Events | Notices | My Story | Media | Sponsored Silence | Testimonials | Jobs | Links |
 Follow us on:
Home About Us Resources Our Work Videos Media Statements Photo Gallery Our Supporters Volunteer Contact Us  
  Home > Newsletter > MWNUK December 2012 Newsletter
MWNUK December 2012 Newsletter
Date: 31/12/2012

December 2012

Message from MWNUK Chair

It is an honour and privilege to be selected as the new  Chair of Muslim Women's Network UK  . I would like to congratulate the other board members on their positions and look forward to working with them, staff and volunteers to ensure MWNUK continues to punch well above its weight. We will continue to fight for Muslim women and girls - to protect and promote their rights; for their meaningful and equal participation; and ensure their experience, expertise and contribution is recognised.

It is that time of year when we all reflect on the past and think about  New Year's resolutions and future plans  . Despite very limited resources, I am really pleased about the progress we have made since our inception in 2003 and becoming a formal organisation in 2008. During the next phase in our development, we plan to carry out more research, increase our engagement with government, provide more information to both members and other key stakeholders and form more collaborative working. We will also be pursuing charity status in 2013.

I am also pleased to announce that our Executive Director,  Faeeza Vaid  , who is currently on  maternity leave  , has given  birth to twin girls Sara and Maryam  . So  CONGRATULATIONS  to Faeeza!

  Shaista Gohir MBE


MWNUK Board Announcements

The  Annual General Meeting  will be held at the  House of Lords  on the  4th March 2013  (12-4pm) and will be  hosted by Baroness Haleh Afshar  . So please save the date! More details to follow in early February.

During December 2012, internal board elections were held. The following is a list of all board directors including their positions:
  Chair  -  Shaista Gohir MBE
  Vice Chair  - Nazmin Akthar
  Treasurer  - Dr Iram Sattar
  General Secretary  - Mussurut Zia
  Board Member  - Dr Khursheed Wadia
  Board Member  - Robina Iqbal

Sky News Malala Yousefzai
(19 October 2012)

Board Director, Shaista Gohir, was interviewed by Sky News on 19 October 2012. She highlighted the danger faced by women human rights defenders across the world. You can see the full interviewhere

Acid Survivors Foundation Visit (13 Nov 2012)

Board member,  Robina Iqbal  , hosted  Monira Rahman  at the MWNUK office. Monira is the Executive Director of  Acid Survivors Foundation  (ASF), an organisation that has been working on acid violence issues in  Bangladesh  . She shared stories of women who had been attacked and how this is being tackled. She wants more awareness raised about  acid attacks   to find out more, please visit:

Saudi Poet Nimah Nawwab
(16 Nov 2012)

MWNUK hosted renowned poet Saudi poet  Nimah Ismail Nawwab  at the  Drum theatre in Birmingham  . She shared poems from her new book  Canvas of the Soul  and how events, politics and women's rights influence her writings. Nimah was joined by Birmingham poet,  Saleha Begum  ,who also read from her debut collection,  Ruptures and Fragments  . Clickherefor photos from the event.

White Scarf Campaign
(25 Nov - 10 Dec 2012)

To mark   Elimination of Violence Against Women Day  ' and the  16 days of activism  , MWNUK ran a Facebook campaign on 25 November 2012 10 December 2012. Everyone was encouraged to  wear a white scarf  to raise awareness of violence against women. It is also important that men partner with women in the fight against this abuse. Men, women and children participated in the campaign including victims of violence. To view photos from the campaign clickhere.

MWNUK Attends United Nations
(26-28 Nov 2012)

Board Director,  Shaista Gohir  , attended the  United Nations Human Rights Forum  in Geneva between 26-28 November 2012. It\'s the  20th anniversary of human rights declaration to protect Minority Rights  (persons belonging to ethnic, religious & linguistic minorities). Recommendations were therefore discussed on how to protect and support the rights of minorities. Shaista provided examples of how these recommendations need to be strengthened in the UK context, particularly highlighting the lack of action on Islamophobia. MWNUK will now be discussing these recommendations with government departments.

NSPCC Roundtable on
Sexual Exploitation & Race
(3 December 2012)

Board Director,  Mussurut Zia  , attended the meeting that was hosted by the  Greater Manchester Police  . The sentencing of  nine men from Rochdale  , eight of whom were of Pakistani origin, has led to a debate about whether child sexual exploitation is a crime disproportionately perpetrated by Asian men. Discussions included White practitioners fearing allegations of racism if they identified minority ethnic perpetrators. However, participants also highlighted there is a failure to recognise that  minority ethnic victims also exist  , which challenges the prevailing narrative that Asian men only exploit white girls. There was consensus that there needs to be a good definition of CSE and collection of good data. Without these two things, the problem is likely to be poorly articulated and responses will fail to address the real issues.

High Level FGM Meeting
(6 Dec 2012)

Board Director,  Shaista Gohir  , attended a meeting chaired by  Lynne Featherstone MP  , at the  DFID  offices in London. Participants included international NGOs, UN agencies and other donors. The  British government  has committed to supporting more work to tackle and end  FGM  in Africa. MWNUK raised the issue of ensuring international conversations are connected with domestic discussions in the UK so best practice, learning and research can be shared. These views were welcomed and we hope to see a better information sharing emerge after this meeting.

Qiwamah & Wilayah
(10 - 14 Dec 2012)

  Musawah  is a  global movement  for  equality and justice in the Muslim family.  Musawah held the workshop to report back on their  Life Stories project  , that Board Director Mussurut Zia is carrying out on behalf of MWNUK. The project has 3 components: production of new feminist knowledge that critically engages with classical jurists' interpretations of qiwamah and wilayah; documenting life stories of how  qiwamah  and  wilayah  are experienced; and use of quantitative and qualitative data to show the disconnect between law and the socio-economic realities of Muslim women today. Feminist scholars and academics such as Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Asma Lamrabet, Lena Larson also attended, with Sa'diyya Shaikh joinng by Skype. To find out more about Musawah visit


Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men documentary

First time filmmaker,  Zara Afzal  , is making a documentary called,  My Secret Heart  , which challenges stereotypes and explores struggles between individual desires and familial attitudes when Muslim women marry outside of their faith.  60,000  is needed to get the film to an advanced stage. The producers will be launching a   crowd funding   appeal in the New Year. If you want to support this, then e-mail: trailer can be viewedhere

Hip Hop Hijabis
documentary film

  Hip Hop Hijabis  is a documentary film about  Poetic Pilgrimage  - two Muslim converts promoting  women's rights through music  . A film crew has been following them over three life-changing years, on tour throughout the UK, US and Morocco as well as in their daily lives. If you are interested in helping to fundraise to get the film finished or host screenings, discussions and workshops when the film is released, then contact 0207 690 4446 or
The trailer of the film can be viewedhere

Thalassaemia in Asian families

Almost  90% of babies  born in England with  thalassaemia  (a life threatening condition) are born to  Asian families  - watchthese videosto find out more.  If you would like someone to visit your area or group to do a presentation and raise awareness of this issue, then contact Elaine Miller, UK Thalassaemia Society on or 07958 084 892.


NSPCC Issues Parental Advice

The  NSPCC  has issued new guidance for  parents  to help them  spot the signs of sexual abuse  in children. The charity also says most abusers are someone "  close to the child  ". Research suggests  80%  of such offences take place in the home of either the offender or the victim. Their new booklet,  \'What can I do?  Protecting your child from sexual abuse\' can be downloaded from NSPCC websitehere.

Leveson Report on
Minorities and Women

The  Leveson report  confirmed what we all knew. It said that newspapers do not treat  women  with dignity or respect and reporting is degrading & demeaning. The report also said that newspapers articles on  minorities  particularly  refugees  and  Muslims  are discriminatory, sensationalised and unbalanced. This is now provides an opportunity for campaigners to use these findings to ask for guidelines against such behaviour to be strengthened. Editors of major newspapers have put forward proposal to address the Leveson recommendations. However, these inadequately address key concerns of minorities and women. There should be the ability to intervene in cases of allegedly discriminatory reporting in women. Please share & raise awareness!

You can take  3 simple steps  to urge the Prime Minister to fulfil his promise to fully implement Lord Leveson's recommendations by:

1. Logging on toWrite to Themto send an email direct to your MP
2. Enter your postcode and select your MP
3. Copy and paste the sample text below into the email box that appears

  In This Newsletter  

Message from MWNUK Chair


Contact Us

4 Edward Street
B1 2RX

T: 0121 236 9000

Keep Up With Us

Friend on FacebookFacebook Group 1
Facebook Group 2
Follow on TwitterTwitter


Muslim Women's Network UK
The Warehouse
54-57 Allison Street
B5 5TH

Registered Charity No. 1155092

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 236 9000
Mobile: 07415 206936

Follow us On

Youtube +

Join our mailing list
(If you want to become a member please click here to register):

verification image, type it in the box