Onjali Q. Raúf
Founder & CEO, Making Herstory
A self-declared feminist from the age of seven, Onjali specialised in Women’s Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Oxford University respectively before moving on to work in a number of human rights charities. But whilst she campaigned for the rights of women elsewhere, it wasn’t until 5th July 2011 that the systematic failures culminating in the abuse and ongoing murders of women in the United Kingdom, was truly brought home: for it was on that date that Onjali’s aunt, Mumtahina Jannat, was murdered by the husband she had been trying to free herself from for over five years.
Determined to do something in honour of her aunt – no matter how small, she set up Making Herstory, with the simple aim of raising funds through a book club to donate to women’s shelters.
Today, Making Herstory has a network of active supporters comprised of men and women across the UK. Working with agencies large and small, it has supported women’s shelters, outreach projects and aid works from London to Calais to Kolkata.
Onjali was shortlisted for the Care2Impact and Emma Humphreys Memorial Awards in 2014 for her works under Making Herstory and was shortlisted for The Independent’s Happy List in 2017.
No Action Too Small
Too often, whilst watching wars unfold, hearing of refugees dying out at sea or reading of yet another abuse, rape or murder, the words “What can I do?” escapes our lips.
But what we all too often forget is the endless ripple effects that a single action launched with a simple intention can yield. To help someone, somewhere, with no expectations of a return triggers changes and actions in others we cannot fathom. Using her own experiences in seeing this particular truth unfold, Onjali will be relating her story on the creation and unexpected journeys Making Herstory continues to lead her on, and why there is no such thing as an action too small.