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

News & Views from MEWSo

Nov/Dec 2020

Happy Holidays

"I know we're all desperate for 2020 to come to an end. However despite the pandemic and all the problems it has thrown up, this year, MEWSo has broken some significant milestones in its 10-year history.
"We've managed to keep going; moved our entire operation online; celebrated our 10th anniversary; expanded our services
and the number of women we reach; held our first major conference on an issue close to our hearts and have plans for several more; we've expanded the MEWSo team, made use of our technology, and broadened our network of stakeholders, partnerships and friends. 

We're looking forward to 2021 with vigour and optimism, especially now that there are vaccines being perfected. "So, here's wishing you all a very, very Happy Holidays and a peaceful, pandemic-free New Year."

Halaleh Taheri
MEWSo Executive Director


All Things Arts & Crafts at our Arts Festival!

Coming up in the New Year, MEWSo will be holding its first Arts Festival and we are looking for talented women who want to exhibit their work ... and not just from our clients.
The festival will be online - on Zoom and live on YouTube - as it's still likely to be several months before we can all meet up again in person. More details about dates & links will be coming soon.
The artwork can be anything you want: from collages, prints, photographs, paintings, abstracts and sculptures to needlework, knitting and music. Whichever way you choose to express your artistic side will be very welcome. So don't be shy! Be proud of your work and come show it off.
However, we'd also love your help! From those who can afford it. To help make sure that as many women as possible are able to take part in the festival, we are asking for donations to buy a variety of art materials.
The more we raise, the better our chances of getting additional funding from the local authority. So, please donate whatever you can - £1 or £2 - and give lots more women the chance to take part. Thank you.
Abstract paintings by MEWSo's arts & crafts facilitator Sodabeh


We are on the look out for passionate, enthusiastic women, keen to give something back to the community, who would love to share their expertise.
We are particularly keen to hear from women who: 
have lived experience in one or more of the issues we support; have experience working with minority communities or have a minority background themselves; or who are residents of, or familiar with the voluntary sectors in Islington and/or Westminster.
Email us a covering letter explaining why you want to be a trustee and how you can contribute to one or more areas of our expertise. For lots more information, please visit our website.

Campaign News


MEWSo is featured as part of ROSA's #16DaysofActivism campaign. The UK Fund for Women and Girls is highlighting our work to ban virginity testing and educate women and girls against hymenoplasty surgery. Learn more about our campaign to stamp out this misogynistic, controlling practice.

The #16DaysofActivism begins with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 Nov) and ends with International Human Rights Day (10 Dec). Click the link above for our latest message and lend your support to the issue by using #16DaysofActivism on your social media.

BBC Investigates Virginity Tests

MEWSo also features in a BBC Newsbeat investigation into virginity tests sold by UK clinics.
As part of the channel's 100 Women 2020 season, Halaleh Taheri explains the MEWSo campaign to ban virginity testing and hymenoplasty surgery, but also the urgent need to educate the communities affected to truly stamp out the practice for good.

Migrant Women: Conference Success

MEWSo's conference on migrant women: Violence, Slavery OR Deportation, proved a great success with almost 60 people in the Zoom room and many more watching live on our YouTube channel.

Thank you to all those who asked questions and shared their ideas. We look forward to organising more campaign conferences in the future on subjects that matter deeply to our communities.
Islington Now
MEWSo featured in the online newspaper, calling for more diversity among charity trustees. Halaleh Taheri, MEWSo's Executive Director said charities need more BAME trustees because organisations need to appeal to more women and minority communities. The glass ceiling, she said, is everywhere, but when it comes to BAME communities "it's thicker".

Partnerships & Projects

CAMHS Islington

In the new year, MEWSo advisers will be working with Islington's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), which supports the emotional health and wellbeing of children, young people and families in the borough.
Our advisers will be taking part in the Trauma Workshops, learning how best to support families suffering trauma due to domestic abuse.

Monthly Legal Surgeries on Zoom

A new partnership with Duncan Lewis Solicitors means MEWSo is now able to provide monthly surgeries for five or six women at a time to discuss their legal issues. The surgeries are free of charge.
The law practice, which serves clients in over 25 areas of law throughout England and Wales, will hold surgeries offering family and child advice. As places are limited those with the most pressing needs will be given priority. Email us to be put on the list. The date of the next surgery will be announced in our client WhatsApp groups.

Nikah: Unregistered Marriages

This month, MEWSo begins collaborating on a project with Southall Black Sisters about the Nikah, the religious marriage not considered legal in the UK.
The project, which also relates to MEWSo's Polygamy Matters campaign, hopes to gather up-to-date information on how widespread the situation is today, the difficult hardship it continues to place on "wives" and how best to combat it.

Service Updates

New Workshop to Exercise Body & Mind

MEWSo's new workshop, Body & Mind, includes storytelling, gentle yoga and mindfulness exercises to calm any turbulent thoughts.

Taking place every Wednesday, from 11am to 12.30pm, it's your chance to combine emotional release with mild physical exertion. Both helping to restore your equilibrium.

For more information, email: or call: 07579 801 366.

Our Condolences

We're very sorry to hear that last month we lost our dear friend Sharbanoo Gharjedaghi to the coronavirus.

She came to the UK in 2000 as a single mother from Iran and was a client of MEWSo for the past six years. She took part in most of our workshops and loved music, dancing, singing and art.

She leaves behind her two adult daughters. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends, both here and in Iran. She will be greatly missed.

Sharbanoo Gharjedaghi, 1943-2020.
Newsletter compiled by Audrey Thompson, MEWSo Communications Coordinator
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Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation · Durham Road Resource Centre · 86 Durham Road · London, London N7 7DT · United Kingdom

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