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  Home > About Us > History
How We Started
MWNUK was formally established as a group in 2003 with the support of the Women’s National Commission (WNC), to give independent advice to government on issues relating to Muslim women and public policy. One of our first activities in collaboration with the Women's National Commission was to ask Muslim women about their needs.  This 'listening exercise' was published as the ‘She Who Disputes’ report  ( which identified both the existing space favouring and unjust barriers against Muslim women's full participation in society.  This report remains the main inspiration for our work, in addition to our ongoing interaction with our members and women in the community. Our work is about
changing the foundations of Muslim women's lives and
not just improving services.

Community Interest Company in 2008

In 2007, Muslim Women’s Network decided to establish itself as an independent organisation to ensure its autonomy from Government. We renamed the group ‘Muslim Women’s Network UK’ (MWNUK) and became a Community Interest Company in 2008.

Registered Charity on 2013
In December 2013 we became a registered charity with new Articles of Association.

Why was MWNUK set up?
  • To talk openly talk about difficult issues that are often to swept under the carpet - only when they are discussed that they can be tackled
  • Ensure the concerns and voices of Muslim women and girls reach decision makers
  • To research and highlight the lived experiences of Muslim women
  • To inform Muslim women and girls about their rights and the support and help that exists
  • To promote Muslim female role models

Tribute to Our Valued Colleague, Activist and Friend
– Cassandra Balchin (24 May 1962—12 July 2012)

It is with the deepest sadness and sorrow that MWNUK announced on 12/06/12 the death of our friend, colleague and Chair of Muslim Women’s Network UK, Cassandra Balchin. She was one of the founding members of Muslim Women's Network UK.

Although Cassandra was only diagnosed a few months ago, she unfortunately lost her battle against cancer.

Cassandra was a great women’s rights activist and worked tirelessly on advancing the rights of Muslim women.  She was particularly an expert in family laws, marriage, divorce, parallel legal systems /plural legal orders and religious fundamentalisms. She wrote and contributed to many publications.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Cass’s death or our gratitude for the honour and privilege to work with her.

You may read some of our personal memories which we shared with Cass before her demise, and some of the condolence messages we received.

MWNUK endeavours to honour Cass's memory by continuing to dedicate ourselves to the work she loved so much.

We know that she will be deeply missed by everyone who knew her across the world. And we know that many of you would like to offer condolences to her family and those who were close to her.

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

Registered Charity No. 1155092

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Tel: 0121 236 9000
Mobile: 07415 206936

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