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MEWSo aims to defend and protect women from violence both at home and in the wider community
International Women's Day at MEWSo 2019

MEWSo celebrated International Women's Day with it's service users in Islington and Westminster as well as with Cripplegate Foundation in Islington. The celebrations spanned 2 weeks culminating in a fantastic event in the Andover Community Centre in Finsbury Park which was brought together by the Finsbury Park Women's Network, a combination of around ten organisations representing the diverse range of communities in the Finsbury Park area. Women of different ethnicities came together in traditional dress to celebrate women through singing, dancing and eating amazing home made food.

"It is no longer enough to point out what we don't like, we have to work out what sort of society do we want?"
Sheila Rowbotham: 1943 – present

Sheila Rowbotham is a British socialist feminist theorist and writer. She produced numerous studies and articles arguing that as women's oppression is a result of both economic and cultural forces then a dualist perspective (socialist feminism) that examines both the public and private sphere is required to work towards liberation.
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News at MEWSo
Halaleh Taheri, Founder and Director of MEWSo, was awarded a certificate of appreciation for her outstanding and excellent service in the community by the Arab Cultural Forum on International Women's Day - 8th March. 
MEWSo Services
Current Services

 
Advice and Guidance

One-to-one sessions by appointment
Available Monday - Friday 10am-4pm
Location: Durham Road Resource Centre, Finsbury Park
Languages: Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic and English

One-to-one sessions by appointment
Available Wednesday 10am-4pm
Location: Church Street Neighbourhood Centre, Cherwell House, Penfold Street NW8 8PT
Languages: Farsi and English

 
Olive Club
 
Every Monday
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm 
Location: Wood Green Library, Haringey
Languages: English, Farsi and Kurdish
Activities: Social club with a variety of activities specified by service users
Refreshments provided

 
Olive Club
 
Every Saturday
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm 
Location: Durham Road Resource Centre, Finsbury Park
Languages: English, Farsi, Kurdish and Arabic
Activities: Social club with a variety of activities specified by service users
Refreshments provided
Children welcome!

 
Olive Club
 
Every Sunday
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm
Location: Edmonton Green Shopping Centre, Enfield
Languages: English, Farsi, Kurdish and Arabic
Activities: Social club with a variety of activities specified by service users
Refreshments provided


Pilates 
 
Every Friday
Time: 11am - 1pm
Locations: Finsbury Park Community Rooms, Islington
Activities: Mat and chair based Pilates for beginner and ability to speak to an advisor on health related issues
Languages: Farsi, Arabic and English
Refreshments provided
Future Services

 
 
More services coming soon.

 

All our services are free however you must book to secure a place.


Booking and further information contact:
Email: office@mewso.org
Phone: 07958145666





 


We also offer weekly befriending and one-to-one English Language sessions with a volunteer. If you would like support learning English or just want a friendly person to chat to please contact us.
Halaleh Taheri is interviewed by People Health Trust about the success of the MEWSo Olive Clubs, funded by People Health Trust, in their newsletter celebrating women for International Women's Day 2019. Read the article here.
The Idea Behind MEWSo: Halaleh Taheri's Journey

Halaleh Taheri was awarded the Certificate of Excellence from the Arab-European Centre of Human Rights and International Law 
8
th March 2019

I was born in a little town in Kurdistan (in Iran). My political activities started there before the 1979 revolution. While at school, I was involved with a left wing organisation and fought for the independence of Kurdistan.

The revolution changed my life radically. Sadly, I lost many close members of my family. Many of my comrades were imprisoned, executed or killed in the revolution. After my home town on the Iran-Iraq border, was bombed and occupied by the Islamic troops. As part of an armed party, I spent three years hiding in the nearby mountains hoping to be able to liberate the occupied towns and villages. However it became impossible to do so and I fled to Sulaymaniyah, a Kurdish city in Iraq.

Read more of Halaleh Taheri's story here.

My article today is a simple reaction towards a group of Tunisian women who have used social media sites to call for a protest demanding polygamy.

Polygamy is considered as a crime punishable by law under Article 18 of the personal status code. However a group of women has taken the social media to call for protest to be held in front of parliament to demand polygamy in order to find a solution to the dilemma of spinsterhood. In fact, the number of single women has increased to more than 2.25 million, out of a total of 4.9 million females in the country. This has increased from only 990,000 in 1994, with the spinsterhood the highest among females age 25-34.

This dilemma has been confronted not only in Tunisia but in the most of the Arab world, but why this group of Tunisian women sought the solution in polygamy despites the downsides generated from this practice which are obvious to be pinned down nowadays from women who have been through it. Rivalry and jealousy between wives, overcrowded families, financial difficulties, lack of tackling care of children and wives at the same time.

My imagination took me to reverse the situation and I was asking myself if the number of men was higher than women, can we tolerate for a woman to have more than one husband? A lot people, I would imagine, will find it immoral and may be disgusting. One of the argument would be how can we find out who is the father? But we are living in much advanced world where The DNA can proof it, besides women who can not conceive should not be a problem for them as they do not need to proof the parenthood. 

I believe that this group of women was inspired by religion which proposes polygamy as a solution, however I would suggest to these women to take this issue as a case study where they can question different women in different countries where polygamy is not an offence and then draw their conclusion accordingly and not be driven by one single minded opinion.
 
Salima Belhadi, MEWSo Trustee
International Women's Day celebration at the Salon of the Arab Cultural Forum in London honouring two inspirational women: Halaleh Taheri and Dr. Haniyeh Morsi.

8th March 2019
MEWSo at Kew Gardens
MEWSo staff, volunteers and service users enjoyed some early spring sun at Kew Gardens. 
Saudi Arabia puts women's rights activists on trial

Ten women's rights activists have gone on trial in Saudi Arabia in a case that has raised questions about the kingdom's human rights record.

Those who appeared included Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent figure in the campaign to win Saudi women the right to drive. She was detained last May.

A UK-based Saudi rights organisation, ALQST, said they were charged under the country's cyber-crimes law.

Demands for the women's release have come from around the world.

Read more here.

Documentaries to Watch


Free Documentaries

BBC Iplayer
 
Storyville: Defying the Cutting Season

Every year during the December school holidays the ‘cutting season’ takes place in Tanzania. Even though Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal, thousands of young girls are forced to undergo an ordeal that could cost them their lives. Defying the Cutting Season follows the brave and courageous girls fighting against a tradition that goes back thousands of years and reveals the one safe place they can escape to. 

Watch here

Abused by my Girlfriend

Abused By My Girlfriend tells the remarkable story of Alex Skeel, a 23-year-old man from Bedford who survived an abusive relationship with his girlfriend Jordan Worth. Combining observational filming with personal and police archive, this film provides a raw and uninhibited window into a teenage romance that descended into terrible violence. 
 
Watch here

Inside the real Saudi Arabia: Why I had to leave

Saudi Arabia is ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. Despite this fact, Saudi-born, British fashion stylist Basma Khalifa has been persuaded to travel back to Saudi Arabia - a country she hasn't been to since her parents moved to Northern Ireland when she was three years old. Although she grew up Northern Ireland, she's never felt totally at home in the UK. Maybe she can start a new chapter of her life in Saudi Arabia which has become more open under the new crown prince. But just a few days after arriving in the country, the news breaks of the murder of the Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and her experiment takes on a darker turn. 

Watch here

All 4 


Safe at Last: Inside a Women's Refuge

In a television first, cameras are allowed inside a women's refuge to follow the stories of women who are fleeing from violent partners, and who have agreed to be identified.

Watch here
 
Calendar Dates
25th April - International Girls in ICT Day
International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative which aims to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.

16th May - International Day of Living Together in Peace
Living together in peace is all about accepting differences and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate others, as well as living in a peaceful and united way.



21st May - World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.
 
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If you would like to write an article, share a personal experience, give feedback on a MEWSo service or advertise your organisation in next month's Mewsletter
Please contact: Kate Oboussier at kate.oboussier@mewso.org
Copyright © 2019 Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation, All rights reserved.


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