Following the very successful event organised by the City Sikhs Network in conjunction with the St Paul’s Institute in February 2014. Rabbi Debbie, one of the speakers on the panel from the day, shares her thoughts:

I was delighted and honoured to be part of the City Sikh’s Network event at St Paul’s Cathedral, not least because it allowed me to hear the wisdom and experiences of my fellow panel members. I was very touched by the size and diversity of the audience, and particularly impressed at the number of men that joined us, showing their interest in and solidarity with women in religious leadership. It was a wonderful way to bring communities together and to explore a very poignant topic that is borne out quite differently in each faith.

The evening began with an offering of prayer from each faith, which showed huge diversity and positivity in our religious scriptures (though of course we all know we can find less positive texts too!) These were then counterbalanced with the experiences and challenges of women navigating life as women of faith and as leaders. It seems we are a generation that both acknowledges the struggle, while enjoying opportunities simply not open to those in the generations that preceded ours.

I found I agreed with much that was offered by the other panellists, and really enjoyed the challenges the audience threw to us in their questions. Women are clearly still struggling to balance the many roles they seek to fulfil, and both men and women are having to make compromises.

Thank you to the City Sikh’s network for such an inspiring and uplifting event which also allowed for more informal conversations to develop after the proceedings – it was a wonderful event to be included in.