Jubeda Khatun is Merseyside Woman of the Year

Artistic director of grassroots combined arts festival Blackfest, Jubeda Khatun, is named Merseyside Woman of the Year 2022, with Maggie O’Carroll also winning a lifetime achievement award. Tony McDonough reports

Jubeda Khatun, MWOTY
Jubeda Khatun of Blackfest with here Woman of the Year award


Jubeda Khatun has been named Merseyside Woman of the Year (MWOTY) 2022.

She is the artistic director of grassroots combined arts festival, Blackfest. MWOTY headline sponsor Hill Dickinson presented the top award to Jubeda at a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool.

Also honoured at the ceremony was Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive of award-winning social enterprise The Women’s Organisation. She was the recipient of a special lifetime achievement award.

Blackfest was established in 2018 to answer a crucial need in Liverpool to celebrate black artists. Its aim was to bridge the gap between institutions and marginalised communities, and to empower and platform local Black artists.

Jubeda said: “It’s so amazing to be named Merseyside Women of the Year. I am really happy to get this recognition. This is not just for me but it’s for all the Muslim women and women of colour who dream of being leaders, who dream of leading organisations and making a positive impact in society at the same time.

“I hope that seeing me here, winning this award will inspire more women who look like me to believe that they can do the same. I want to thank everyone who nominated me, the MWOTY organisers and sponsors and all the incredible finalists. Women are amazing and together we can make change.”

MWOTY 2022, which was hosted by Liverpool comedienne, singer and actor, Pauline Daniels, enjoyed a return for its first in-person awards ceremony since 2019. It celebrated a host of courageous and inspirational women.

At the event Jubeda was also named the winner of the Arts & Culture category, presented by Lady Anne Dodd, for her work with Blackfest.

Over the past 25 years The Women’s Organisation has supported more than 70,000 women in the North West to assess their skills, test the viability of an idea, grow in confidence and become economically empowered.

Maggie was part of a small team who established the business in 1996. This was a time when gender inequality within employment and enterprise in the region was an inherent and systemic problem.

She made it her personal obligation to inspire, empower and enable as many women as possible to become economically active. Today, Maggie is responsible for the overall strategic development of a business that employs more than 55 people and has helped more than 70,000 women into employment and enterprise.

Fiona Parry from Hill Dickinson, said: “It is our pleasure to have presented Maggie O’Carroll with the prestigious lifetime award. Maggie is passionate about empowering women in business, and this is something that really resonates with us at Hill Dickinson.”

There were also a number of category winners on the day. They were:

Arts & Culture Award: Jubeda Khatun, Blackfest

Runner-up: Ithalia Forel

Business Leader Award: Jennifer Greenan, E-Verve Energy

Runner-up: Natalie Kenny

Social Impact Award: Natalie Denny, multiple projects

Runner-up: Collette Goulding

Entrepreneur Award: Karina Molby, Molby the Label

Runner-up: Rebecca Taylor

Inspirational Women Award: Debbie Rogers, Sean’s Place

Runner-up: Deborah Stephens, Girls in Marketing

Women’s Group Award: Olivia Hanlon, Girls in Marketing

Runner-up: Ashton Tansey

Women of Courage Award: Afrah Qassim, Savera UK

Runner-up: Amanda O’Keefe

Community Change Award: Barbara Rouse, Bootle YMCA

Runner-up: Lynsay Armbruster

MWOTY founding director, Ellie Kerr, added: “It’s been absolutely glorious to be back and celebrating the amazing women in our region. The emotion and excitement in the room was just incredible.

“I would like to congratulate our Woman of the Year 2022, Jubeda, not just on her win at the awards, but for all the work she has done since establishing Blackfest in 2018.

“I would also like to congratulate all of our category winners and finalists. Each and every one of them epitomises the spirit of MWOTY and make our home region the incredibly special place that it is.”

To find out more or nominate for the 2023 awards click here.

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