Asma Khan, an Indian-born British chef who proudly wears her Indian heritage on her sleeve, spoke passionately about empowering women financially, emotionally and mentally.
Asma discussed the cultural background of raising a son and a daughter in the UK. She stated that many of us are born with the sense that we are not celebrated, “I know my mother was very disappointed when I was born.” She did, however, say that she understands her mother’s upbringing. There was a sense of bemoaning the lack of a boy at the time.
“My mother, one of five daughters, has never talked about what happened to her,” Asma recounts, “However, she has instilled in me the desire to make everyone feel equal. In the 1970s, my mother would take all of the servants out to eat and would make everyone feel a sense of equality.”
“I hope to inspire a generation. I want to break down every door and window and open up the spaces for every woman.”
“I want women to come to my grave and say, she changed my life. I don’t want any woman to go through imposter syndrome, you belong where you see yourself,” a determined Asma said at the We the Women Global Town Hall.
She is adamant about closing the gender pay gap, “Women are paid less than men in all organizations, including the BBC. There is no equality in either the east or the west. It’s just that it’s more concealed and sophisticated in the West.”
Asma expressed that she has gone through physical, emotional and mental breakdowns to come where she is today. She stated that it is critical to stay connected to who you are. She is deep-rooted in her Indian culture. She describes an incident in which she was asked if she doesn’t drink because she practises Islam. “Nobody should be allowed to label you; you can be anything you want to be,” she remarked.