Welcome to ANNISAA Organization of Canada

ANNISAA Organization of Canada was founded as a startup in 2012 by three women with an entrepreneurial spirit. We had no funding and no limitations.

Accessible to everyone, ANNISAA encouraged Muslim women to discover their power and create positive change in their lives and communities.

Really listening to Muslim women was the cornerstone of our success. Women came out of their shells and got smart about topics like media, discrimination, health, wellbeing, violence prevention and body image.

Soon communities across Toronto were contacting us, eager to exchange. We realized that with so many people wanting to make a difference for Muslim women, an organization could create a ripple effect benefiting even more women.

ANNISAA’s story begins with ANNISAA’s Founder & Executive Director, Nadia Sayeh, a college graduate following her life’s passion, founding ANNISAA at the age of 31. For Nadia, ANNISAA was created because she saw more potential in Muslim women around her that they saw in themselves. She believed that featuring Muslim female role models and Muslim women’s success stories would inspire others and make a difference in the lives of the next generations. She felt that by doing so, we would see a ripple effect with more Muslim women in leadership roles.

ANNISAA creates inspirational programs that bring Muslim women and girls together in developing their leadership skills. Something very special happens when we join together through a supportive group that gives back to help others achieve success. And that is when we all succeed in women’s advancement. Nadia Sayeh

Since 2012, the ANNISAA Organization of Canada has grown from 3 to over 1600 members. ANNISAA has been a catalyst – seeding and training start-up women’s programs. Today, together with local partners, ANNISAA builds the skills and confidence of Muslim women and girls in our communities.

OUR VALUES

The objective of this Organization is to support all women, who are currently under-represented in positions of power across society, to stand for election and become leaders in their communities. A particular focus is on including and advancing Muslim women of colour, Muslim women with disabilities, Muslim working-class women, younger women and those with caring responsibilities, who are all further underrepresented.

Sexism intersects with other forms of discrimination such as racism, and these groups of women face additional barriers to public life which we are advocating to tear down. By the nature of this intersectionality, Muslim women have different experiences and understandings of patriarchy, feminism and of what urgently needs to change. We ask that all participants be sensitive to this and commit to our values of equality, respect, inclusivity and compassion. Our mission of equal representation for Muslim women across all sectors brings us together and is our common ground. We welcome all women to participate in the ANNISAA Organization of Canada.

Hate speech will not be tolerated and our workshop facilitators have the right to ask participants to leave if they feel they are not respecting the values of the Organization.

Hate speech is commonly defined as:

“Expressions of hatred toward someone on account of that person’s colour, race, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, or LGBT+ status, or other equality strands.”

If we become aware of a participant committing hate speech outside of the workshops for example, on social media or while giving a public speech we reserve the right to stop them from taking part in ANNISAA’s programme.

We also ask that participants never claim to represent or be speaking on behalf of ANNISAA.