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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

MALIKAH’s journey to self-defense and empowerment

MALIKAH empowers women against violence through self-defense, mental health support, economic justice, and strong representation.

In a world where gender-based violence and hate crimes continue to plague the lives of countless women, one woman’s traumatic experience ignited a spark that would lead to the birth of a powerful grassroots organization. Rana Abdelhamid, a young Egyptian woman, faced an assault that served as a wake-up call to the urgent need for change. Out of this life-altering event, MALIKAH was born – an organization dedicated to ending gender and hate-based violence while empowering women through self-defense, economic justice, mental health support, and leadership representation.

The Assault that Shaped MALIKAH

In the heart of her neighborhood, Rana Abdelhamid experienced a life-altering incident – a hate crime that would shape her future trajectory. The assault she faced became the driving force behind her mission to build a safer world for women. Fueled by determination, she took matters into her own hands, hosting self-defense workshops and creating safe spaces where women could come together, share their stories, and find support.

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Pillars of MALIKAH

MALIKAH’s first pillar centers on self-defense as a fundamental right for every woman, equipping them with the tools to resist physical violence and empowering them with confidence. Concurrently, the organization’s second pillar focuses on mental health support, creating safe spaces for North-African women to openly discuss their experiences as immigrants and working-class individuals, fostering personal growth and resilience.

The third pillar of MALIKAH revolves around economic justice and financial literacy. The organization is dedicated to honoring the contributions of working-class women and helps them achieve economic independence through comprehensive financial education, breaking free from cycles of violence and poverty.

Lastly, MALIKAH’s fourth pillar advocates for leadership and representation, recognizing the transformative power of women’s voices in society. By promoting strong female representation, the organization aims to create a more just and equitable world, where women’s experiences are valued, heard, and contribute to positive societal change.

Intersectional Feminism

MALIKAH’s approach to feminism is rooted in intersectionality, which recognizes the complex layers of discrimination that women face based on race, class, nationality, and gender. The organization acknowledges that the struggles of North African women differ from those of women in the West, and it seeks to address these unique challenges.

Overcoming Obstacles

Abdelhamid’s journey was not without challenges. As a 5ft 1 Muslim woman with a black belt in karate, she faced stereotypes and skepticism in a post-9/11 context. However, the unwavering support of those who believed in her vision and the empowerment of women drove her forward.

Read More: Two Pakistani men have been imprisoned in Greece over sexual assault charges

The inspiring story of MALIKAH reflects the power of a single individual to effect significant change in the world. Rana Abdelhamid’s traumatic experience turned her into a fierce advocate for women’s rights, safety, and representation. Through intersectional feminism and the organization’s four pillars, MALIKAH continues to create a safer, more just world for women, proving that when women’s voices are amplified, societies thrive. By embracing diversity and empowering marginalized voices, we move closer to a future where women no longer have to fear for their lives, regardless of their location or social identity.