New resources aimed at educating kids about Muslim women launched in NZ high schools

A new programme is being rolled out in New Zealand high schools to help kids better understand the lives of Muslim women. 

The Islamic Women's Council created the programme in an effort to combat misinformation and islamophobia. 

Spokeswoman Anjum Rahman told The AM Show while society is becoming more open-minded, there is still a core group of people that holds onto "divisive" views. 

"People obviously often think Muslim women are brainwashed, downtrodden and oppressed and you know, we've got some lovely women doing great stuff in our community."

"So we have profiled 13 Muslim women and really it's about their stories, what they do in their daily lives and their occupations so it's trying to break down what people think Muslim women do," Rahman said on Thursday. 

She said they are hoping to raise awareness about the contribution Muslim women have in their communities. 

"We have women who are lawyers, barristers, business owners, one runs a childcare centre and we have a woman who runs a women's refuge. So really it's about showing the responsibility they are taking. 

She said the Islamic Women's Council proposed the idea to the Ministry of Education which was "really supportive". 

"I think it's an example and I would hope that they [Ministry] would profile other communities and do this work because there are a whole range of communities that deal with this kind of stereotyping and discrimination." 

Rahman said it is hoped the programme will make it easier for Muslim women to gain employment and access services. 

"We know there is a lot of misinformation that goes around social media so here we are presenting really people's lives…so that they can explain themselves, we are giving them a voice." 

She said the resources have been in the works for a while but the Christchurch terror attacks in 2019 held it up. 

The programme, which will feature a series of posters and an information booklet, was launched in Wellington on Wednesday. 

It will be mailed out to the head of social science for each secondary school and can be used in support of cultural and social justice projects and inquiries. The resources will also be made available online at