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  Home > Newsletter > MWNUK February 2014 Newsletter
MWNUK February 2014 Newsletter
Date: 28/2/2014

February 2014

Dear Network Member,



UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has stated:

"Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear:  equality for women means progress for all ."

 Let's work together to see that happen ."
Faeeza Vaid



"Be silent so that women and girls can raise their voices."

To coincide with  International Women's Day , MWNUK  will be running a national  Sponsored Silence'   Campaign  throughout March.

We are often contacted by women and girls who are suffering from a range of issues including; domestic violence, sexual violence, discrimination, forced marriages, mental health, marriage / polygamy / divorce problems.  They are expected by their families and communities to suffer in silence because of dishonor, shame, and stigma.

However, we want women and girls to  raise their voice'  and ask for support and advice by contacting a  National Muslim Women's Helpline , which we are planning to set up.  We also want to continue producing resources and carrying out project work to provide information to women and girls about their rights.

We want to fund raise for these activities using this national Sponsored Silence' campaign  so women who are silenced can have a voice .

To  get involved now  click here.

You can donate via text. To  donate 5  text the following code  NISA04 5  to  70070 


On the  20th February  MWNUK's CSE report Unheard Voices: Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Young Women made it onto the  front page  of the Birmingham Mail newspaper.


 Board & Staff Strategic Planning 

Following our change to a  charity , the MWNUK Board and Staff began February by revisiting our strategic plan and  key priorities :
  1. Sharing an understanding of  gender in Islam from a human rights perspective .
  2. Sharing knowledge of  UK family laws , marriage and divorce.
  3. Changing attitudes to  violence  against women and girls.
  4. Changing attitudes to  mental health .
  5. Changing attitudes to  women's leadership .
  6. Supporting actions to address  Islamophobia  and  discrimination .
  7. Supporting actions to address  child sexual exploitation .
There is much work to be done and MWNUK welcomes partnership working, particularly in these areas.


MWNUK submitted written evidence to the  Home Affairs Committee Inquiry  into Female Genital Mutilation. We stressed the need not only for a  multi-agency approach  and  proper training and education  but also unqualified commitment towards eradicating FGM.

Our full response can be downloaded here:


On the 14th February  MWNUK joined the  #1billionrising  campaign to demand an  end to violence against women and girls . We also created an  awareness raising resource  to make discussions on  healthy relationships  easier.

Think of your closest relationship and  take the test - how healthy is your relationship:
  • Is the relationship riddled with lies, withholding information and suspicion?
  • Do you feel disrespected- maybe laughed at, not listened to and belittled?
  • Do you feel controlled in the relationship? Are you told what to do, who to see, what to say?
  • Are you pressured or forced into any sexual activity against your will?
  • Do you feel an obligation to stay in the relationship because the other person may do something drastic if the relationship ends?
  • Are you forced to work or stopped from working?  And do you have little say how your money is spent?
  • Is the relationship upsetting and hurtful for you?
The more boxes you have ticked the less healthy your relationship appears to be.

 Find out more about the issue  on 


On the  19th February  Network Coordinator Shahin Ashraf attended the conference 'Strategies for Engaging Schools on FGM' by  FORWARD . MWNUK are eagerly awaiting FORWARD's newly developed toolkit for schools which they highlighted.

On the  24 February  Chair Shaista Gohir and Network Coordinator Shahin Ashraf attended the FGM conference in Birmingham hosted by West Midlands Police, the West Midlands Office for Policing & Crime, and Birmingham Against FGM Group (BAFGM) and aimed to pull together key professionals from law enforcement, social care, health care, education and the third sector.Key discussions included tackling the myths around FGM.
From left: Yvonne Mosquito, Alison Byrne, Shaista Gohir, Lynne Featherstone MP, Shahin Ashraf


  • On  19thFebruary , Chair Shaista Gohir gave  evidence  in a presentation format on child sexual exploitation of Asian girls to the  Education & Vulnerable Children Committee  of  Birmingham City Council .
  • On  21st February , Chair Shaista Gohir presented the 'Unheard Voices' Report at  Link to Change 's 'Children's Voices' event in Huntingdon.



MWNUK Member Shazia Saleem is the young, inspiring entrepreneur from Luton who has recently launched the UK's first ever British-favourities' ready-meals business called I eat Foods'.

The range of 12 great value dishes, including shepherd's pie, lasagne, pizzas, pastas and pies is in selected Sainsbury's stores from the 26th February 2014.The food is 100% halal and tayyab (wholesome/ethical) from farm to fork.

Read more about Shazia Saleem's journey here.

For further



Musawah is a global Muslim women's movement. Take a look at the latest newsletter for interesting developments from across the world. For example, Pakistan has appointed its first female judge in the 33-year history of the national Shariat Court. Congratulations Justice Ashraf Jehan.


The  University of Sussex  is carrying out research into  Hate Crimes and their  indirect impact  such as increased feelings of fear, anger and isolation. One of the groups they will be focussing on during their research project will be Muslims.

You can find out more about the project here:
You can participate in the survey here

Please share this with others too.  It is important we get our concerns heard through this important research.

If you would like any further information, please contact Jenny Paterson at


  • The name of the app is  Women's Human Rights - It is a  free app  for the mobile phones, allowing  easy and rapid access to agreed language in UN documents on women's human rights .


Midwives Failing to Consult on Mental Health

A quarter of new mothers are not asked by midwives about how they are coping after the birth of their babies, a poll suggests. Click here for full article.

Success for FGM Petition

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has backed Bristol girl  Fahma Mohamed 's campaign to put education at the heart of tackling female genital mutilation  (FGM) . The campaign has now attracted more than 212,000 signatures on Click here for full article.


Women of the World Festival

 Date: Wed 5 - Sun 9 March

 Venue : Southbank Centre, London


Join the fourth annual WOW Women of the World festival and celebrate the formidable strength and inventiveness of women. The three-day programme of events includes theatre, music and comedy as well as lively talks and debates; there's also the chance to take part in mentoring, workshops and hear from celebrities, politicians, artists and activists speak on the topics that matter to women and girls worldwide.

Further details:

Salaam Festival 2014

Salaam Festival 2014 : Bridging The Gap. A celebration of arts and crafts showcasing the diversity of Walsall.

Venue: The New Art Gallery
Gallery Square, Walsall, WS2  8LG

Date: 8th March 2014
Time: 12 - 4pm

Main events include:
*Presentation by fashion designer Barjis Chohan *Breadmaking workshop led by Bake Off star Ali Imdad *Exciting stalls *Interactive workshops in spoken word poetry and beatbox *Tea and cake on sale in aid of Syrian refugees ..and much, much more...
Join us on Facebook at 'Walsall Creative Factory'

Million Women Rise March

Women\'s Networking Hub and the Allens Croft Women's Project are organising a coach from Birmingham city centre to the forthcoming  Million Women Rise March  on  International Women's Day , in London on  Saturday March 8th2014 . Million Women Rise is the biggest women's march in Europe against male violence in all its forms, it brings all women together to make their voices heard.

Coach leaves Birmingham outside Argos, Priory Queensway at 8.30am and is expected to arrive back in Birmingham at 8.30pm.

On arrival in London we will gather outside Selfridges on the main road of Oxford Street, Selfridges & Co 400 Oxford Street London W1A 1AB,and will be setting off to march at 1pm before rallying at 3pm in Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

If you\'re coming along, ticket prices are:
15 for solidarity rate
10 for adult (women only)
6 for low/unwaged women and 6 for children.
(We welcome donations to support women and children to attend the march)

For bookings and further information email us on

 Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Conference & Unsung Heroes Awards 

 Date: Tuesday 18th March 2014 - Wednesday 19th March 2014

 Venue : University of Warwick

This event is organised by the NWG Network and will incorporate International Speakers on Child Sexual Exploitation and have in excess of 30 discussion groups highlighting effective and innovate practice in the field of child sexual exploitation along with an associated exhibition and a conference dinner with an Awards Ceremony for our Unsung Hero's'.

You will be able to participate in seven of these discussion groups at the Conference.

You can register here:

MWNUK\'s commitment to furthering the plights of Muslim women in the UK is met with the ongoing challenge of funding our initiatives. We really need your financial support in bringing about justice for Muslim women in the UK. As a registered charity,  number 1155092)  you can donatehere.You can also donate via text. To  donate 5 text the following code  NISA04 5  to  70070 

 In This Newsletter 

Message from Executive Director

MWNUK International Women's Day Fundraising Campaign
In the Media
Board & Staff Strategic Planning
Female Genital Mutilation Inquiry Submission
Healthy Relationship Resource
FGM Conferences
Ongoing Child Exploitation Work

Shazia Saleem- Ieat Food


Midwives Failing to Consult on Mental Health
Success for FGM Petition

Women of the World Festival
Salaam Festival 2014
Million Women Rise March
Tackling CSE Conference & Unsung Heroes Awards

You can donate via text. To  donate 5  text the following code  NISA04 5  to 70070 

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