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A career woman needs an understanding husband – Dr. Halimah

 Dr. Halimah Akbar (pictured) is the Director of the Islamic University Kabojja Females’ Campus. She spoke to The Campus Journal’s Umar Kyeyune about her rise as a woman and about the best environment for a female student.

Umar: Few women occupy such an influential academic and administrative position as you do. What explains your rise as a woman?

Halimah: My parents were instrumental in forming my basis; they were foresighted and focused towards educating a girl child. They also taught me to be hard working – they used to give me assignments and they made sure I accomplish them on time. This gave me a strong foundation.

My mentor Dr. Ahmed Ssengendo also encouraged me as he had a policy of helping the best performers irrespective of whether they were males or females.

My husband has equally been very supportive, giving me the permission to work, for a professional woman you need an understanding husband. I think also my determination and hard work have played a part.

Umar: Why establish a girls-only campus?

Halimah: Islam tells us to separate women from men as much as possible. Studies also indicate that given a conducive environment, females in separate campuses can have better performances because they have limited distractions from their opposite sex, this also promotes moral excellence.

Umar: What is there to miss for a female Muslim student who chooses a university
other than the Islamic University?

Halimah: You miss the Islamic environment that helps you practice your religion, you also miss morality and ethics. We also try to concentrate on individual students,this is not the case in other universities that sometimes fail to plan for the number of students they have.

Umar: In France, the Muslim veil is banned in public schools. Do you feel concerned about what is happening in that European country?

Halimah: As a Muslim am very concerned, the Islamic dress is not something optional, it is obligatory. The biggest problem is Islamophobia [and] people don’t understand what Islam is. The Islamic dress code shouldn’t be looked at as a threat but rather as a protection for both women and the opposite sex. The task is upon us to educate non Muslims and others that Islam is a religion of peace and denying this (veil) is a violation of our right.

Umar: Outside academics, what do you commit yourself to?

Halimah: I participate in community work, Daawa (religious seminars) to women,though it is not very easy to get time for other things.

Umar: Final word

Halimah: I encourage the females in higher institutions of learning to be focused and hard working and know their roles and responsibilities so that they may contribute to their communities.

This interview was first published in the print version of The Campus Journal in 2010

 

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Comments   

 
0 #1 Lukooya Shaban 2012-06-03 12:23
Thank you Campus Journal.
Dr. Halimah is one of the few Muslim educated ladies i really admire. I pray that such Muslim women are given more positive coverage in order to give our young daughters some thing to look up to.
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