Women Against Extremism - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
October 2019

MWNUK Co-Chair attended the international conference, Women Rising Against Extremism, hosted by Sisters in Islam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Shaista spoke about rising conservatism in Islam particularly in the context of how this impacts on Muslim minority communities in the UK such as how gender equality is sometimes undermined.

Fighting Discrimination and Hate Speech - Turin (Italy)
June 2019

Our Interim Executive Director (covering maternity leave), Shaista Gohir spoke at a conference inTurin organised by the Intercultural Cities programme, funded by the Council of Europe. The aim is to bring together cities around the world to design local governance, practices, and policies for diverse communities to combat discrimination and hate. Shaista spoke about minorities within minorities and the need for Muslim communities to be more inclusive of LGBTQIA+ communities, who ought to be natural allies.

Muslim Voices Exchange Programme - Indonesia / Malaysia (2016)

MWNUK Chair was part of a small delegation arranged by the Homeoffice to visit Indonesia and Malaysia to exchange learning with counter-extremism practitioners and community leaders to be able to build international best practice and establish sustainable working partnerships.  The visit took place in February 2016.  The delegation from these countries also visited MWNUK offices in March 2016.

Annual International Mediation Congress - Romania (2015)

MWNUK were partners of the MBBI 7th Annual International Mediation Congressheld 23-26 April 2015 in Bucharest, ‎Romania. Vice-chair Nazmin Akthar Sheikh presented a workshop on the experiences of British Muslim women in accessing divorce through Shariah Councils.
It is important to share knowledge, experience, best
practice and opinions with Muslim women from different contexts.  MWNUK has strong international linkages and has therefore been involved in a international initiatives (with any travel expenses have been covered by the host organization). We work closely with MUSAWAH, which is an international movement promoting equality by highlighting gender egalitarian interpretations of Islam. We are a member of their highest decision making committee, the International Advisory Group (IAG). We have supported Musawah with their Global Life Stories Project, which is a part of the Knowledge Building Initiatve on Qiwamah and Wilayah.  We contributed by collecting life stories from the UK.

We are now promoting and selling their book, 'Men in Charge? Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition.' This is book is based on feminist research that critically engages with the assumption of and challenges male authority from within the Muslim legal tradition.  A seminar was held in London on 7th March 2015 at SOAS to promote the book.  We also presented on our global life stories project at the event.

You can find out more about Musawah on their website
Mediators Beyond Borders Annual Mediation Congress - Turkey (2013)

Muslim Women's Network UK Vice-Chair Nazmin Akthar attended as the UK delegate and partner representative ofMBB's 6th
Annual Mediation Congress along with the likes of UN Development Programme Turkey, International Mediation Institute and Pepperdine University School of Law. Held in Istanbul, the three day conference explored the world of mediation through various lectures and workshops such as oncross-cultural mediation, exploration of religious disputes and conciliation as well as therole of women mediators in conflict situations. Attendees were from across the world including Iraq, Egypt,
Libya, Belgium, US, Canada and Australia.

US Embassy Visit (2013)

On 30th May 2013, representatives from the US Embassyvisited the MWNUK offices to discuss U.S. foreign policy.  Local Muslim women were invited to attend the meeting and asked questions and robustly challenged specific policy issues of concern.  The issues raised by participants included thedrone attacks in Pakistan, therole of US in conflicts around the worldandsale of weapons to states with questionable human rights records.

Musawah Meeting in Cairo (2013)

As a newly appointed member of Musawah's International Advisory group,  Shaista Gohir (Chair of MWNUK), attended a
planning meeting inCairo (18-21 April 2013).  The planning session included moving the secretariat office from Kuala Lumpur to Cairo, fund raising, communications and building and disseminating knowledge.  To find out more about the global Muslim Women's Movement visit Musawah's website

Musawah Global Life Stories Project - Malaysia (2012)

Musawah is a global movement for equality and
justice in the Muslim family. Musawah held a workshop to report back on their Life Stories project. Board Director Mussurut Zia is carrying out on behalf of MWNUK and therefore attended the workshop. The project has 3 components: production of new feminist knowledge that critically engages with classical jurists' interpretations of qiwamah and wilayah; documenting life stories of how qiwamah and wilayah are experienced; and use of quantitative and qualitative data to show the disconnect between law and the socio- economic
realities of Muslim women today.

AWID Forum - Turkey (2012)

In April 2012, MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir,
attended the AWID Forum in Istanbul where 2000 women's rights activists gathered to share experiences on barriers faced and good practice in their contexts.  Shaista also took her 10 year old daughter Aaliyah who interviewed several activists from around the world and wrote a blog about them in a national South Asian newspaper.

Musawah Global Life Stories Project Workshop - Bali (2012)
The Global Life Stories Project, part of the Musawah Knowledge Building Initiative on Qiwamah and Wilayah, began an e-learning circle for the 12 national teams (from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, United Kingdom) participating in the project.  A workshop was held for the participants to discuss the methodology for the research in April 2012.  Mussururt Zia represented MWNUK at the workshop. 
Visit from Acid Survivors Foundation Bangladesh (2012)

Board member, Robina Iqbal , hosted Monira Rahman at the MWNUK office. Monira is the Executive Director of Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), an organisation that has been working on acid violence issues in Bangladesh . She shared stories of women who had been attacked and how this is being tackled. She wants more awareness raised about acid attacks to find out more, please visit:

WISE Muslim Women Conference - Turkey (2011)

WISE held its 3rd global Conference, "Muslim Women Leaders at the Frontlines of Change," in Istanbul, Turkey from October 14 - 17, 2011.  More than 180 Muslim women from 45 countries, which include Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, attended panels on Muslim women's leadership.  The Conference specifically focused on religious & spiritual, political and business & civic leadership, with an emphasis on highlighting how Muslim women are shattering stereotypes by playing significant roles as key leaders in these areas. Faeeza Vaid represented MWNUK at the conference.
Musawah - Indonesia (2010)

MWNUK are a part of the Musawah global movement
( Shaista Gohir and Cassandra Balchin attended an outreach meeting in Indonesia to discuss how advocates from around the world can contribute to building the movement further. MWNUK have volunteered (subject to securing funding) that they can act as co-ordinators between Muslim women's organisations that are based in Western countries as they have similar contexts.

Annual Conference on impact of religious extremism on women's rights - Italy (2010)

In August 2010, Faeeza Vaid, Muslim Women's Coordinator attended the conference that was held at the Agape Ecumenical Centre in Prali, Italy where she presented on Muslim women's specific oppression and Muslim women's rights in the context of religious fundamentalisms.  The conference gave Faeeza an opportunity to deal with the many stereotypes of Muslim women, and to understand better both the oppression and the liberation potential of Islam, specifically for women. She also addressed issues which were particular to an European context.
Hosted a delegation of Turkish journalists (2010)

In December 2010, seven journalists from various media outlets in Turkey visited the MWNUK offices accompanied by representatives from the government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  A discussion was held on issues concerning Muslim women in Britain and other contexts as well as activities carried out by MWNUK.
Musawah Understanding Islam Course - Malaysia (2009)

In August 2009, Faeeza Vaid attended a two week course in Malaysia on Understanding Islam from a Rights Perspective. This course was organised by Musawah (global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family) and was aimed at Muslim female leaders and activists critically involved in working on the rights of women for equality and justice at national, regional and international levels.  The course looked at understanding the dynamic interaction between the Quran and Shariah and the rights framework and to explore possibilities and strategies for reform within the Islamic framework.
WISE Muslim Women Conference - Malaysia (2009)

WISE (Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality) held its second international conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 16 - 19, 2009.  Over 200 women from across the world participated in the conference entitled 'Muslim Women: Building Institutions, Creating Change.'  Faeeza Vaid represented MWNUK at the conference.

Musawah Global Conference (2009)

From 13-17 February 2009, Musawah (movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family) held its first Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Approximately 250 activists, scholars, academics, legal practitioners and policy makers from some fifty countries attended the meeting. Cassandra Balchin (who was on the Musawah planning committee) and Shaista Gohir represented MWNUK.


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