Events

 
We regularly hold our own events and receive diverse requests to speak at events by a diverse range of organisations which include:
  • Muslim women's groups
  • faith groups
  • secular women's groups
  • local authorities
  • police
  • schools
  • universities
  • arts and film festivals
  • international events

Some of these include:

 
Community Practitioners & Health Visitors Associations National Conference
5th November 2020 (Virtual)

MWNUK Co-Chair Shaista Gohir spoke at the national annual conference about how health visitors and community nurses can better meet the needs of Muslim women when providing healthcare during and after pregnancy, especially identifying signs of domestic abuse and mental health concerns.




 
NPC Ingnites - National Annual Conference

14th October 2020 (Virtually)


The panel that MWNUK Co-Chair spoke on was Chaired by NPC trustee Delroy Corinaldi - Trustee of NPC.

Other speakers included: 

Baroness Barran (Minister for Civil Society)

Cassie Robinson (National Lottery Fund)

Julian McCrae (Engage Britain)

Caroline Abrahams (Director of Age UK)

Shaista spoke about how MWNUK has been recovering and rebuilding during the Covid pandemic including identifying and harnessing opportunities and also how we are making better use of technology to improve and change the way we reach Muslim women.
 
Charity Governance (Prospectus, NPC and Clothworkers)
29th September 2020 (virtually)

Prospectus, NPC and Clothworkers held a joint event on Charity Governance.  The event was Chaired by the Executive Chair of Prospectus, David Gold.   MWNUK Co-Chair Shaista Gohir spoke at the event about board response during  the first 8 weeks from lockdown and what changed in the ways of working with Muslim women. 
 
Criminal Justice Alliance - Members Event
13 July 2020 (Virtual)

Shaista Gohir, Co-Chair of MWNUK spoke at 
the Criminal Justice Alliance held virtually about the needs of  Muslim women in the criminal justice system particularly in the light of the Covid pandemic. She also highlighted some of the findings and recommendations from the MWNUK report on 'Muslim Women's Experience of the Criminal Justice System, which she authored. The keynote speaker at the event was Alex Chalk MP, the Justice Minister
with responsibility for race disparity, victims 
and domestic violence. 
 
Muslims in the Criminal Justice System Conference
June 2019

At this event hosted by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, who funded the research for MWNUK's report 'Muslim Women’s Experiences of the Criminal Justice System,' Shaista Gohir spoke about the specific challenges (e.g. language barriers, lack of cultural awareness) faced by Muslim women encountering the criminal justice system. The report, which was informed by the experiences of women who access the MWN Helpline, was launched at the event and Shaista also took part in a panel discussion. Other speakers included Maqsood Ahmed OBE (Director of Muslim Hands), Zubeda Limbada (Director of Connect Futures) and Minister Edward Argar MP (Under Secretary for Justice).

Read the full report here.

 
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: Is Interculturalism the Answer?
June 2019

Our Interim Executive Director, Shaista Gohir spoke at a conference in Turin 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.



 
This Muslimah Can
June 2019

Our Helpline Support & Outreach Worker Zaheda Vaid spoke at this event organised by Walsall Women’s Forum. Zaheda spoke about the MWN Helpline and the unique service it offers to Muslim women. The event included entertainment, stalls and talks by other inspiring Muslim women from all walks of life and was hosted by Eniyah Rana (@Modest Street). 






 
Doing Politics, Changing Society
March 2019

Our Interim Executive Director, Shaista Gohir was one of the panellists at the final event of the Doing Politics, Changing Society programme, run in partnership with the University of Warwick. At this event the programme participants presented the campaigns they had been working on throughout the programme and a panel of experts in their field discussed the campaign topics. Shaista spoke about the misconception of ‘honour’ and what we can do oppose the oppression women face because of it.

View photos of the event here.










 
Think Inspire Create IWD Event
March 2019

Think Inspire Create invited our Chair Nazmin Akthar to speak at an event for female leaders and role models to mark International Women's Day. At the event held at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, Nazmin spoke about MWNUK and the work we do to effect change. She talked about the struggles we face as a small charity - and how we use the resources we do have in an ethical and effective manner to have a ‘mighty’ impact regardless of the challenges.






 
#March4Women International Women’s Day Event
March 2019

At an uplifting event made up of speeches and entertainment, to bring attention to this year’s theme of fighting harassment in the workplace, our Interim Executive Director Shaista Gohir took part in a panel discussion hosted by Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey. Shaista and the other panellists (Leyla Hussein and Gina Martin) spoke about challenging the law on gender equality issues throughout their careers. There were speeches from many inspirational women, including Annie Lennox, Helena Bonham Carter and Helen Pankhurst, and music from Beverley Knight, Imelda May and the Urban Voices Collective.








 
We Rise Launch
March 2019

MWNUK’s Interim Executive Director Shaista Gohir chaired panel discussions at the launch of We Rise, a community organisation that aims to empower Muslim women, challenge injustice and strengthen society by confronting the interlinked problems of racism, sexism and extremism. The discussions were on topics such as Islamic feminism, barriers to women’s empowerment and our role in combatting extremism. 










 
HARM Launch
July 2018

MWNUK’s Executive Director Faeeza Vaid spoke at the launch of the Honour Abuse Research Matrix (HARM), a multi-disciplinary, global network which will bring together groups and individuals to advance new and innovative research, policy and practice to combat honour-based abuse and killings. Faeeza spoke about the MWN Helpline and how it is a free, safe space to raise information or concerns around HBA for onward referral.


 
Ask Her To Stand
July 2018

MWNUK partnered with the Fawcett Society at an event for women interested in getting into public life. We took a group of women from our 'Doing Politics, Changing Society' programme to the cross-party panel discussion about the barriers facing women. Our Chair Shaista Gohir spoke at one of the practical workshops, sharing her experiences about entering public life. 





 
Women Equality & Faith Conference
March 2018

To celebrate International Women's Day, MWNUK’s Executive Director, Faeeza Vaid, chaired an interfaith panel, at a day conference exploring issues of gender equality in faith spaces and the interfaith arena. The conference was open to women and men from all faiths and none, who want to see everyone able to participate fully in faith communities.



 
#March4Women
March 2018

MWNUK were official partners of Care International UK's #March4Women. We marched for gender equality and justice with thousands of women. Our delegation included sisters from Blackburn and Birmingham and two fantastic female dhol payers from Xclusive Dhol. Our Executive Director Faeeza Vaid spoke at the rally after the march and told the crowd, "either we stand for all, or we all fall."

View photos of the event here.



 
Muslim Hands (In)Visibility Report Launch
February 2018

Our Chair Shaista Gohir was a keynote speaker at Muslim Hands UK's event, at which they launched their report on Muslim women in prison. The research study looked at the experiences, resettlement needs, identities and criminogenic contexts of female Muslim prisoners across seven women’s prison estates in England. The reports aims to bring unheard voices to the fore and fill in the gaps in knowledge in this area.




 
Women's Aid National Conference
July 2017

Women’s Aid held their national conference on 5th and 6th July at the University of Warwick where MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir delivered a workshop on ‘Working with Women of Faith’ with Naomi Dickson, CEO of Jewish Women’s Aid.  Shaista focussed on how the voluntary sector could better respond to the needs of Muslim women, the importance of faith to Muslim women and the diversity in practice. She also explained Islamic feminism and the need for different types of feminist approaches to work together.


 
MWN Helpline Conference
May 2017

MWNUK held a conference to promote the MWN Helpline, aimed at other service-providers in the West Midlands. The event was chaired by our Executive Director Faeeza Vaid. It presented statistics from the 2017 evaluation of the helpline and featured talks about the various elements that make up the service. As well as members of MWNUK staff, speakers included the Lord Mayor of Birmingham - Councillor Carl Rice, Judge Jinder Boora, Councillor Paulette Hamilton and a young woman who was personally helped by the MWN Helpline.

View photos of the event here.



 
Domestic Abuse: Do Faith Communities Help of Hinder Victims
Board of Deputies of British Jews
March 2017


For International Women's Day the Board of Deputies of British Jews held an event at the House of Commons on how faith communities tackle domestic violence.  MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir was asked to speak at the event to share learning from the MWN helpline. Other speakers included: Naomi Dickson (CEO of Jewish Women's Aid), Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader), Alison Saunders (Director of Public Prosecutions) and Louise Ellman MP (Deputy for the Jewish Labour Movement). The event was chaired by Jane Garvey (Radio 4 Women's Hour presenter).

 
Islamic Feminist Movement in the UK (Save the Chidren)
March 2017

Save the Children held internal events for our staff called the Festival of Feminism over the week of International Women's Day. MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir was invited on the 8th March to speak about the Islamic Feminist Movement in the UK.



 
Feminism, Faith and Spirituality (Imkaan)
November 2016

Apna Haq organised an event in partnership with Imkaan in Manchester on 21st November 2016 to explore the importance of faith based feminism and how this can be overlooked by some secular feminists.  Speakers also included Marai Larasi (ED of Imkaan), Zlakha Ahmed (CEO Apna Haq), Polly Neate (CEO Women's Aid), Naomi Dickson (CEO Jewish Women's Aid).  MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir also spoke at the event and spoke about some of the issues addressed by Muslim feminists and how faith issues can be overlooked.
 
Women's Leadership Summit (Birmingham City Council)
November 2016

Birmingham City Council organised an event on 28th November 2016 on women's leadership.  Women from diverse backgrounds and from senior leadership positions spoke about their experiences and also shared advice.  The event was attended by diverse women.  MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir chaired the panel of women in senior leadership roles and posed questions such as best practice in their organisations, why women aren't recognised as leaders and call to action for Birmingham Council.


 
Understanding Muslim Family Law (Association of Muslim Lawyers)
October 2016

The Association of Muslim Lawyers held an event in partnership with the Law Society on 13th October 2016 on the marital status of Muslim women and the role of Shariah Councils.  MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir spoke at the event on how Muslim women were being used as political footballs by the government, Shariah Councils and anti faith activists including secular womens rights groups.


 
Religious Freedom - Muslim Marriages: Know Your Rights (City Circle)
October 2016

City Circle in partnership with Charles Russell Speechlys Law firm held and event at the House of Lords on 11th October 2016 and focussed on the two shariah inquiries including the key issues faced by Muslim women. The event was chaired by Baroness Berridge and other speakers included Sir Mark Hedley (former High Court judge and recently appointed to the Home Office Sharia Law review panel), Grant Howell (Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys), Dr Samia Bano (Lecturer at SOAS University) and Nusrat Ghani MP (Home Affair Select Committe). MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir also spoke at the event.
 
Does Local Government Work for Women? (Fawcett)
October 2016

Fawcett and the LGiU commissioned the Centre for Women and Democracy on why women remain underrepresented as councillors in local government.  As a part of this investigation they held an event in Birmingham on 4th October 2016 to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference on this issue. Speakers included local councillors to share their experiences.  MWNUK Chair Shaista Gohir was invited to speak on the barriers faced by Muslim women in particular given MWNUK's open letter to the Labour Party on 'biradari' politics.


 
ENAR Symposium- Muslim Women, Forgotten Women- Understanding the Gender Dimension of Islamophobia (Brussels)
May 2016

On the 26th May MWNUK ED Faeeza Vaid attended the event held by European Network Against Racism (ENAR), and facilitated a workshop on 'Victim-centred approaches and building trust: to counter sexism and Islamophobia.' Faeeza highlighted the MWN Helpline as an example of how the experiences of women fully inform the research, advocacy and campaigning work we do. The symposium presentated the results of a two-year project on the multiple discrimination affecting Muslim women in eight EU countries. It was attended by others from different feminist and race equality organisations across Europe, as well as several European Policy influencers.
 
Forced Marriage Conference - Birmingham
March 2016

On the 19th March, MWNUK partnered with St Alban's Academy in Birmingham to raise awareness of forced marriage. We made a contribution from an FCO grant.







 
Zero Tolerance to FGM
City Circle
February 2016



On 5th February 2016, City Circle hosted a panel discussion on FGM and how to safeguard girls and women.  MWNUK National FGM lead and Helpline Manager, Shahin Ashraf was one of the panelists.






 
Forced Marriage Awarenes Raising Events
May - June 2015

We received funding from the government's Department of Local Government and Communities to hold a series of awareness raising events. The following events were held:

Rotherham (20th May 2015)
In partnership with Apna Haq (view photos here)

Manchester (21st May 2015)
In partnership with Awaaz Women's Group / ITC Centre (view photos here)

Rochdale (7th June 2015)
In partnership with Light of Islam Academy (view photos here)

Nottingham (11th June 2015)
In partnership with Nottingham Muslim Women's Network (view photos here)

Bradford (13th June 2015) - In partnership with Sharing Voices (view photos here)

 
Summit on FGM - Birmingham
March 2014


MWNUK partnered with St, Albans School and FORWARD to organise a local Summit on FGM in Birmingham, which brought together young people, community members, traditional and faith leaders, youth champions, practitioners, front-line staff, safeguarding, schools, police, nurses and doctors who pledged commit to 'ending FGM within a generation.'

You can view photos of event here.



 
DCLG Integration Roadshow
March 2015

On the 3rd March Faeeza Vaid spoke on a panel with Lord Ahmad at DCLG Integration Roadshow Birmingham City University hosted a national debate on integration in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government. It was a chance for the local population to engage with academics and policy-makers on the issues at the heart of daily life in Birmingham.What is the role of faith in our schools? How can we promote tolerance and respect in the city? What part can local media play in strengthening the message?

 
Musawah Global Seminar - London
March 2015




MWNUK contributed to the Public Seminar event hosted by Musawah (global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family) on Saturday 7th March in London. The event was supported by the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law at SOAS, University of London, and the Study of Religions Unit at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki. The full-day seminar will discussed key insights from Musawah's latest publication,'Men in Charge? Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition' (Oneworld, 2015). MWNUK Board member, Mussurut Zia shared our global life stories research.





 
CSE Awareness Raising Events
October 2014 to March 2015

We were awarded funding by the Barrow Cadbury Trust to deliver 6 event to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation mainly in Asian / Muslim communities (including to front line professionals).  The aim was to particularly raise awareness of our report, Unheard Voices: Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Young Women.  The events were held in:

Birmingham (20th October 2014) - In partnership with the 7 local authorities (especially Birmingham City Council) in the West Midlands and West Midlands Police
View photos of the event here.

Bradford (31st October 2014) - In partnership with QED-UK and Just West Yorkshire
View photos of the event here.

Rotherham (6th November 2014) - In partnership with Apna Haq
View photos of the event here.

Blackburn (2nd March 2015) - In partnership with Practical Solutions
View photos of the event here.

London (10th March 2015 - In partnership with Maryam Centre (East London Mosque)
View photos of the event here.

Newcastle (16th March 2015) - In partnership with Women Interfaith Network (North East)
View photos of the event here.
 
MWNUK at the Girls Summit
July 2014

On 22 July 2014, the UK hosted the first  Girl Summit  , aimed at mobilising domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation  (FGM)  and child, early and forced marriage  (CEFM)  within a generation. UNICEF co-hosted the event. MWNUK National Network Coordinator and Chaplain  Shahin Ashraf  spoke at the prestigious event on the  Faith Leaders Panel. She emphasised the important role of faith leaders in tackling issues of injustice against girls, what more faith leaders could be doing, and honestly highlighted the barriers she faced as a female 'faith leader'.
 
Muslim Women's Activism Conference
June 2014

On the 26th June 2014, MWNUK presented a panel called  'Muslim Women Challenging Beliefs' at Derby University's 'Muslim Women's Activism Conference.' Presentations were made by Dr. Laura Zahra McDonald (in absentia) on 'A case for theological framing as a precursor to grassroots change,' Shaista Gohir highlighted Anti-Women Hadith, and Faeeza Vaid presented MWNUK and the global movement Musawah as examples of activists using holistic frameworks of gender just Islamic law, Human Rights and Islamic Feminism.

 
Faith Leaders Panel at Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit
June 2014


The UK Foreign Secretary , William Hague, and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees , Angelina Jolie , hosted the 'End Sexual Violence in Conflict' Summit in London between 10-13 June 2014. On 11t hJune a panel was held on the role of faith leaders in preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict.  MWNUK Coordinator and Chaplain Shahin Ashraf was a panelist and contributed on how faith leaders can get involved more.  She was approached by Angelina Jolie who commended her on her presentation.

 
Mediation and Arbitration Conference
June 2014

A seminar organised by Dr Samia Bano was held at SOAS on the
10th June 2014 to explore issues of gender equality and justice in family law disputes.  International speakers drew upon critical feminist and Muslim feminist literature, empirical research and legal practice to and presented on the ways in which such dispute resolution mechanisms are conceived and understood by women as primary users.  MWNUK Vice Chair Nazmin Akthar was also a panelist and she shared the types of enquiries we receive at Muslim Womens Network UK highlighting their experiences with Shariah Councils.

 
International Women's Day Events
March 2014


MWNUK presented our role modelling exhibitions at a number of events to celebrate IWD, including to students at South City College in Birmingham, at the Salaam Festival at New Art Gallery in Walsall, and Babington College in Leicester.


 
CSE Event - Nottingham Muslim Women's Network
April 2014

On 16th April, Nottingham Muslim Women's Network held an event to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation of Asian girls amongst communities and professionals.  MWNUK Chair, Shaista Gohir, presented the Unheard Voices report at the event.  Other presentations included those from Nottinghamshire Police, NSPCC and the Green Academy Trust.  Another MWNUK member, playwright and poet,Emteaz Hussainrecited a poem on the issue. The event was so popular that it was oversubscribed with 80 participants.  The event also made it into the local media such as ITV East Midlands and theNottingham Post.
 
Misogyny Conference
January 2014

On 26th January MWNUK ED Faeeza Vaid spoke at The Deen Institute's Misogyny Conference, raising questions about women's authority in Islam. The conference included presentations from other academics, including Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Professor Tariq Ramadan and Mariam Francois-Cerrah.

 
Awarenes Raising in Schools (Forced Marriage, Exploitation and Role Models)
December 2013



Chair, Shaista Gohir was invited to speak at an awards evening at Moseley Secondary School in Birmingham.  They also displayed our Big Sister Role Model Exhibitions at their school for 2 weeks.  She also spoke at Handsworth Wood Girls Academy on forced marriages and exploitation.





 
Samar Minallah - Forced Marriages
December 2013



On 2nd Dec 2013, MWNUK hosted Samar Minallah, an award winning documentary maker & human rights activist from Pakistan. We played her documentary on forced marriages, 'Poles Apart: Chains do not keep Marriages Together,' This was followed by a QA session and debate.

You can view photos from the event here.




 
The Asian Silence on Violence Against Women
November 2013

On 28th November 2013, a special debate was
hosted at the BBC in Birmingham by presenter Ritula Shah who spoke to key thinkers and activists about events in South Asia, such as the rape case in Delhi and the shooting of Malala, and whether they are influencing gender issues in South Asian communities in the UK. The debate also asks if there is a silence when it comes to domestic violence, if women are colluding in the silence, and if there is a British Asian feminism. Main panelists included Chair of MWNUK, Shaista Gohir, Rahila Gupta  (Southall Black Sisters) and academic Dr Aisha Gill with contributions from an audience of about 30 activists.  Shaista raised concerns about Asian women being murdered in domestic violence incidents in Britain who do not get the
same attention as victims from abroad. You can listen to the debate here.

 
CSE Awareness Raising Event
November 2013



On 28th Nov 2013, MWNUK partnered with Small Health Community Forum in Birmingham and organised an event to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation where we presented findings from our UNHEARD VOICES report. West Midlands Police, Barnardos and local imam Shaykh Aslam also presented.

You can view photos from the event here.







 
Women's Rights in Afghanistan
September 2013

MWNUK was invited to share concerns about women's rights in Afghanistan at two events at a conference held at SOAS (on 9th September) and at the University of Durham (on 19th September).  Shaista Gohir Chair of MWNUK presented on how rights were being reversed and what action needed to be taken to improve rights.  Representatives from the Afghan government also were present at the events,who were challenged on the rate of progress on women's rights.

 
Unheard Voices Report Launch
September 2013

Our ground breaking report, Unheard Voices:
Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Young Women, was launched at the House of Commons on 10th September 2013.  Speakers included Baroness Warsi, Sadiq Khan MP, Sue Berolowitz, Nazir Afzal and Ibrahim Mogra.  The event was Chaired by Ratna Lachman.

You can view the report here.

You can view photos of the event here.
 
Saudi Poet Nimah Nawwab
November 2012


MWNUK hosted renowned Saudi poet Nimah Ismail Nawwab at the Drum theatre in Birmingham. She shared poems from her new book Canvas of the Soul and how events, politics and women's rights influence her writings. Nimah was joined by Birmingham poet, Saleha Begum,who also read from her debut collection.

You can view photos of the event here.


 
Daughters of Eve - Bradford
May 2011



National Muslim women's event organised by the Bradford Muslim Women's Council. MWNUK was invited to speak at event on child protection and co-facilitate a workshop on raising aspirations.

You can view photos of the event here.







 
Inspirational Muslim Women - Event in Loughborough
January 2011

An event organised by Human Rights and Equalities (Charnwood) and held in Loughbourough. MWNUK showcased role model exhibitions and spoke at the event.

You can view photos from event here.






 
North London Muslim Women's Network Event
November 2010

North London Muslim Women's Network Event
MWNUK was invited to speak at the event on: Muslim women challenging extremism.

You can view photos from the event here.





 
Women's Voices, Women's Rights - Southampton
March 2010



An event organised by the Workers Educational Association.  MWNUK was invited to showcase exhibitions, speak and run a workshop.

You can view photos from the event here.







 

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