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

News & Views from MEWSo

February 2021

Call Out For New Trustees

We are looking for new passionate and enthusiastic trustees to replace several of our wonderful board members who, after several years, are retiring or moving onto pastures new. If you're able to dedicate a few hours of your time, four times a year, and are willing to share the wealth of your expertise to help us improve and grow, then please consider becoming a MEWSo trustee. Click here for details.

Campaign News

#BanVirginityTests

Our petition to get virginity tests banned in the UK is one of MEWSo's major campaigns in supporting the human rights of women and girls. Please, just take a moment to sign it, and share the link with as many women and men as you can. 

This Medieval and barbaric practice continues to go on in the UK, despite the World Health Organisation declaring it mentally and physically harmful to girls and young women, and a violation of their human rights.
MEWSo Executive Director, Halaleh Taheri, has been calling for such a ban for many years now, along with a ban on hymenoplastic ("virgin-repair") surgeries. The subject is beginning to gather publicity and so her views are being quoted in national newspapers such as the Daily Mail, on the BBC website and other major media outlets.

To build on this, we will be holding an online conference to explore why virginity testing is so engrained in some conservative communities, and discuss how we can best gather momentum to change these attitudes and instigate a change the law.
Look out for conference details in upcoming newsletters and learn more about MEWSo's campaign here: #BanVirginityTests.

Events

MEWSo Arts Festival:
Showcasing the Artistic Talents of Migrant Women
The festival will give many under- and mis-represented women the chance to showcase their talents and tell their unique stories through their art, whatever that might be: abstract paintings, portraits, sculptures, needlework, music, song, even puppetry.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us raise the funds so that the festival could take place, in particular Westminster City Council.

The money has been used to buy art materials and paints for up to 50 of our clients so that they can take part in the festival and our workshops.
Watch the event live on the MEWSo Youtube channel on Friday 19 February, 11am-2pm. Email:  artsfestival@mewso.org for a link to the live event.

Award

Thank you to the Community Integration Awards for choosing MEWSo as Winner of its 2021 Equality, Access & Rights award.

In a speech during the online award ceremony, Executive Director, Halaleh Taheri, said: "This prize
belongs to our team of pioneering women who, because of their passion and resilience, have made our clients - vulnerable women and children - a top priority and they look after them professionally and with compassion. I appreciate you giving MEWSo this award and for your trust in our organisation."

Service Updates

Zumba is back! And with added oompf! All kinds of rhythms and styles of dance will be encouraged in this class to help mix it up a bit while we're all still locked-down. 

It'll feature Arabic music, Salsa, Turkish and Persian music and more, and is suitable for women of all ages and abilities. Every Tuesday, 2-3.30pm.
All Things Creative is the new name for our art & crafts workshop, as now it includes activities such as needlework, cooking and even pilates. It's the perfect workshop for women who like being active and learning practical new skills at the same time.

Still every Tuesday, 11am-12.30pm. Spread the word.
New to our regular workshops is Sing, for Farsi-speaking women who take their singing seriously. 

The class offers good practice exercises and routines for developing one's singing voice, and, of course, the opportunity to sing with others, feel good about yourself and have a little fun. Every Thursday, 3-4.30pm.
Finally, in our new stable of classes is our Mum & Baby Club, for Arabic-speaking women.

Facilitated by our Senior Domestic Abuse Advisor, Zahra Habri, this is a chance for mothers with babies or very young children to chat, share ideas and their experiences with others from similar situations and backgrounds. Monday's 12noon-1pm.
Feel free to share any information about our workshops with family, friends, colleagues and clients. For more information about all of MEWSo's workshops, email: office@mewso.org or call: 07579 801 366.

Covid-19 Vaccinations: Let's Talk

Westminster City Council understands that many people in BAME communities view the Covid-19 vaccinations with suspicion. So, on Wednesday 3 February at 6.30pm, there will be an open discussion event where people can ask questions and share their concerns with a panel of health experts and community representatives.

The panel will also include:  Lord Simon Woolley CBE, Founder of Operation Black Vote; Prof. Kevin Fenton, Regional Director at Public Health England, and Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of the Council.

The discussion will be live-streamed on the council’s Facebook page, website and YouTube channel. You can submit questions prior to the event on the Eventbrite registration form. There will also be an opportunity to ask the panel questions during the event if you are watching on the council's Facebook page. Find out more and register your interest in attending here.
Written by Audrey Thompson, MEWSo Communications Coordinator
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Durham Road Resource Centre,
86 Durham Road,
London N7 7DT

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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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