In 2014, I started Equal Entrance as a blog where women could share their stories and experiences of attending mosques. It was important to me because I always saw mosques as a breathing space for women, secluded, safe, and private. I was pained to see that many Muslim women did not have that experience. Their experiences were full of agony and rejection. They were either not welcomed to the mosques, or there was never enough or appropriate space for them. Equal Entrance gave me the platform to raise this issue and show people by example that the idea of an Equal Entrance Mosque is not a fairy tale, it can happen and it is happening for many Muslims even in today’s world.
The project took a big turn after the #MeToo movement came into the spotlight. Now the issue of Equal Entrance went above and beyond mosques and into the public sphere. There were talks about women’s only concerts, women’s only trains and female uber drivers for female passengers. This gave me a birdseye view of the situation and helped me understand that Equal Entrance needs to expand to ensure women can claim their space.
For example, I had always felt suffocated about the lack of apparel for women who choose to wear a scarf. I would find t-shirts and baseball caps with activism slogans but never a scarf. To me, it fell into the same category as the need for Equal Entrance, only in how women publicly present themselves. This is when I decided to embark upon the journey of starting my own small business. In this business I would design and produce my own scarves with the touch of activism, and continue to advance my work to help women’s organizations. So, in January 2019, the Equal Entrance entrepreneurial endeavor was born.
It started small, but has become a growing success with the immense support of thousands of people. At the nearly 2 years mark, I am happy to say that the Equal Entrance Shop is flourishing. I am working with several local and small business owners, mainly women owned businesses, and we have been consistently supporting women’s organizations. Our products are carried at Universities, boutiques, gift stores, nurseries, book stores and health stores across America.
And while Equal Entrance Blog took a break as we revamped our work, we are now happy to announce that the blog is back! We will be featuring your writing and pictures on women’s issues, be it gender equality, stopping domestic violence, equal and safe spaces in places of worship, struggles of a mom, achievements of women in today’s world, and more.
So join us in this journey and let’s continue to make our voices heard. With Equal Entrance, #ClaimYourSpace.
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