Speaking 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 and international events.

Some of these include:

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INVISIBLE: Maternity Experiences of Muslim Women

July 2022


The APPG on Muslim Women launched its report on, ‘INVISIBLE: Maternity Experiences of Muslim Women’ at the House of Commons. The event was chaired by Caroline Noakes MP and speakers were Baroness Shaista Gohir OBE and Donna Ockenden.

The report has accounts from more than 1000 Muslim women with recent experience of maternity services. Their accounts echoed the inequalities existed throughout maternity care and a summary of maternity inequalities experienced by Muslim women were that they are less likely to receive pain relief, more likely to have instrumental birth, labour induction, prolonged labour, excessive blood loss and emergency caesarean. Donna commented on the findings of the report to be “distressing and disturbing”.

Co-chair of the APPG on Muslim Women Naz Shah MP stated, “the culture needs to be shifted - we need to recognise that this report can help address and support issues around maternity safety”.

To address the key findings, there are four calls to action:
• Better Data Collection
• Addressing NHS Process and Workforce Gaps
• Improving Clinical, Interpersonal and Cultural Staff Competence
• Maternal Empowerment

The link to the full report can be found here and the summary report can be read here 

Thank you to all those who attended our event launch and a thank you also to all those who completed the online survey, took part in the interview and focus group. It is clear that “there is a need for change - all those involved in delivering maternity care must not just say they are listening but show they are listening.”

Adult Social Care - Twilight Session

June 2022

MWNUK's Helpline Support Worker and Outreach Worker, Zaheda Vaid collaborated alongside The Learning and Development Service (TLDS) on their Adult Social Care Twilight discussion sessions. 

Zaheda spoke about MWNUK activities and how we support service users through the MWN Helpline to adult social care professionals from Birmingham City Council’s Adult Social Care Directorate and further afield.

Matthew Boulton College drop-in Session

May 2022

MWNUK's Helpline Support Worker and Outreach Worker, Zaheda Vaid spoke to students at Matthew Boulton College. Zaheda advertised MWNUK’s services and support to their learners. 

Asian Carers Support Group

March 2022

MWNUK’s Trustee, Dr Iram Sattar MBE spoke to Asian Carers Support Group at Wandsworth Carers Centre about MWNUK’s work, the MWN Helpline and about the Covid vaccination programme. 

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APPG on Muslim Women - Annual General Meeting

February 2022

MWNUK and the APPG on Muslim Women hosted their Annual General Meeting; the focus of the day was on the importance of improving Muslim women’s experiences of the criminal justice system.

Thank you to Caroline Nokes MP and Naz Shah MP for their work and support as Co-Chairs of #MuslimWomenAPPG. Thank you also to Vice-Chairs Nus Ghani MP and Jess Phillips MP and Officers Apsana Begum MP, Afzal Khan MP and Baroness Hussein-Ece for all your work and support with #MuslimWomenAPPG.

We would like to also thank Katie Kelly from the Ministry of Justice for highlighting how the government plans to achieve a step change in the support that victims receive with a focus on communication, putting victims' code into law, and for more accountability.

Lastly, a thank you to our supporters and members who joined us; we hope you enjoyed the event and found it informative and insightful.

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New Horizons Festival of Women's Rights on ‘Keeping Faith in Feminism’

December 2021

MWNUK’s Advocacy Officer Neelam Rose took part in  Rene Cassin's New Horizons Festival of Women's Rights on ‘Keeping Faith in Feminism’. 

Neelam shared her experience of what it is means to be a Muslim Feminist and how that can be a force of change in Muslim communities. Discussions around race, religion, and intersectionality took place and how to ‘keep faith in feminism’, seeing their communities as vehicles for building a liberated future.




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MP drop in Event with Centenary Action Group

November 2021

MWNUK’s Executive Director Faeeza Vaid met up with Centenary Action Group to

speak with MPs to discuss ILO190 on ending violence and harassment in the workplace and celebrate the UK moving towards ratification. 





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Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into the Rights of Cohabiting Partners

November 2021

Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar gave evidence to the as part of Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into the rights of cohabitees to ensure better rights for cohabiting partners.

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Muslim Mental Health in an Unequal World: Online Conference

October 2021


MWNUK's Executive Director Faeeza Vaid and trustee, Dr Iram Sattar attended an online conference on 'Muslim Mental Health in an Unequal World'.

The pandemic has highlighted serious inequalities present throughout our society - economic, physical health and social. Mental health inequalities are often some of the most significant, but also least explored. MWNUK alongside an alliance of UK Muslim mental health and wellbeing organisations delivered workshops where participants learnt and developed their ability to support the mental health of Muslim communities.  


The Srijoni Exhibition Artists Talk and Q&A

June 2021

MWNUK's co-chair Nazmin Akthar moderated Sangini's event on 'The Srijoni Exhibition Artists' Talk and Q&A'. The event explored the cultural impact and the inspiration behind the work of the women involved.

Engaging Muslim Communities

May 2021

MWNUK's Trustee, Dr Iram Sattar was invited by South West London Area Manager at Place2Be to talk about tips on how to engage with Muslim communities.

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Ramadan Reset Webinar

April 2021 (Virtual)


MWNUK's Executive Director, Faeeza Vaid MBE joined partners in discussing hotbest utilise Ramadan, remembering it is an individual journey. 

Faeeza raised some of the struggles faced with those experiencing mental health issues and abuse.est utilise Ramadan, remembering it is an individual journey. 



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Intimate Image Abuse Consultation Victim Survivor & Victim Support Groups Roundtable

April 2021 (Virtual)


MWNUK's Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar attended the Law Commission's roundtable meeting and shared her views around proposed law reforms to tackle intimate image based abuse.

We are especially keen to ensure that the definition of 'intimate' covers a broad range of scenarios so that religious/cultural factors can be taken into account, and ensure the law recognises that reasons for sharing intimate images may not always be for sexual gratification.

MWNUK will also be responding to the consultation on the issue and urge you all to share your thoughts and experiences. Further details will be available via MWN Hub and the consultation can also be found here: https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/lawcom-prod-storage-11jsxou24uy7q/uploads/2021/03/Intimates-Images-summary-final.pdf

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Covid Vaccine Q&A Session

March 2021 (Virtual)


We hosted our event on, 'Covid Vaccine Q&A Session' with Dr Farzana Hussain, Dr Iram Sattar and Dr Samira Hassan.
The session opened with contextualising Covid-19 and its impact on the UK BAME community. The panel then answered a range of questions, with the answers reiterating:⠀
- Covid Vaccines are Safe⠀
- Covid Vaccines are Effective⠀
- Covid Vaccines are Halaal⠀
- Covid Vaccines are Needed Now⠀

We encourage everyone to have conversations and share resources to ensure more people make more informed decisions about the Covid-19 vaccine. Together we can save lives.⠀
A video of our event will be available on our MWN Hub: https://buff.ly/3cJ6IG3⠀

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Sangini's 50th Bangladesh Independence Day Celebration Event

March 2021 (Virtual)


It was an absolute pleasure for us to attend Sangin's Independence Day celebrations and hear of the fantastic work of their members.
 
Our Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar gave the keynote speech in which she urged all to the respect the gift of independence that has been granted to all Bangladeshis and use our own independence to celebrate the role models in the Bangladeshi community so as to inspire others - and also challenge bad behaviours. This speech is now available as a podcast on @mwnhub: https://soundcloud.com/user-454496265/bangladesh-50-years-in-bengali

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your event. We especially enjoyed all the poetry, music and arts!

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Women Smashing Concrete Ceilings' - Conversation with Professor Farah Bhatti OBE (Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon)

March 2021 (Virtual)


MWNUK and the APPG on Muslim Women hosted their International Women's Day event on, ''Women Smashing Concrete Ceilings' - Conversation with Professor Farah Bhatti OBE (Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon).⠀
Farah spoke about her career, some of the barriers she faced, and how she's continued to challenge. Farah importantly raised that she may be the 'first' to achieve a number of positions in her field, but she absolutely does not want to be the last, and spoke about 'sending the lift down' to others wanting to follow the same path.

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Ethics of iḥsan: Beauty and Goodness in the Muslim Family

January 2021 (Virtual)


MWNUK's Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE joined a super interesting panel discussion on the topic of 'Ethics of iḥsan: Beauty and Goodness in the Muslim Family', hosted by Musawah. ⠀
The webinar featured the work of Amira Abou-Taleb (University of Helsinki) and was moderated by Sarah Marsso (Musawah). Amira's work urges us to centralise 'ihsan' in all our relationships, in order to build a society based on care and support. Faeeza juxtaposed this by highlighting the lived realities of so many who are experiencing the opposite of 'ihsan'. The panel also discussed how we take 'ihsan' from theory into practice. You can view the webinar here - https://buff.ly/2XD0YGy.⠀

Thank you to the speakers who joined the event and to Musawah for hosting.

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The Good, The Bad & The Pandemic: Reflecting on 2020 and looking ahead to 2021

December 2020 (Virtual)


MWNUK's Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE took part in a webinar on, 'The Good, The Bad & The Pandemic: Reflecting on 2020 and looking ahead to 2021'. Faeeza reflected on the past year and the challenges we have faced as individuals, families, communities, as a country, and globally. She also highlighted examples of incredible goodwill. The  rest of the session looked ahead to 2021, and panellists suggested tools to help refocus and manage better.⠀

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Keeping the Faith: What Survivors from Faith Communities Want Us to Know

December 2020 (Virtual)

Understanding the needs of victims is key to ending violence against women and girls as without support and safeguarding, there cannot be prevention and protection.
This is why we were very pleased to speak at this #16Days focused event, held by the Faith & VAWG Coalition, and share details of the holistic approach we take on the
 MWN Helpline to help Muslim women facing or at risk of abuse.

Our Executive Director Faeeza Vaid also made the broader point about promoting diversity and inclusivity, as we feel this goes hand in hand with ending abuse - how can you effect change if you're not hearing from those affected?

As Faeeza said, "we need to look at not only who is not at the table when it is set but who is involved in setting the table. A diverse group of people should be there to set the table from the onset".

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Everyone's Battle, Everyone's Business: Tackling Inequality in Birmingham

November 2020 (Virtual)


MWNUK's Executive Director Faeeza Vaid joined Councillor John Cotton (Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion and Equalities) and Brian Carr (Chief Executive of BVSC) to discuss and review Birmingham City Council's Report 'Everyone's Battle, Everyone's Business: Tackling Inequality in Birmingham'.

Faeeza highlighted the lived experiences of Muslim women who have experienced inequalities, social injustice, and multiple forms of discrimination. She also raised how any Diversity and Inclusion efforts must be more than a tick-box exercise, and truly include diverse voices from the outset.

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The Power of Women's Leadership in Times of Crisis Event

November 2020 (Virtual)


Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE, chaired this event hosted by Big Tent Ideas. Speakers discussed the importance of women and girls equal participation at the UN Climate Change Conference and how diverse women's voices are essential to tackle climate crisis. Partners of the event were CARE International UK, ActionAid, Centenary Action Group, Plan International UK and Women's Environmental Network
.

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Community Practitioners & Health Visitors Associations National Conference

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.





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NPC Ingnites - National Annual Conference

October 2020 (Virtual)


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.

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Charity Governance (Prospectus, NPC and Clothworkers)

September 2020 (Virtual)


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. 

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National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) Police Regional Leads & Stakeholders for Domestic Abuse

September 2020 


Helpline Manager Shameem Hussain attended along with representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service, Home Office, College of Policing, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and the third sector.
 
Discussions included new developments, recommendations, and learnings as well as updates on the new Domestic Abuse Bill, new risk assessment tool, new perpetrator programme, Impact of Covid 19 on reporting DA to the police. Sharing resources, and ideas, learnings, lessons, good practice.

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Tell MAMA's West Midlands Advisory Board

July 2020 


Helpline Manager Shameem Hussain attended this meeting to share MWN Helpline data and lived experiences. Tell MAMA has several regional Advisory Boards across the UK. The aim of these Boards is to not only get members engaged with issues surrounding hate crime and anti-Muslim hatred in their local communities and be local representatives of Tell MAMA, but to also advise Tell MAMA on how we can best support these communities.

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Criminal Justice Alliance - Members Event

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. 

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Support for Pregnant Muslim Women in the West Midlands

April 2020 (Virtual)


Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE spoke at a virtual roundtable with the Chief Midwifery Officer for England, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley Bent. She highlighted the support needed for pregnant Muslim women in West Midlands, the issues and additional barriers faced by Muslim women, and how MWNUK provides support.

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British Pakistan Foundation Social

March 2020


Co-Chair Shaista Gohir OBE shared her journey and the journey of MWNUK at the 'British Pakistan Foundation Social', and discussed the challenges overcome and achieveme
nts made both personally and professionally. 




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Faithful Feminist Conference

March 2020


Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE, delivered a workshop and shared the experiences of Muslim women who access our MWN Helpline at the 'Faithful Feminist Conference', held by the SAFE Communities Project (which is a project of Standing Together Against Domestic Violence),The event also saw the official launch of the Faith & VAWG Coalition.

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Law Commission Roundtable on Laws around Intimate Image Based Abuse

March 2020



Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar shared findings from our research 'Muslim Women's Experiences of the Criminal Justice System' at a roundtable meeting with the Criminal Law Commissioner, Professor Penney Lewis. Nazmin put forward the case to criminalise situations where the fear of victims is exploited, irrespective of whether the content itself is of a sexual nature or not, highlighted the increased risks of harm for BAME victims and the links between intimate image based abuse and grooming gangs and other forms of abuse. 

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#March4Women

March 2020


As part of our International Women's day activities we marched along at Care International UK's 'March4Women', and even met with Jeremy Corbyn along the way! This year, the march celebrated the power and passion of women and girls who are on the frontline of responding to climate change. There were speeches from many inspirational women, including Dr Shola Mos-Shagbammimu, Helen Pankhurst, Bianca Jagger, Himesh Patel, Nicola Coughlan, Nikita Gill and Jude Kelly CBE, and music from Emeli Sande, Raye, Bond and the Urban Voices Collective.

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National Refugee Women's Conference

February 2020

Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE spoke at the conference in Birmingham organised by 'Women for Refugee Women'. Women for Refugee Women launched their new research that documents the experiences of over 100 destitute asylum-seeking women. Faeeza spoke on how cases for refugees and asylum seekers is often complex, how more resource is needed, and we can together help rebuild livewith dignity.

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The UK Women's Budget Group's Commission on a Gender-Equal Economy Event

February 2020


Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE participated at the Women's Budget Group Commission on a Gender-Equal Economy event, discussing the issues faced by women in the North of England and the policy interventions that have helped, or could help, to address these. She highlighted the particular issues faced by BAME women.


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Angelou Centre Conference

December 2019


Our Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar attended and spoke at Angelou Centre at their Rethinking Safeguarding conference. Drawing on case studies from our report 'Muslim women's experiences of the 
Criminal Justice System', she discussed various flaws including police delays causing loss of confidence.

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Victims Commissioner Meeting

December 2019


Executive Director Faeeza Vaid MBE and Co-Chair Nazmin Akthar had a meeting with Victims Commissioner Dame Vera Baird to discuss findings from our report, 'Muslim Women and  the Criminal Justice System', and actions that can be taken to address the issues raised.

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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.

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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. 


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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.


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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). 





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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.







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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 'mighty' impact regardless of the challenges.






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#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.






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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. 








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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.

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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. 




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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.

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#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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.







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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.






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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 Women’s 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.

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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.





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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.







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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.

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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.


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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.







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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.






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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.





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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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