – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06n1l6f
|The Guardian – Muslim Council of Britain to train women to run mosques –
|The Economist – Young Muslims challenge the old guard at Britain’s mosques –
|Huffington Post – Meet The Trailblazing Women Training To Be The UK’s First Female Mosque Leaders –
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the point of this programme?
The Women in Mosques Development Programme is designed to provide mosque-specific training and mentoring to a cohort of high-potential upcoming female leaders, to support them in becoming the female trustees, committee members and project officers of their local mosques.
2. How many of these women will actually get roles within mosques?
Many of the women are already involved in their local mosque in some capacity and wish to raise their experience and skill level, or are involved in running community projects that are hosted at a mosque. For those who are not, by pairing the mentees on the programme with a mentor – who is an existing mosque committee member of trustee (male or female) – as well as via experienced mosque leaders delivering the training sessions, the programme aims to build organic networks and relationships to support mentees access more roles within the mosque sector. The alumni from the programme will be tracked and further help provided to aid their development and support them into these roles in future.
3. Isn’t the real issue that a lot of mosques are run by men who don’t want women involved or attending? What are you doing about them?
There is significant gender-bias in many mosques in the UK, resulting in the lack of space or participation of women in those mosque. This is a serious issue that is limiting the growth and development of Muslim communities in the UK, aside from being an injustice to female worshippers, compared to male worshippers who can access the services provided by those mosques more easily.
The most effective way to ensure a mosque is accessible to women is to have women involved in the organisation’s management board. This programme aims to develop talented female leaders who can serve in these management roles effectively (and not just being placed on the management boards as a token/tick-box exercise), as well as making a strong public statement that male-only management boards is not an acceptable status quo situation.
4. What are you only training women? Don’t men also need training on how to run mosques better?
The overall UK mosque sector is in urgent need of more training and professional development for mosque volunteers and staff, to support them in running their organisations more effectively. This is why the MCB hosted a one-day conference on the theme #PeopleNotBuildings and launched a beta Mosque Resource Portal in 2018, and we continue to support initiatives by our affiliates that support the capacity building of mosques.
As the lack of female participation in management is an acute problem, this programme prioritises the training and development of female leaders, however the programme is constantly under review and an improved version targeted at both male and female upcoming leaders is being considered for the near future.