Advocacy
 
 
Our advocacy work involves channeling views of Muslim women and girls to decision makers such as government and other public bodies. We do this by making recommendations through the research we conduct, by responding to public consultations and inquiries and through round table meetings with Ministers and other government officials. Some of the impact of our advocacy work is listed below.
 
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SAFETY OF MUSLIM WOMEN

Labour Party
Advocacy Meeting
June 2024

Muslim Women?s Network UK (MWNUK) helped to facilitate a meeting in Birmingham?s Yardley constituency with a group of Muslim women to discuss Muslim women?s safety with Jess Phillips MP and the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP. As a charity, one of our objectives is to provide Muslim women with opportunities to contribute to decision-making processes that will allow their needs to be better met. Muslim women expressed their deep concerns about the rise in hate crimes, particularly anti-Muslim prejudice, and the government's inaction to address it or engage with Muslim women despite their much higher vulnerability to Islamophobia.

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VAWG EXPERIENCED BY MUSLIM WOMEN

UN VAWG Rapporteur
Advocacy Meeting
February 2024

The UN VAWG Rapporteur visited the UK in February to assess how well the UK government was going to tackle violence against women and girls. Muslim Women's Network UK hosted a roundtable meeting in Birmingham to facilitate discussion with UN VAWG Rapporteur Reem Asalem and representative from local women's groups to share perspectives from minority ethnic victims. There was representation from Sikh Women's Aid, Roshni, WAITS, RSVP and Uplift.


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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Cabinet Office Equality Hub

Advocacy Meeting
January 2024

During the Call for Evidence that informed the Women?s Health Strategy women highlighted not being listened to as a key problem. This roundtable meeting was organised by the Cabinet Office Equality Hub / Department of Health in partnership with Muslim Women?s Network UK  to seek Muslim women's insights into how the outcomes and experiences can be improved for them.

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ISLAMOPHOBIA AWARENESS

UK Parliament
Drop in Session
November 2023

On 14 November, Muslim Women?s Network UK partnered with Afzal Khan MP, Muslim Council of Britain and Amnesty International to mark Islamophobia Awareness in parliament. Around 40 MPs across the main political parties dropped in where MWNUK staff informed them about the Muslim Women?s manifesto actions, especially around safety.

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PROTECTING PREGNANT MIGRANT WOMEN

House of Lords
Amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill
July 2023

The government removed he existing time limits on how long pregnant women could be detained in the Illegal Migration Bill. Baroness Shaista Gohir, CEO of Muslim Women's Network UK spoke during the the second reading and committee stages of the Bill about the dangers gf detaining pregnant women indefinitely and challenged the disproportionality the measures. She also added her name to the amendments tabled by Baroness Lister along with Baroness Sugg and Bishop of Gloucester. They won the vote in the House of Lords, which resulted in the Government agreeing to maintain the 72-hour time limit providing vital protection to pregnant women and their unborn babies from the harms of indefinite detention.

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Recording Ethnicity in medical negligence claims

NHS Resolution
Improving data collecting to identify equality gaps
August 2022

During the maternity research conducted in 2022, we uncovered that for maternity negligence claims (and other medical negligence claims), ethnicity data was not being recorded by NHS Resolution on its case management system.  It was surprising to find this was not collected and analysed even though it would provide crucial information about which procedures were causing most harm to ethnic minority women and also whether they were even claiming and getting justice. A recommendation was therefore made in the final published report and a letter sent to NHS Resolution. The CEO responded to say that they would review their processes to enable the collection of protected characteristics data.

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INTIMATE IMAGE ABUSE

Strengthening Legislation
Law Commission
July 2022

Muslim Women's Network UK (MWNUK) responded to a Law Commission public consultation on intimate image abuse in 2021. In July 2022, the Law Commission published the report on Intimate image abuse. We are pleased MWNUK was referenced several times in the report and our case studies and recommendations were included. Some of the Law Commission report recommendations were included in the Criminal Justice Bill that was introduced to parliament in 2024. Unfortunately as the general election was called, the bill did not complete its journey through parliament. However, we are please that we contributed to the shaping of draft legislation to improve the safety for women and we hope to see the Bill to return to parliament in the future as it had cross party support.

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The Rights of Co-Habiting Partners

Resolution's Cohabitation Committee
Oral Evidence
July 2022

MWNUK Co-Chair, Nazmin Akthar, was asked to give oral evidence on Muslim marriages. She provided insights on the issues faced by Muslim women in non-legally binding marriages. She also put forward suggestions on how the rights of Muslim women could be addressed by strengthening co-habitee rights.  

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The Rights of Co-Habiting Partners

Women's Equality Committee
Oral Evidence
November 2021


In November 2021, MWNUK Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar was invited to evidence to the Women's Equality Committee Inquiry after submitting a response to its consultation on Rights of Co-Habiting Partners.  She provided insights on how a significant numbers of Muslim women (potentially up to 25% according to our helpline enquiries) are also affected because they are not in legally recognised marriages i.e. had Islamic ceremony only in the UK and with no civil marriage.  Suggestions for law reform were made to  strengthen cohabitee rights including how polygamy could be addressed. 

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STRENGTHENING LAWS ON REVENGE PORN

Ministry of Justice
Strengthening legislation 
March 2021


Victims can take legal action if intimate images were disclosed. However, we found through our report Muslim Women's Experiences of the Criminal Justice System published June 2019, that they could not do anything legally about the threats to expose such images. We found that perpetrators deliberately used the concepts of shame and honour to control and threaten women and girls that they were going to share intimate images online, with family members or within their communities. This made Muslim women reluctant to report perpetrators fearing that a police warning could trigger them into sharing images - a risk they do not want to take because they would still be left to face the consequences of for example, family members finding out that they had perhaps been in a sexual relationship outside of marriage - something that is regarded as taboo and outside of cultural and faith norms. We therefore (through the report) supported calls to make threats of sharing intimate images to also be made illegal. 

We are pleases that the government listened to us and other charities and in 2021 new amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill included closing the legal gap in so called 'revenge' porn laws to make threats to disclose intimate images an offence. These new changes will hopefully give Muslim women and girls the confidence to seek help much earlier.

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Police Super Complaint

Home Office
Super Complaint 
August 2020


The Halo Project submitted a super complaint on the poor treatment of BAME survivors of sexual abuse in August 2020 to the Home Office. MWNUK provided a significant number of case studies as key evidence which made up the super complaint from its research Muslim Women's Experiences of the Criminal Justice System published in 2019.  We are pleased that our evidence helped to secure the super complaint being upheld in December 2022 after an investigation by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service, which has resulted in recommendations for improvement.

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DEFINITION OF HONOUR BASED ABUSE AMENDED

Crown Prosecution Service
Strengthening Guidance
September 2019

The police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are provided with a range of guidance on so called honour-based abuse (HBA). In our report Muslim Women's Experiences of the Criminal Justice System published June 2019, we highlighted the inconsistent definitions of so called HBA by the College of Policing and the CPS guidelines. This report was disseminated to key stakeholders in the criminal justice system. We noted that following the publication of our report the CPS revised its definition of honour-based abuse in September 2019. This revision will help guide police forces to implement a more consistent approach to this issue especially when identifying HBA.

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STRENGTHENING THE VICTIM'S CODE

Victim's Commissioner
Advocacy Meeting 
September 2019


As the Ministry of Justice had opened a consultation on the Victim's Code, MWNUK Chair Nazmin Akthar and Executive Director Faeeza Vaid met with the Victim's Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird in December 2019.  They shared findings and the recommendations made in our report Muslim Women's Experiences of the Criminal Justice System (published in June 2019).

Some of the issues raised included strengthening communication with victims not just from the point of charge but from the point of initial contact, importance of taking cultural factors into account, listening to victims when assessing impact' or risk, reforming revenge porn laws and victim right to review provisions, which were causing serious unfairness and disempowering victims. The Victim's Commissioner stated that the report made compelling arguments and the concerns and recommendations would be considered in the Domestic Abuse Bill and the Victim's Code.

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Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood

Fawcett Society
Oral Evidence
July 2019

In 2019, MWNUK Co-Chair, Nazmin Akthar was invited to be a Commissioner by Fawcett Society on their Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood. She heard evidence from parents and carers of children, teachers and professionals who work with children, academics and policy professionals with research expertise in gender or childhood, and members of the public who want to share their own experiences of gender stereotyping in childhood. 

She also gave oral evidence to the inquiry on child raising and the importance of parents/carers' roles in challenging stereotypes in order to stop limiting children's life choices, goals and perceptions of their own abilities. Nazmin gave evidence on how stereotypes are perpetuated in different ways in different communities, including toxic attitudes such as the emphasis on having sons over daughters and the prevalence of colourism, and the effects that these obsessions have on children both now and for the rest of their lives. This session was also attended by David Lammy MP, Professor Becky Francis (Director of UCL-Institute of Education), and representatives from the campaign Let Toys Be Toys and the National Childbirth Trust.

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Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

United Nations
Oral Evidence
Feb 2019

The CEDAW is the international human rights treaty that focuses specifically on equality between women and men in all areas of life. It is often referred to as the 'women's bill of rights'. The UK ratified CEDAW in 1986. Every five years government compliance with the CEDAW is assessed. Charities and NGOs, including MWNUK, travelled to Geneva in February to participate in this United Nations review of the UK's record on women rights. 

Our Chair Nazmin Akthar attended the 72nd Session Committee to address the CEDAW experts on issues faced by BAME women (including minority women of faith and those with insecure immigration status) who continue to face intersection discrimination, violence and abuse. One particular issue raised by MWNUK was the need to make the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002 applicable to Muslims so that Muslim women could be empowered to leave marriages which had broken down, without having to rely on sharia councils. This will will help MWNUK to use UK's obligations under CEDAW to hold it accountable to prevent discrimination against women in marriage and divorce.

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Divorce Reforms

Ministry of Justice
Letter
January 2019

MWNUK sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice in light of the divorce reforms consultation, urging the Ministry of Justice to make the legislative changes that we have proposed; particularly making civil marriages compulsory before religious marriages can take place and amending the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002 so that a judge can also withhold finalising the civil divorce until a Muslim woman receives her religious divorce from the husband (as the current law only applies to Jewish women).

Our response can be found here.

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Citizenship and Civic Engagement

House of Lords Select Committee
Oral Evidence
October 2017

MWNUK trustee Dr. Khursheed Wadia gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement in its session on Women and Integration on 25th October 2017. The Select Committee looked at how discrimination against women can affect integration. To this effect Khursheed highlighted the main barriers for Muslim women which include discrimination/Islamophobia and cultural and patriarchal views of women. She also discussed the idea of fundamental British Values, stating that as a concept and practice it doesn't include themes which relate to and have meaning for women from BME and Muslim communities - such as, gender equality, anti-discrimination and so on. There is also an assumption of superiority of these values and such a presentation of British values feeds into the idea of integration as one-way process imposed top-down. It is necessary to ask what the population believes are British values and not ignore concepts of equality.

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So Called Honour Based Violence

Home Office
Roundatable Discussion
March 2017

A meeting was held on 15th March 2017 with a group of women's rights activists and Sarah Newton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability. Nusrat Ghani MP and Naz Shah MP were also present. Shaista Gohir, represented MWNUK at the meeting. Women's rights activists rejected Nusrat Ghani MP's proposed bill to ban the term 'honour based violence,' highlighting that it took many years to have term recognised and that it would undermine years of work and cause confusion. Concerns were also raised concerns that the government was trying to make links between FGM and honour based violence with the extremism agenda and this should not be done.

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Forced Marriage Victim Repatriation Fees

Foreign Office
Private Letter
December 2016


A forced marriage victim called the MWN Helpline to complain the she was being charged repatriation fees by the Foreign Office for rescuing her from a forced marriage in Pakistan.  The victim was 17 years old at the time of having to sign a loan agreement so she could return to the safety of the UK.  The victim now 19 was on benefits and unable to repay the loan.  MWNUK wrote to the FCO requesting a policy change not to charge forced marriage victims for their repatriation given they are victims of crime and should not be treated the same as holidaymakers who may need assistance abroad who could insure themselves. MWNUK also questioned the legality of those who are under age being expected to sign loan agreements. The FCO agreed to review their policy and met with MWNUK in March 2017. At the meeting the FCO agreed to abolish repatriation fees for those under the age of 18.

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Shariah Councils Inquiry

APPG Home Affairs Select Committee
Oral Evidence
November 2016


The Home Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into Sharia
councils operating in the UK. The Committee will examine how
Sharia councils operate in practice, their work resolving family and divorce disputes and their relationship with the British legal system.  The evidence session was held at Portcullis House, Westminster on 1 November 2016.  Chair, Shaista Gohir and MWNUK member Zlakha Ahmed (CEO of Apna Haq) gave evidence. Shaista put forward a recommendation that the MPs also hold a private session with Muslim women who have used the services of Shariah Councils who have had good experiences and bad experiences to ensure they take balanced evidence.  This was agreed to and in December 2016 a separate closed session was held and MWNUK provided women who had direct experiences of using Shariah Councils.

An unprecedented  letter was also produced, signed by over 100 Muslim women who wanted the government to strengthen civil law and also want Shariah Councils held accountable but did not want them to be shut down.  This letter can be found here:

The written submission to the inquiry can be found here.

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Government Independent review into Shariah Councils / Law

Home Office
Evidence Giving to Panel of Experts

August 2016


On the 10th August the panel of experts investigating the application of Shariah law and Shariah Council practices visited the MWNUK offices to gather evidence from staff and the Chair.  The experts included: Professor Mona Siddiqui, Anne Marie Hutchinson OBE QC, retired high court judge Sir Mark Hedley, and family law barrister Sam Momtaz. The panel was advised by 2 religious and theological experts, Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Imam Qari Asim; they also attended. 

The experts launched their report in February 2018 and the problems and recommendations were identical to those in our report, Information and Guidance on Muslim Marriage and Divorce in Britain, that we submitted to the inquiry. We therefore welcome the findings of the report.


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Tackling Hate Crimes following Brexit

DCLG
Roundtable Discussion
July 2016


On the 8th July 2016, MWNUK ED Faeeza Vaid attended a roundatable discussion meeting hosted by Baroness Williams (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DCLG) in Manchester. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the levels of community tension since the EU Referendum result, the government responses, and community responses. The meeting was also attended by others working on anti-Muslim/Semitic hate, racism, and Christian faith leaders.

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Commission on Islam, Participation & Public Life

Citizens UK
Oral Evidence

April 2016

The commission, chaired by Dominic Grieve QC MP, brought together 20 Commissioners drawn from a wide cross section of British society to consider how the Muslim community could better engage and participate in public life. The Commission toured the UK and hold hearings in a number of towns and cities. Our Executive Director Faeeza Vaid attended the evidence gathering meeting held in Birmingham on the 23 April 2016 and gave the perspective of MWNUK.

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Employment opportunities for Muslims in the UK inquiry

APPG Women and Equalities Committee
Oral Evidence 
April 2016

The Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee held an Inquiry looking into barriers to employment that exist for Muslims considering Muslims face some of the lowest employment rates and lowest rates of pay of any group and are underrepresented in managerial and professional roles. This inquiry also considered at the prevalence of discrimination against Muslims in the workplace.  As well as responding to the inquiry via a written report, Vice Chair Nazmin Akthar also gave oral evidence to the inquiry committee on 19th April 2016. 

In addition to reinforcing the key points made in our report, she also highlighted the harm caused my misinformation by people like Trevor Phillips and his survey on Muslim communities that was featured in a Channel 4 documentary, the need to also educate communities and challenge attitudes held about Muslim women working with men and also the barriers faced by Muslim women internally within their communities e.g. by mosques.

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Community Engagement Forum

Prime Minister (10 Downing Street)
Roundtable Discussion
January 2016

On the 14th January MWNUK ED Faeeza Vaid attended the Community Engagement roundtable meeting hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. The purpose of the meeting was to inform government thinking on empowerment of Muslim women including barriers they face such as isolation and their role in tackling extremism and radicalisation. The meeting was also attended by other Muslim women from different organisations and professions.

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GENDERED ONLINE ABUSE

Government Equalities Office
Roundtable Discussion

August 2015


On the  21st August  MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir attended a government roundtable meeting to discuss  gendered online abuse  to inform government future strategic direction. It was hosted by the Government Equalities Office.  Some of the other attendees included representatives from the Revenge Porn Helpline, Women's Aid, LGBT consortium, Safer Internet Centre, National Stalking Helpline, Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre and EVAW. Suggestions put forward by MWNUK included heavier sentencing for revenge porn offences that put women and girls at risk of honour based abuse, better use of harassment notices by police for online abuse, and making available online courses for women and girls on online / privacy / safety protection.

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CSE SUMMIT

Prime Minister (Downing Street)
Summit

March 2015


Shaista Gohir,Chair of MWNUK attended the summit on child sexual exploitation hosted by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on 3rd March. Cabinet Ministers from different government departments e.g. Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Local Government & Communities and Education facilitated discussion on what else could be done to tackle this abhorrent crime.  A key theme that emerged was everyone whether those in positions of leadership or frontline professionals needed to be more professionally curious and ask questions and not just wait for the victim to disclose abuse. MWNUK was the only BME third sector organisation at the summit.

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Women: Media, Sexism and Online Abuse

Government Equalities Office / DCMS

Consultation Event
January 2015


We held an event in partnership with the Government Equalities Office on 14th January 2015, which formed a part of the government's Women's Engagement Programme and was one of a series of regional consultation events with women across the UK. The event focused on the media, sexism and online abuse of women and Jo Swinson MP, the Minister for Women and Equalities spoke at the event and heard about women's concerns directly. Presentations covered the following issues:

- Portrayal of women and sexism in the media
- Portrayal of Muslim women and stereotyping in the media
- Online abuse targeted at women
- Police protection available for women facing online abuse

Photographs from the event may be viewed here.
A short video is available here.

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Reporting Police Discrimination

Independent Police Complaints Commission
Focus Group
December 2014

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) commissioned us to facilitate a discussion on Muslim women's experiences of dealing with the Police, which was held on the 10th December 2014. Discussions also included barriers to complaining, suggestions on what can be done to get more women to complain, and suggestions on what women expect if/when they do complain. We submitted our findings to the IPCC outlining the experiences shared. This was reviewed by the IPCC to help develop new guidance that is meaningful and workable and which will lead to improvements in how both the IPCC and the police handle allegations of discrimination.

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A Level / GCSE Reform of Religious Studies

(Govt Dept of Education)
Letter
December 2014

The Department of Education ran a consultation on the revised subject content for GCSE and A level religious studies for first teaching from 2016. MWNUK submitted a letter asking that it is ensured students are not taught patriarchal notions that are at play and are given the ability to critically analyse sources and practices using principles of equality, equity and justice as tools.

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Pre-CSW National Consultation

Government Equalities Office
Consultation
November 2014


On the 10 November 2014 Executive Director Faeeza Vaid spoke on a panel discussion hosted by the Government Equalities Office, as part of their pre-CSW National Consultation with women. In 1995, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, 189 governments including the UK pledged their commitment to improve the lives of women and girls by signing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the Declaration, the Government Equalities Office wanted to hear what progress is being made by the government to improve the lives of women and girls in the UK. And what future priorities the government should focus on. Fellow panelists included Minister for Women Jo Swinson MP..

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Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment

Office of the Children's Commissioner
Inquiry Panel Member
2014-2016
 

The Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) launched a two year inquiry into the Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment (CSAFE) chaired by the Deputy Children?s Commissioner, Sue Berelowitz. She was supported by a national panel and MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir was invited to be a member of the panel. Shaista was involved in hearing and scrutinising evidence. The aim if the inquiry was to find out about the scale, scope, nature and impact of child sex abuse.  The inquiry also looked into how agencies were dealing with cases of child sexual abuse. Findings will be used to better prevent , identify, protect and support children. 


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Muslim Marriage Group

Ministry of Justice

Advisory Group
2010 to 2015


MWNUK are a member of the Muslim Marriage Group. Meetings are held at theMinistry of Justice every few months and attended by a MWNUK representative (board or staff). Discussions include the importance of civil registration of marriages in ensuring access to rights should a marriage breakdown and whether registering of mosques and individuals would assist more registrations.

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Meeting with the Minister for Women

Minster for Women
Roundtable Discussion
July 2014

On 2nd July 2014, MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir was invited to a meeting with the new  Minister for Women Nicky Morgan to provide input into policy making.  Other attending the meeting included campaigners from  Fawcett, Feminista, Object, EVAW  and  Ms Understood. Issues discussed included: abuse women campaigners are subjected to; need to influence the Department of Education on issues related to girls and women; gender budgeting; sexual harassment in schools; and Ministers limiting vocal public support to particular topic affecting minorities (e.g. forced marriage, FGM) or issues affecting women abroad (e.g. sexual violence in conflict and FGM).  Concerns were raised that Ministers are not equally as vocal on sexual violence and domestic violence, although Teresa May was commended for her initiatives in the Home Office.

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Developing Social Care Guidlelines for FGM

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Roundtable Meeting

October 2014

MWNUK participated in roundtable discussion to inform potential NICE public health clinical and social care guidelines for FGM and helped to identify priority areas.

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Barriers to Complaining About Public Services

Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman
Focus Groups
June 2014

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsmen (PHSO) commissioned us 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 and London .  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 discussionhere.  PHSO has used the findings to launch a national awareness raising campaign and produce a range of materials including posters and leaflets in different languages.

To find out more and request materials please visit the PHSO website.

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Religious Leaders Unite Against FGM

(Home Office)
Roundtable Meeting and Letter
June 2014



On 18th 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 here.


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STRENGTHENING SENTENCING GUIDELINES FOR CHILD ABUSE

Crown Prosecution Service
Making Recommendations

April 2014


The Crown Prosecution Service set out 'Interim Guidelines on Prosecuting Cases of Child Abuse,' which were opened for public consultation until September 2013.  These guidelines made very little mention of Black, Asian and minority ethnic victims. In light of our research, UNHEARD VOICES:  Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Young Women, we responded to the consultations and raised concerns and made recommendations such as how shame and honour is used to prevent victims from reporting sexual abuse. Following our input, we were pleased to see that in April 2014, changes in sentencing guidelines for sexual abuse included considering increasing sentences for situation where 'threats of exposure' to family or others  is used as a further means of controlling victims. 

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Letter to Attorney General

Ministry of Justice
Letter

March 2014



On the 20th March MWNUK wrote an open letter to the Attorney General requesting that the sentence given to Suleman Maknojioa, the Quran teacher from Blackburn who abused a young girl be reviewed. Mainstream media covered the story too, and MWNUK are awaiting the decision as to whether it will be appealed.  We commend the family of this victim for being brave and standing publicly for justice.

You can view the letter here.

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WOMEN AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH

Department of Culture, Media and Sport
Roundtable Discussion

January 2014


On the 10th January 2014, Vice-Chair Nazmin Akthar attended a roundtable hosted by the Minister for Women to provide policy input on behalf of MWNUK particularly on how Muslim women are affected and about their needs. The discussions included looking at women and socio economic growth in terms of identifying barriers to women's progression in employment across the equality strands including: race, social economic, gender, single parent, disability, child care and potential solutions.

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Roundtable Discussion with Shadow Minister

(Labour Party Shadow Minister for Women Gloria De Piero)
Consultation Event
January 2014


When MWNUK found out that Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Gloria De Piero MP and Yasmin Quereshi MP were doing a listerning roadshow around the country, we arranged a meeting in Birmingham on the 11th January 2014 for them to hear directly from Muslim women.  The women spoke openly about the issues affecting them. Topics included corruption in local politics, childcare, discrimination and much more.

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Improving Safeguarding of Muslim Children

NSPCC

Advisory Group Member
2010 to 2013


MWNUK were members of the NSPCC National Muslim Advisory Group and helped to find ways to improve safeguarding of Muslim children. Many different issues are discussed including abuse of disabled children and abuse in Madrassahs.

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Domestic & Sexual Violence Inquiry

All Party Parliamentary Group
Oral Evidence 

November 2013

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic and Sexual Violence held an Inquiry into Justice for Women Survivors of Violence.  MWNUK was invited to give evidence.  Our Vice Chair Nazmin Akthar represented us in the oral evidence session on 27 November 2013. Thank you to MWNUK members who contributed views for the inquiry particularly BME women's experiences of the criminal justice system.

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Non Registration of Marriages

Ministry of Justice
Consultation Meeting

September 2013


Many Muslim women who have Muslim marriages (nikahs) in Britain do not also have their marriages formally registered under British law.  This of course has many negative repercussions for women if the marriage breaks down.  The Ministry of Justice are exploring the non registration of marriages and partnered with MWNUK to hold a consultation event in Blackburn,  which was hosted by the MWNUK General Secretary Mussurut Zia. The event was attended by 40 local women, local registrars and the super intendant registrar. 

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CSW Discussion with Minister for Women

Women and Equalities Minister
Roundtable Meeting
March 2013


Several women's organisations, including MWNUK were invited to attend a meeting with Maria Miller MP, Minister for Women and Equalities.  Some of other organisations attending included:Women's Resource Centre, Women's Aid, Imkaan, UN Women (UK), Forward, and NAWO. The outcomes of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) event held at the United Nations (4-15 March) were discussed along with how these could be promoted domestically and internationally.  The main outcome included ensuring that the CSW agreements need to be simplified and cascaded to civil society organisation, so they can start holding their governments accountable.

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Body Image Discussion with Minister for Women

Department for Culture, Media and Sports
Roundtable Meeting
January 2013


Jo Swinson MP (Minister for Women and Equality) invited five women for a private roundtable discussion, including Shaista Gohir to represent MWNUK. Other women's groups represented included:Girl Guiding, Feminista, Object and Imkaan. Issues discussed included: female genital mutilation, labioplasty, body image, portrayal of women in advertising, film and media, impact of pornography, attitudes of men and boys and the role education / schools can play in changing attitudes.

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IMMIGRATION AND EDUCATION

LABOUR PARTY
Consultation Event

January 2012



Politicians from the Shadow Cabinet, Yvette Cooper MP (Shadow Home Secretary) and Shabana Mahmood MP visited MWNUK offices where we arranged for them to speak to Birmingham Muslim women who shared their views on immigration and education.




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Government Engaging with Women Consultation

Government Equalities Office
Consultation Event
November 2010


The Women's National Commission (WNC), which
was the official, independent advisory body giving views of women to government was closed on 31st December 2010.  The Governmentt Equalities Office (GEO), therefore took some of the functions of WNC over centrally and prepared a consultation exercise to engage with women across the UK in 2011. Rather than wait to be consulted, Muslim Women's Network UK, in partnership with the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick contacted GEO to arrange a national roundtable discussion with Muslim women.  This was held on 29th November 2010 and 14 Muslim women from around the UK from diverse ethnic backgrounds and diverse fields of work
participated. This resulted in the report, Muslim Women:
Political and Civic Engagement in the UK.

The detailed version of report can be found here.

The summary version can be found here.

 

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