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Responding to marginalised voices

Muslim Women's Network UK

The Muslim Women’s Network UK (www.mwnuk.co.uk) are thrilled to be the proud recipients of the Excellence in Contribution to the Community award, presented by the GBCC.

As new members of the GBCC, this recognition has spurred us on further to advocate for the rights of women and girls.

It was our first award and really highlighted the importance of making our work known as widely as possible. Who We Are Based in Birmingham, MWNUK are a national charity with over 750 members.

Ultimately, our vision is to create a society where Muslim women can have an effective voice and the opportunity to exercise their rights, to contribute equally to society.

Our approach has always been to gather evidence about the experiences of Muslim women and girls on key issues affecting them and use the information to improve their rights through advocacy and campaigning.

Two years ago we launched a vitally needed faith and culturally sensitive service; The MWN Helpline (www.mwnhelpline.co.uk).

With approximately 1/3 of our calls coming from the West Midlands, we have provided information, support, guidance, and referrals on a wide range of issues including; forced marriage, domestic abuse, marriage and divorce, and mental health issues.

Although our reach is primarily Muslim women, the helpline has supported women of other faiths and no faith, and men who have accessed the helpline.

The Difference We Make

Thanks to the increase in funding, we have been able to employ more staff on the MWN Helpline and extend our opening times. Below is a breakdown of the helpline’s development: 2015 2016 3 day service 5 day service Helped 335 individuals

Helped 583 individuals Handled 814 contacts Handled 1807 contacts Our Survivor’s Fund was launched in response to issues identified by this service. The Survivor’s Fund is used to help callers in crisis situations meet financial shortfalls, that can often be major obstacles to them escaping abusive situations.

If you would like to know more about the work we do please contact contact@mwnuk.co.uk / 0121 236 9000. If you or somebody you know is in need of help call the MWN Helpline on 0800 999 5786 (Opening hours: Mon - Fri, 10am - 4pm)

Pictured: Zaheda Vaid collects MWNUK's award at the GBCC annual awards dinner