Sabiha Azad is the second generation WAVE Youth Ambassador (2020-2022) representing Wales.
- How did your role as a WAVE Youth Ambassador shape you as a feminist youth activist?
WAVE has really changed the way I view myself as a Feminist Youth Activist, it helped me put into action my views and helped me amplify youth activists across Wales. As a young person, you can feel quite lost in the feminist movement, like you don’t know enough or your voice isn’t that important, but young people are not free from gender based violence and the fight for equality continues. I have been able to develop my skills such as public speaking, podcast production and article writing to not only spotlight feminist issues in my home country of Wales, but Europe-wide.
- What are the things you are most proud of?
I have been so proud of being part of the WAVE Youth Ambassadors’ initiative, but one thing in particular is the collective action following the repeal of Roe V Wade in the USA, which impacted access to reproductive healthcare, in particular abortion access. To show our global support, we created a podcast episode focusing on how our respective countries view abortion care and shared Chayn’s Global Guide to Abortion care. It was a difficult conversation to have with abortion activists, even spaces that do not criminalise abortion, make access to abortion so challenging and open many people to harassment and intimidation that is not policed well.
- Interesting book/video/podcast/film about feminism?
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start to read, listen, or watch feminist material. It doesn’t always have to be research articles or textbooks, my favourite way is actually reading fiction which platforms these issues. My favourite book that explores so-called honour-based violence, forced marriage and control is ‘A Woman Is No Man’ – by Etaf Rum. This story explores how patriarchal norms become so entrenched into our cultures that even women we are connected to, in order to serve these man-made norms, harm the women around them. It explores how control limits the goals of women, and what we can do to help.
- What is your message to young people devoted to ending gender-based violence?
Being a Feminist Youth Activist can feel lonely or feel never-ending. I want to say that you are doing enough! Ending gender-based violence will not happen overnight, but we will get there. We must take care of ourselves during this fight, burn out is real and activists can only do as much as their body and mind allows. This means taking a break, socialising with friends and family, reading a book – whatever helps you take care of yourself!
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde