The Sikh Network is running a campaign celebrating 350 of the most inspirational Sikh women. The categories they have featured so far include women in history, charity in the UK, politics and education. The Network is currently featuring notable women in the media and entertainment industry.
The next categories of Sikh women will be sport, business, human rights work, and possibly an international category.
Why 350? Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th birthday anniversary has been celebrated this month by Sikhs all over the world. The 10th Sikh Guru was a spiritual leader, poet, philosopher and warrior.
Sikh Network Board Member and Labour Councillor for Sandwell, Preet Kaur Gill, has been part of the network since it started in 2015.
She says selecting the women was a huge challenge.
We didn’t want to just list people we knew. We researched a lot of people in different categories. There were also self-nominations and people nominating others. We asked people like professors and doctors to recommend women in their fields.
The network has had contact from people all over the world, in countries like Canada, America and Australia responding to the campaign.
The women we’ve included are doing incredible things, they’re role models.
Ms Gill says a project like this has never been done before. She says Gurdwaras are male dominated. The network wanted to collaborate with women from different backgrounds with different skills.
Some of the inspirational women selected include Sophia Duleep Singh, the Goddaughter of Queen Victoria who was a suffragette.
Mai Bhago is another historical Sikh woman on the list. Ms Gill says many people are not aware that Mai Bhago went into battle in 1705 and fought against the ‘tyranny and oppression’ of the Mughals.
To the women who have been selected in the other categories, Ms Gill says they can take the project further.
We want women to champion other women. profile the campaign, work with the Sikh Network, and give back to the community.