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MEWSo, defending and protecting women from violence

at home and in the wider community

September 2021

Campaign News

Women For Refugee Women

As part of Women For Refugee Women, MEWSo issued a statement condemning the proposed changes to the Nationality and Borders Bill that will make it even harder for refugee women in Britain to get the help they need.

Halaleh Taheri, Founder and Executive Director, said: "The new Bill will create a two-tier system which will punish refugees who take irregular routes into the country by refusing them permanent settlement.

"The Government is wilfully misunderstanding the concept that desperate people take desperate measures," she said.

Safe Havens for Afghan Women

And, in an earlier statement concerning the shocking scenes in Afghanistan of people desperately trying to get out of the country, Halaleh called for urgent safe havens for Afghan women and reaffirmed MEWSo's commitment to advocate for Afghan women and to end all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

You can read the statements in full at Women For Refugee Women and The Crisis in Afghanistan and find out how you too can help the campaign.

Standing FIRM

MEWSo also joined the FIRM coalition to work against plans to punish refugees, normalise migrant prisons and limit access to justice.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) has created a charter calling for humane immigration and inclusion policies. It demands dignity, justice, and a national inclusion strategy that no longer demonises migrants and refugees but recognises their value to the country.

Sign the FIRM charter to demand dignity, justice, welcome and action.

On Our Way To Parliament

MEWSo is holding a special meeting in Parliament on Tuesday 7 September to lobby MPs to ban virginity tests and hymen repair surgeries.

Joined by sister charities Karma Nirvana and IKWRO, this is the latest step in our campaign to put a stop to these Medieval practices.

We have written to every MP and House of Lords peer inviting them to the meeting so they can hear about the issues first hand from campaigners and medical experts.

So far over 35 MPs have signed these two cross-party amendments to the Health and Care Bill.
Halaleh Taheri, said: "We cannot let up on this campaign to save women from violence and abuse. We are so close but more needs to be done to get us over the finish line."

You too can help show your support by writing to your MP. Download this letter template and find out the name and email address of your MP.

Podcast Campaigning

Halaleh continued to spread the campaign message in a podcast by FiLiA, a women's-led volunteer organisation defending women's human rights. Click to listen to the FiLiA interview.

Events

Arts Festival in Finsbury Park

Coming soon:
MEWSo is holding an Arts Festival in Finsbury Park in support of the people of Afghanistan, and in particular that country's women and female activists.

This year, the festival will finally be held in person as lockdown restrictions have been lifted, and is on Saturday 18 September at Finsbury Park, the Hornsey Gate entrance, from 11am to 4pm.

There will be arts and craft stalls, music and dance, networking and speeches, and the chance to meet up with colleagues, family and friends in an open space.
There will also be stalls from other charities and organisations promoting their services and keen to be part of the event. Mark the date and time in your diary and come and enjoy the last days of summer fun.

Walking for #Islington4women

Several women from MEWSo took part in the #Islington4women walk around some areas of the London Borough of Islington to see how safe these places are for women.

Together with Council safety officers, they checked for places where women feel safe and where safety can be improved.

This month's walk was with the Finsbury Park Women's Network and took in the Andover Estate, Seven Sisters Road, train and bus stations and park entrances.

There will be walks on 15 September with the Holloway Neighbourhood Group and on 20 October with the Islington Play Association, if you want to come along and have your say.
#Islington4women brings together women who can make a difference to ensure the borough is a place where women can feel comfortable, supported, encouraged, empowered and inspired. To find out more about #Islington4women and the safety walks email: i4w@allchangearts.org.

Service News and Updates

Polygamy Workshop

MEWSo's programme of polygamy workshops, supporting women trapped in polygamous relationships, will begin this month.

The programme, supported by the Lottery Community Fund and Rosa: the UK Fund for Women and Girls, is part of our continued research into the issue in collaboration with Dr Elena Vacchelli, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Greenwich.

If you would like to know more about the workshops or if you know of anyone who would benefit from our help in this matter, please email: office@mewso.org.

New MEWSo Website, Now With Translations

It's been a long time coming, but MEWSo now has a new website. It's much easier to sign up for services and activities, and for agencies to refer their clients. 

It also has several pages translated into Arabic and Farsi for those who find it difficult reading English, and we have a new Blog where we post news, views and opinions.

Our web address has not changed. It's still www.mewso.org. So, click and see what's new!
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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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