Dear MWNUK Supporter,Hope you enjoy reading our latest newsletter.
MWNUK held our Annual General Meeting on Friday 31 July 2015 at Birmingham's Council House . The event was well attended and began with a Qur'anic recitation by ED Faeeza Vaid, and translation and reflection by Chaplain Shahin Ashraf. The MWNUK team then shared updates on another busy and exciting year with lots of interesting developments. A copy of our Annual Report and Summary of Accounts is available on our website here and a full statement of accounts is available on request.
Special thanks to both Shabana Mahmood MP (Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Dr. Mashuq Ally (Head of Social Cohesion & Equalities Department, Birmingham City Council) who echoed support for MWNUK's work, and spoke on their experience of issues affecting Muslim women.
AGM business was followed by a panel discussion on: Islamophobia and Discrimination- It's Impact on Muslim Women . The panel included Julie Pascoet (‘European Network Against Racism’), Haleemah Patel (Victim of Islamophobic Hate Crime and Campaigner for ‘Stop Hate’ campaign), Jennifer Izekor (Commissioner for the Independent Police Complaints Commission) and Aaqil Ahmed (BBC Commissioning Editor, Head of Religion & Ethics). Attendees were also privileged to watch exclusive clips from a film entitled 'Freesia' which tackles issues of Islamophobia and hate in the UK, by Artistic Director Conor Ibrahiem .
Thereafter, attendees participated in a workshop on 'What is Discrimination?' facilitated by Barbara Cohen from the Discrimination Law Association. It was thoroughly informative, covering the 9 protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, direct and indirect discrimination, and making a discrimination claim.
Photographs from the day will be available on the gallery section of our website.
MWNUK Deliver Presentation
to NHS Wandsworth CCG
On the 15th July, MWNUK Treasurer Dr Iram Sattar
delivered a presentation to NHS Wandsworth CCG's BME Mental Health Inequalities group
, on the topic of well-being & empowerment of women
. Iram's expertise as a medical practitioner and our work with Muslim women at a grassroots level provided a combination of real insight and practical solutions to address issues on matters of health and mental health.
MWNUK Interviewed by Law
On the 6th July, the MWNUK team met with Law Commission researchers to discuss how effective current laws in the family realm are, particularly for Muslim women. We discussed at length the impact of non-registration of Muslim marriages , and our recommended solutions.
MWNUK at House of Lords
Faith Leaders Event
On 15 July, Project Manager and Chaplain Shahin Ashraf
joined faith leaders
from across the UK at the House of Lords to speak out against domestic abuse
. It was the first time that different faith leaders have stood together to acknowledge the problem of domestic abuse within their own faith communities, and to pledge to do something about it.
As the first step: a nationwideFaith Leaders' Declaration on Domestic Abuse
was endorsed by dozens of prominent UK faith leaders. Above all, the Declaration affirms that domestic abuse is irreconcilable with the teachings of our faiths.
It commits faith leaders to addressing domestic abuse and promoting positive action. It also provides a practical definition for identifying domestic abuse in all its forms.
- On the 2nd July, Chair Shaista Gohir was on the Victoria Derbyshire programme discussing the need for research into why some British people are being brainwashed by IS.
- On the 6th July, General Secretary Mussurut Zia spoke on BBC 3 Counties Radio between 9.15 and 9.30 regarding why people are choosing to go and live in "Islamic State" following the departure of family from Luton.
- On the 6th July, Shaista Gohir Wrote article for Guardian Comment is Free outlining that ' Media Scares about Shariah Marriages Miss the Point' . The article was shared 1096 times and gathered 431 comments. In the article Shaista highlights that some Muslims are not having civil marriages to avoid sharing assets should the marriage break down and not because of religious conservatism or extremism as promoted by some sections of the media and commentators. You can read it here.
- On the 15th July, Shaista Gohir was interviewed on Channel 4 News hosted by Jon Snow on 'What can be done about ISIS'. See video here.
- On the 22nd July, Shaista Gohir was interviewed on ITV News about how ISIS use social media and children for propaganda.See video here .
- On the 25th July, Shaista Gohir was interviewed for Ahlebait TV on Child Sexual Exploitation. You can watch the clips here:
MWNUK Press Statements
- On the 7th July, MWNUK released press statement in remembrance of the 7/7 attacks .
- On the 13th July, MWNUK released press statement in remembrance of the Srebenica genocide .
- On the 20th July, MWNUK released press statement in response to David Cameron’s speech in Birmingham on Extremism.
Chair Shaista Gohir and Executive Director Faeeza Vaid attended the Prime Minister’s speech in Birmingham on 20th July 2015. We welcomed his acknowledgement that most Muslims contribute to our country and that the extremist acts of a minority do not represent Islam. We also agree that to defeat extremism, we must all work together. However, any government strategy must be carefully implemented and it cannot become the ‘thought police,’ and we are concerned that British Muslim school children may start getting profiled when expressing legitimate grievances.
Our full statements can be viewed here
- MWNUK are pleased to announce that the Tudor trust has awarded us £100 000 over the next three years to expand the Muslim Women's Network Helpline , as part of their commitment to supporting positive change in communities. We are really grateful to them (and our other donors) who have faith in our work and continue to support our organisation.
0800 999 5786
0303 999 5786
From the 1st July, freephone numbers starting with 0800 or 0808 are now free to call
from mobile phones as well as landlines. Therefore to call the MWN Helpline on the 0800 999 5786 number is free from mobiles and landline.
Read more here
about other developments on call charges.
MWNUK Member, Shagufta K
i s regarded a powerful, brave and experienced performer
. Her vivid thought provoking work beautifully transports audiences to a world where gender, race, and culture are examined through a fresh, passionate and exciting perspective.Now back from maternity leave and having spent some wonderful, overwhelming and adventurous days with her two children, she is re-establishing herself as a writer and performer. And has just completed a poetry film project on the violating virginity testing carried out on South Asian women migrating to the UK to join spouses in the 70s and 80s, and she is currently working on her first solo show.She brings poetry to a wider audience, particularly through the use of spoken word, theatre and movement, to provoke thought, and challenge the stereotypes that govern our media, and highlight how occupying a space between two spaces allow a unique insight and understanding of society, by highlighting what it means to be the embodiment of two diverse cultures , which are often considered to be “conflicting”.See more on her website: www.shaguftakiqbal.com
would like to congratulate
QED UK on celebrating 25 years of outstanding work with ethnic minorities.
QED is led by CEO Mohammed Ali and Deputy CEO Adeeba Malik. Their work on challenging inequalities has included training, highlighting the issues that create barriers to policy makers and breaking down the barriers e.g. Barriers that prevent people from ethnic minority backgrounds securing senior roles in the public and private sectors and at policy making levels. They have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people both here and abroad.
You can find out more about QED from their website
. And their 25 year brochure can be downloaded here
WRC Toolkit for
The Women's Resource Centre has launched an online toolkit (FREE of charge) f or women working in the women’s sector and on women-only projects. It is a practical and interactive guide on how to use equalities and human rights legislation to sustain or instigate relevant services for women or to challenge practice that deepens inequality faced by women. Women in the women’s sector or those working on women-only projects can log on as members to share experiences and views on current issues.
The Oldest Qur'an Fragment Found in Birmingham.
Professor Thomas from the University of Birmingham says "the dating of the folios would mean it was quite possible that the person who had written them would have been alive at the time of the Prophet Muhammad." Read more here
- West Midlands Have Second Highest Level of Honour Crimes.
Across the UK there were more than 11,000 cases of honour crimes, which included abductions, false imprisonment and murder. Read more here
- Police Obtain first FGM protection order.
Police have secured the UK’s first ever female genital mutilation protection order, which bans travel by people who are believed to be at risk of FGM. Read more here
- The government pledges £3.2 million to tackle domestic violence.
Budget 2015: The chief executive of Women's Aid welcomes George Osborne's intervention to save women's refuges, but urges the Government needs to be pushed further. Read more here
Keep in Touch!
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