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MEWSo aims to defend and protect women from violence at home and in the wider community

News & Updates from MEWSo
April 2021

Campaign News

#BanVirginityTests 

A conference by MEWSo

The conference is on Friday 30 April, 4-6.30pm. The tickets are FREE and available from Eventbrite.

Debating the issues will be a mix of medical professionals, activists and politicians, and there will be women's personal testimonies, too.
The panelists include:
  • Dr Ashfaq Khan, a Consultant Gynaecologist for the NHS and in Harley St
  • Dr Ghada Hatem, a Gynaecologist and Founder of La Maison des Femmes
  • Richard Holden, MP, who put forward a private members bill to ban virginity tests
  • Nimco Ali, OBE, Co-Founder & CEO of Five Foundation
  • Natasha Rattu, Director Karma Nirvana
  • Corinne Fortier, Anthropologist & Psychologist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and the Social Anthropology Lab at College de France.  
  • And, Halaleh Taheri, Founder and Executive Director of MEWSo

Staff & Trustees

Great New Trustees Join MEWSo

Following our call out for new trustees, we have been fortunate enough to find some absolutely fabulous women to join the MEWSo Board. Their expert skills and varied life experiences are already having a very positive impact on the organisation, after only a few weeks.

So, we are very pleased to welcome: Maria Sookias, a LGBTQ+ activist, trainer, consultant and former CEO, who has Anglo-Armenian,
Polish Jew and Iranian heritage;  Noella Hacquard, born in Central Africa and raised in South America. She is a social worker and advocate for young people who has worked in France and the UK; Guilene Marco, is a feminist activist and campaigner with a French-Lebanese background; and Dina Elrayyes, an award winning creative who leads a team producing creative and digital content for some of the biggest international companies in the world, such as Google and Samsung.

Over the coming months we hope to introduce them to you properly and find out why they decided they wanted to share their expertise with MEWSo. 

Meet Our New ...

Natasha Feroze is MEWSo's new Campaign Coordinator. If you attended, or watched, our 10-Year Anniversary event on YouTube last summer you may remember Natasha's film "Like A Virgin" where she explored the subject of virginity testing and hymen repair surgery - two of MEWSo's biggest campaigns.

It was during the making of that film that she met Halaleh Taheri, MEWSo's Executive Director, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Read more about Natasha and, in case you missed it, you can find her film here, too.

Service Updates

Easter Break

Some of MEWSo's classes and workshops are currently enjoying an Easter break. 

They are: Mum & Baby Club; Zumba; and the Body & Mind class. All will resume on Monday 19 April, when most of the kids have gone back to school.

All our other workshops will continue as usual. They are: All Things Creative; Conversational English; IT class and our Singing class. Click to see the full range of regular classes.

#IWD2021     #ChooseToChallenge2021

Women's Success Stories from MEWSo

In honour of International Women's Day, and throughout March, we shared the success stories of MEWSo's women, see below. Why not take some time to celebrate your successes, too, because every women has some.

“I am so proud that the organisation I started 10 years ago is able to protect more women and children from harm; that we’ve helped them rebuild their lives, and empowered many more to speak up. I am proud to be surrounded by pioneering, resilient and simply fabulous women helping others when they need help the most.” Halaleh
"Coming from Palestine to the UK was altogether a different experience filled with challenges and difficulties. However, I was able to adapt and conquer all of this to become the first Palestinian to hold a postgraduate degree in Cyber Crimes and Digital Investigations." Aman

“I’m proud that I’ve always been true to myself and have spoken my mind throughout my career, allowing me to succeed without compromise.” Dina

“I am proud to have launched a Mutual Aid group in my local area and to work with an amazing group of 150 volunteers to support our residents during the pandemic.” Guilene

“I’m proud of my ability to dream big, to achieve my goals, to be compassionate, to make a difference, to overcome barriers, to love myself whatever the circumstances, to turn every failure into a success and every weakness into a strength. I’m proud to be a WOMAN! A woman of ambition, resilience, positivity, confidence, love and passion.” Loris
“With over 30 year of activism, fighting inequality and social injustice, I am proud of my stamina. I embrace my rage and discontent, and take solace from those who are also impatient to see a brighter future. Together we will rise.” Maria

“My success is having the freedom to set my own goals, my choice, my way!” Shavonne

“I’m truly proud of all that I’ve managed to achieve in my life against all the odds, and continue to remain enthusiastic and optimistic about the future.” Audrey
“I am truly proud of my campaigning for women’s rights that began when I was 18 and which has shaped everything I do today.” Natasha
"I'm truly proud of myself with all of my choices and all of my life experiences. I'm perfect as I am, which is not being perfect at all!" Gamze

“I am proud that I have overcome so many obstacles in my life and managed to thrive. I am humbled & forever grateful for the opportunities I have been given & continue to receive.” Noella

“I am proud to have always made my own decisions, paying no heed to those saying: “You can't do it! It's not for women!" Sharon

“I'm proud of the part I play in helping women to rebuild their lives in the face of hardship. I'm honoured to have met some incredible women along the way, and immensely proud of the work we do to help those in need." Rose
Read also Halaleh Taheri's interview with the UN's International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which celebrated migrant women's resilience in the face of Covid 19 on International Women's Day. And, her interview on the same subject with IMIX, a team of professional communicators who want to change the conversation about migration and refugees to create a more welcoming society.
By Audrey Thompson, Communications Coordinator
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