Our differences are what make us special and unique, however they can also be the reasons why we face adversities and challenges.

Nour El-Chami is a proud Muslim-Australian woman. We asked her how her faith and religion impacts the way she views strength.

“It is important to note that my faith has played the biggest role in shaping my view on strength. I feel so empowered as a woman from what I’ve learnt in my Islamic teachings. There are so many Muslim women throughout history that I have studied and looked up to as they were very educated, worked important jobs and played a crucial role in shaping our history. Islam has taught me that a woman is capable of so much and can lead a successful lifestyle, all while being treated with high value. This to me, is so empowering.”

Ma-Musu is an empowered African-Australian woman whose identity as a woman of colour has impacted her view on strength.

“I have grown up around the stereotype of the ‘strong black woman’ and for the longest time I aspired to always be strong, but one day I wasn’t. I ‘broke’ and became weak – and that was a key moment for me and my relationship with strength.

I recognised that the stereotype can be a burden rather than an uplifting statement, and it has left many women who look like me, to feel shame when they feel anything else but strength. I used my breaking point as a reminder to continue to ‘break’, to show weakness and vulnerability in all areas of my life and take it seriously. All I hope is that for the women and young girls around me, to see my weakness and ‘breaking’ as permission for them to also break, as often as they need and please.”