Community Partner Spotlight: The Coalition of Muslim Women K-W

3 minute read
Coalition of Muslim Women Kitchener Waterloo

Providing a caring response to the needs of others is a key component of compassion, and compassion is something we value deeply. The Coalition of Muslim Women KW are dedicated to creating important connections, and have implemented several opportunities to support the integration of newcomer women and youth in new communities, demonstrating their compassion.

Back in 2010, there had been a rise in cases of discrimination against Muslim women in the KW area. Uzma Bhutto, Director of Development and Training, explained that some women in their local community had concerns about being discriminated against and feared their personal rights and freedoms might be overstepped. To address these concerns, trusted members took these women’s worries to the greater public in a form of peaceful protest. From that point on, what started as meetings in basements and makeshift workshops about women’s empowerment turned into an organization that would make Muslim women, racialized newcomers, and youth into leaders, change makers, and policy makers. That organization became the Coalition of Muslim Women (CMW).

What might have begun as a small group raising awareness is now an organization advocating for women to raise up other women and encourage youth to find their voices. Empowerment, activism, outreach, and equity and diversity are key pillars of the CMW programs and goals. From connecting people to safe and affordable housing, to educating youth so they know their rights and have their voices be heard, to creating safe spaces, the CMW looks to the future. Kindred is pleased to partner with CMW to support them in their important work and the strong alignment to our Community Inspiration Framework focus areas of Safe and Affordable Housing and Financial Empowerment.

Supporting professional development and financial empowerment through programs like Women Building Women and Thrive, CMW offers career training workshops, with the aim of providing women the opportunity to take steps toward breaking the chains of social and economic isolation that are holding them back from becoming a productive part of the community. “We need to teach financial empowerment to women and girls,” said Uzma. “It’s so critical in terms of someone’s ability to have agency in their own life.”

In December, Kindred’s Manager, Social Impact, Kate Pearce, heard first hand stories from several women who participated in Thrive. The women took the tools, skills, and knowledge from this program, and have turned them into successful small businesses which benefit their families and our community.

It isn’t just about empowerment, safety for women is equally important. In 2021, the CMW created Towards Violence Free Homes (TVFH), a program that supports Muslim women and racialized newcomers to Canada who were experiencing gender-based violence. The program has officially been in place for the past two years; however, volunteers at the CMW have been providing this support informally for much longer. Today, the chat line is available to connect women seeking support with a community support worker. Additional various programs and events also supported newly racialized and Muslim women, running parallel with the TVFH.

Alongside many other community organizations, Kindred has supported the Radiant Ladies Night Gala, a women’s only fundraiser dinner that brings music, food and dancing together for an evening of joy, celebration, and connection. It’s a unique event that creates a special opportunity for newcomer and racialized women to celebrate in a space where they feel safe. It has also fostered a partnership that has blossomed into shared learning opportunities, collaboration, and new friendships. CMW leads with compassion, a value we appreciate deeply.

Learn about the Coalition of Muslim Women, their programs, and services, by visiting their website at

Additional information:
Racialized immigrant families facing hate, racism, or Islamophobia can access support through the CMW’s Hate or Discrimination Reporting and Support Service (

Jessica Sproat

Community Engagement Manager
Jessica is a corporate social responsibility enthusiast with a passion for collaborating with non-for-profit groups. She’s passionate about helping connect colleagues with opportunities to support their communities through volunteerism and sponsorships.

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