Dear Network Member,We hope you enjoy reading MWNUK\'s latest Newsletter:
Ramadan Mubarak from the MWNUK Team!
1. That Ramadan brings respect, goodwill, peace, and compassion and towards the entire humanity.
2. That Ramadan truly guides us to believe that God is Almighty, and all human beings are equal and entitled to justice.
3. And that all those suffering domestic violence, forced marriage, FGM, mental health issues and all other struggles find ease.
As a month of great generosity, we also implore you to donate to MWNUK to further our work in addressing the needs of Muslim women in the UK.As a registered charity, number 1155092) you can donate here. Or you can donate via text. To donate £5 text the following code NISA04 £5 to 70070.
On the 2ndJune 2014 MWNUK moved into our new office:
54-57 Allison Street
After 6 years at our old home, the MWNUK team would officially like to thank Irfan Gohir for his generosity in providing us the luxurious space for rent 4 times below the market rate each month! Without his support, MWNUK would have struggled to establish ourselves as a national charity. Thank You Irfan!
We would like to congratulate MWNUK Vice Chair Nazmin Akthar on her marriage to Rahil Sheikh on the 21stJune 2014. We wish them a wonderful marriage and a happy life ahead!
A seminar organised by Dr Samia Bano was held at SOAS on the 10thJune 2014 to explore issues of gender equality and justice in family law disputes. International speakers drew upon critical feminist and Muslim feminist literature, empirical research and legal practice to and presented on the ways in which such dispute resolution mechanisms are conceived and understood by women as primary users. MWNUK Vice Chair Nazmin Akthar was also a panelist and she shared the types of enquiries we receive at Muslim Women's Network UK highlighting their experiences with Shariah Councils .
Faith Leaders Panel at
Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit
The UK Foreign Secretary , William Hague, and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees , Angelina Jolie , hosted the End Sexual Violence in Conflict' Summit in London between 10-13 June 2014. On 11thJune a panel was held on the role of faith leaders in preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict . MWNUK Coordinator and Chaplain Shahin Ashraf was a panelist and contributed on how faith leaders can get involved more. She was approached by Angelina Jolie who commended her on her presentation.
Forced Marriage Press Statement
and Sky News Interview
On the 16th
June 2014, MWNUK welcomed
new laws criminalising Forced Marriage
which came into effect. Faeeza Vaid
, Executive Director of Muslim Women's Network UK commented in our Press Statement: úThe impact of being forced into marriage can be devastating for its victims. In agreement with Universal Human Rights, I believe that Forced marriages are unacceptable and illegal in Islam . And so the introduction of these criminal laws is not about scapegoating parents, individuals or communities, they are about standing firm for justice .We need to continue raising awareness of this issue; to communities, to public service frontline workers, to policy influencers etc. These laws will only be effective if we put resources behind facilitating raising awareness and working together in a culturally appropriate and common sense manner. And we need to encourage victims not to suffer in silence. It is my personal hope that this law will act as a deterrent to those who think this abhorrent crime is acceptable.Ě
Faeeza also contributed to a Sky News
Child Sexual Exploitation
MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir attended an international conference in Bradford on the 17thJune 2014, Making Diverity Interventions Count.' She presented a summary of the report Unheard Voices: Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Young Women .Ratna Lacham (Director of Just West Yorkshire) also presented on the Bradford context and CSE and Alyas Karmani (Director of Street UK) presented on male attitudes on CSE / violence against women.
Unite Against FGM
June 2014, the Home Office
organised a meeting to discuss the role of faith leaders
and institutions in tackling FGM which was hosted by a number of Minsters including Norman Baker, Minister for Crime Prevention
. MWNUK Coordinator and Chaplain Shahin Ashraf attended the event. Religious and community leaders have also signed a historic declaration condemning female genital mutilation. MWNUK is also a signatory and this was highlighted in a Guardian article
On the 26thJune 2014, MWNUK presented a panel called Muslim Women Challenging Beliefs ' at Derby University's Muslim Women's Activism Conference'. Presentations were made by Dr. Laura Zahra McDonald (in absentia) on A case for theological framing as a precursor to grassroots change', Shaista Gohir highlighted Anti-Women Hadith, and Faeeza Vaid presented MWNUK and the global movement Musawah as examples of activists using holistic frameworks of gender just Islamic law, Human Rights and Islamic Feminism.
Why Are Muslim Women Not
Complaining About Public Services?
(Manchester Focus Group Attendees)
The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsmen
commissioned MWNUK to find out why
very low numbers of Muslim women complain about public services, bodies and departments. Three focus groups were held in Birmingham, Manchester
. We explored the barriers
which included: not being aware of the complaint process, fear of not being taken seriously and challenging authority, language barriers, feeling it will not make a difference, lack of confidence, accepting the bad service due to culture (e.g. acceptance and suffering in silence), the process taking too long etc. One of the participants in Manchester Saira Mirza
interviewed another two participants on the Awaaz Community Radio Station
about their views. You can hear the discussion here.
The Crown Prosecution Service has produced Draft Guidelines for the Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases
, and are currently consulting/ requesting feedback on it here
These guidelines are important
because they will provide assistance to decision makers and professionals during prosecutions of domestic violence
It is important that the needs to Muslim women are considered in these guidelines. Muslim Women\'s Network UK will therefore be responding to this consultation. Although we will be able to draw from the case studies we have gathered from the enquiries we receive, we also want your views on and gaps in the document concerning Muslim women and how these can be addressed. The consultation is 9th July 2014, and we would like to receive your responses by Friday 4thJuly 2014.
You can comment on any aspect of the document. However, we particularly welcome comments on:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Is the understanding and context of domestic violence right and well-informed?
- Have the right potential lines of enquiry for evidence gathering been identified?
- Where complainants are not willing to support a prosecution? How could the CPS approach \'evidence-led\' prosecutions (prosecutions continued without the victim)?
- Have all safety and support issues affecting victims been highlighted?
- Have the CPS got good understanding of sensitivities experienced by victims from different groups? If not, how can this be improved?
MWNUK Supports Hajj
On the 21st June 2014, MWNUK supported the launch of Shabana Mahmood MP\'s
hajj awareness campaign. Shabana is keenly advocating to ensure that all those intending to travel for Hajj
are protected. She has produced an information resource on how to book a hajj package and avoiding fraudulent travel agents; understanding the Saudi visa application process, and the importance of getting vaccinated against meningitis. Read more here
Campaign for Clean Air
MWNUK have joined Friends of the Earth's Let\'s Get Moving' campaign,
which aims to tackle poor air quality in Birmingham through greater investment in walking and cycling. Air pollution
is at severe
, and sometimes illegal
, levels in Birmingham; contributing to around 520 deaths in Birmingham every year.
The campaign targets Birmingham City Council (BCC) to address air pollution by investing in infrastructure that supports cyclists and pedestrians by committing £10 per year per person
for the next ten years. For more information see www.get-moving.org.uk
-One Survivor\'s Story
One MWNUK member
shared her story of how she was top in her class and wanted to pursue higher education, but her family did not let her and forced her into a marriage. They felt it was more important for her to learn domestic chores than to obtain high grades at school. You can read her full story here
advocate Nani Zulminarni
receives award at Lotus Leadership Awards Gala Hosted by First U.S. Ambassador for Global Women's Issues for giving Indonesia\'
s women heads of households a fighting chance. Read more here
Bastards is a documentary that tells the story of how an iliterate woman took on tradition, her own family and the Moroccan legal system for the sake of her illegitimate child. It\'s an uplifting positive film about a woman using the reformed laws in Morocco to get justice. The film should be of interest to lawyers as well as women\'s and children\'s rights campaigners. It will be released in the UK on 11th July 2014. To watch a short preview and about screenings click here: www.deborahperkin.com/bastards
FGM Law Expanded
The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) legislation has been strengthened after small number of cases could not be prosecuted because they did not involve permanent residents. The ban can now be enforced against foreign nationals deemed to be "habitually resident" in the UK. Read More here
A report has found significant failings in the way three English police forces (West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire) deal with allegations of discrimination by the public. Complaints, mostly of racial discrimination, were poorly handled and officers did not believe those making the complaints. Read more here
Drop in Rape
The conviction rate for rape dropped in the last 12 months after five years of steady improvements. Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, wants to put measures into place to improve conviction rate. Read More here
Living Islam Festival
The Living Islam Festival is a national festival that will be held at Lincolnshire Showground
. The festival will draw many Muslim intellectuals and scholars, dignitaries, officials and businesses to it. Over 5,000+ ticket holders will attend the Living Islam Festival for a spiritual holiday experience, travelling from over 40 towns and cities from the UK and other parts of Europe. This year the festival will coincide for the first time with the occasion of Eid and will be held 31st
July to 3rd
You can find out more and buy tickets here: http://www.livingislam.org.uk/
FREE Israel ď Palestine Politics Course for Students
Applications are now open for the One Voice Europe Youth Leadership Residential Programme that will take place on 8-10th
Sept 2014 in London. The criteria is to be 18-25 years old on 8th
Every year, OneVoice (www.onevoicemovement.org) holds a residential programme for university students in London, which includes those who have just completed their A-levels and are about to go to university for the first time. The course involves talks and workshops from politicians, religious leaders, university lecturers and ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, and covers topics around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such as: the role of religion, the role of the USA, EU & UN, history & narratives of the conflict, economics and the conflict, potential solutions for the conflict, public speaking and debating skills.
The programme is free, although voluntary contributions are welcome from those who can afford to fund some, or all, of the cost of their place on the course. Please contact Sharon Alsoodani (email@example.com
) for an application form, or if you would like any further information. Application deadline is 23rd
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 donate here.
You can donate via text. To donate £5
text the following code NISA04 £5