The hidden half of the Sikh Community…..

The Sikh faith teaches us that men are not superior to women,...

The hidden half of the Sikh Community…..

Throughout this unfortunate pandemic, some great stories of inspiration and humanity surfaced social media. A friend recently showed me the Urban Melange Magazine front cover of ‘20 Inspirational Sikhs’, which received mass attraction from across the world. I was excited and pleased at first to see so many great Sikhs receiving recognition of their hard work and contribution to society. However, I later felt a little disappointed and dismayed, as I realised there was no representation of female Sikhs on this magazine cover, nor any article in recognition of female success.

I have always felt a close connection with Sikh principles, which strongly advocates gender equality and the empowerment of all females. The practice of equality was first introduced and emphasised by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji who revolutionised social norms.
The Sikh faith teaches us that men are not superior to women, and women have the right to stand side by side in all aspects of life, whether that be during Gurdwara prayers or any other life duty.

Yet, this magazine publication seemed to have ignored all Sikh female contributions to society and portrayed the key to success of our community was only predominantly Sikh men.

I understand this may have been an easy oversight for the publishers, since female success is rarely celebrated or recognised on global platforms, as we are accustomed to predominantly seeing only Sikh men on TV, posters, interviews or online. We automatically feel a sense of pride when seeing Singhs representing our community, however, we also have a hidden half that is rarely highlighted even within our own Sikh media outlets.

This is why I decided to take a stand and be the voice of thousands of Kaurs who are doing remarkable, work, whether that be in their chosen careers, activism for humanity, or simply raising amazing families.

With the article specifically showcasing inspirational male Sikhs, I felt I needed to voice an opinion that many Kaurs in the community may not have felt confident to express.

This is why I created this collage, which I must admit was very difficult to narrow down as there are so many powerful, successful and courageous Sikh women, many who have personally inspired me with the work that they do. Alongside this list, there were so many mothers, entrepreneurs, medics, professionals and many other selfless women I had the honour to work with at UNITED SIKHS who dedicated their time in service to the Guru, but could not be featured in this article.

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Soon after launching this post on twitter, I was overwhelmed with the responses from so many women who appreciated and understood the importance of my message. Many resonated with me on the post and sent messages of how important it was to ensure Kaurs are highlighted for their achievements too.

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These are just a few of the messages received, the conversation later continues where many non- Sikhs got to understand the meaning of our surname Kaur and were simply fascinated.

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On the flipside, it was concerning and upsetting to see the negative comments from some who felt that certain women on this post should not have been included, either due to them not being baptised as a Khalsa, raising issues in their private lives or belittling what these woman had done for the community.

My response to this comment was the following

“We are all on a journey and some may find spiritual enlightenment sooner than the other. However, judging someone we do not know about does not make you better than them. Let’s focus on their contributions and efforts in representing this faith that stems from a warrior background and a fearless spirit. Let’s take a moment to congratulate them for their efforts”.

I am proud to be a Sikh as we are raised to be warriors, trained to carry a beacon of light and to serve humanity with compassion and courage. Guru Nanak Sahib Ji triumphed for gender equality, not so that we would later forsake our teachings and renounce the great achievements of Kaurs. I urge us all to not forget the importance of Kaurs who are still continuously hidden in the community.

My humble request to you all is to forever remember we are equal in the house of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and help us recognise more hidden gems of the Sikh community by adding a Kaur or Singh who has inspired you in the comments section below.

In chardi kala,


Sun Kaur
United Sikhs

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