About Sikh Sanjog
Founded on the Sikh principles of equality, Sikh Sanjog was established 30 years ago to support women of the Sikh Community in Edinburgh. Many Sikh women at this time faced social isolation and Sikh Sanjog provided a platform for these women to come together to build on valuable skills and provide a source of empowerment.
Sikh Sanjog now supports women and their families from Sikh and other minority ethnic backgrounds. Sikh Sanjog provides a range of services including; training, personal development and employability support; children and young people groups and activities; literacy and IT coaching; social and wellbeing support for young women from settled migrant communities, others new to the community and those with young families; Health and wellbeing activities for over 50’s women; Advice and counselling available thorough a “drop in” centre; LGBT inclusion project and community cafe and cooking groups.
Sikh Sanjog’s services are built on 3 pillars:
- Community services to women and young people
- Social enterprise of Punjabi Junction
- National and Community policy work.
As part of the empowerment ethos, Sikh Sanjog recently hosted the first ever Scottish Sikh Women’s Conference. This conference sought to bring all Sikh women throughout Scotland together to discuss issues that affect them most in society today. Many mainstream national services and government policies display a lack of awareness of the Sikh faith and wider Sikh culture as it affects women. The conference provided a platform for women to discuss pressing issues and ways in which organisations and institutions could move forward to be more inclusive of the needs of Sikh Women.
So far Sikh Sanjog has empowered many women from ethnic minority backgrounds.
- Over the 30 years since establishment, over 300 women from ethnic minority backgrounds, through the provision of Sikh Sanjog, have moved into mainstream areas of employment including Youth Work, Community Development, Childcare, Retail, Higher Education, Beauty Therapy, Interpreters, Health and Social Care and Teaching.
- The social enterprise Punjabi Junction opened in 2010 and has supported over 100 women from Sikh and other ethnic minority background to develop their skills.
- 20 young Sikh women have achieved SVQ level 3 in Administration whilst in employment with Sikh Sanjog through Recruitment Training (Edinburgh) Ltd.
The Sikh Women’s Conference was a great success. We had 2 full sessions over the event with women coming from all corners of Scotland. Each session focused on employment, justice, mental health, education and heritage.
Key findings included:
- the need for Sikhism to be included in mainstream religious education at Scottish Schools,
- the majority of participants identified as Scottish Sikh;
- the need for there to be better mental heath provisions which take into account cultural needs of Sikh women especially post natal care.
- better understanding of cultural awareness within the justice system, especially at local policing level
- employers to recognise the race pay gap and the lack of Scottish Sikh women in positions of power within professional areas eg, law, finance, politics, engineering
- women need more time to build their career taking into account child care, flexible working
- the need for celebration of Sikh heritage in Scotland
The findings from the conference and wider #sikhwomenspeak survey will be used to inform a recommendation report which will be presented to government and other institutions, to achieve true inclusion of Sikh women and their needs in policies and legislation.
Support the work of Sikh Sanjog by visiting the website and spreading the word of #sikhwomenspeak by encouraging all Scottish Sikh Women to complete the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S5DMZ3Q
Twitter: @Sikh_Sanjog / #sikhwomenspeak
Instagram: @sikh_sanjog /#sikhwomenspeak