Dr. Nina Ahmad is an advocate for women and communities of color, and is the president of the Pennsylvania chapter of National Organization for Women, and Health Committee Chair of the PHL-NAACP. She’s a first-generation American, scientist, former Deputy Mayor of Public Engagement, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to his Asian American Pacific Islander Commission. As a small business owner, she makes responsible decisions on community investments with union-generated and labor-built partnerships.
Have there been any recent strides for gender equity in your industry?
Reproductive healthcare is under attack nationwide. In response to the Dobbs v. Jackson decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion, Philadelphia City Council approved a package of bills aimed at protecting patients seeking abortion care in Philadelphia. This included making it harder for reproductive health-care providers and patients to face legal trouble related to anti-abortion laws in other states. It is critical to safeguard and continue the fight for bodily autonomy, both locally and globally.
What more do you think needs to be done to support women in Philadelphia?
Public safety is critical for all Philadelphians, especially women. Homicides involving women victims are on the rise in Philadelphia, with an increase in both overall and domestic abuse related fatalities. We must make our public transit safer, address domestic violence, and understand the root causes of this uptick in violence.
Which women have paved the way for you?
My mother, Asma Ahmad, survived wars, a famine, chronic illness, and displacement with grit and resilience. She imbued me with a sense of confidence, led by example, about rolling with the punches and still standing tall. Her deep reservoir of empathy, evidenced by her work as a social worker and then a trained teacher who was beloved by her students and fellow teachers, taught me to find the humanity in each person.