Shaista Gohir OBE
|Shaista Gohir OBE
Shaista is a leading Muslim women's rights activist in the UK. She uses Muslim women's voices and their diverse experiences collected through membership, research and helpline data to promote social justice. She has been doing this through her work at the Muslim Women's Network UK (MWNUK), which she leads as Co-Chair. She has spent the last 15 years growing MWNUK from a handful of volunteers to a nationally renowned charity. She joined MWNUK in 2005 when it was an informal group and became its first employee in 2007. She has led the organisation both as Executive Director (2007-2011) and Chair from 2012 until 2019 when she became Co-Chair so she could dedicate more time to other voluntary activities.
In 2013, Shaista conducted grounding breaking research investigating sexual exploitation of Asian girls and young women in Britain and authored the report, Unheard Voices. As a result of this report she was including on the Office of Children's Commissioner National Inquiry Panel investigating Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment. Due to her expertise she has been a member of numerous government, public body, third sector and international advisory groups to share insights into the experiences of BAME women and girls. Other research she has conduced and reports she has authored include: Female Genital Mutilation - Affected Communities in Birmingham (2016); Muslim Marriage and Divorce in Britain (2016); and Muslim Women's Experience of the Criminal Justice System (2019). In 2015, Shaista set up the Muslim Women's Network Helpline, a national faith and culturally sensitive support service, which now receives calls on 45 different issues and helps over 1200 individuals every year.
In 2020 she was appointed at the Women's Voices Lead at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists where she will ensure that women's voices are heard at all levels and that their experiences are used to strengthen policy and practice to improve women's health. As an influential women's rights campaigner, Shaista also regularly comments in the media and in recognition of her work, she was awarded the OBE in 2016 and the MBE in 2008.
Jess Phillips MP
MWNUK is courageous because of the uncompromising and fearless positions it sometimes takes when calling out injustice and inequality
I am proud to support and champion this fantastic organisation, which is informing policy and transforming lives.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
MWNUK’s authenticity comes from knowledge of lived experiences of Muslim women and girls acquired through their helpline, research and members.
Naz Shah MP
They work tirelessly with passion and commitment to make a difference and improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable women and girls in society.
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimiu
Lawyer, Political & Women's Rights Activist
There is no greater time than now for the voices, representation and power of Muslim women to be visible in the feminist movement and all walks of life. MWNUK is a vital force in delivering this much needed balance and representation.