Archive for January, 2018

Samia Shahid: Accused father in ‘honour killing’ case dies

A man accused of being involved in the death of his daughter in Pakistan in an alleged “honour killing” has died.

Samia Shahid, a 28-year-old from Bradford in West Yorkshire, died while visiting relatives in the country in July 2016.

Her father, Chaudhry Muhammad Shahid, 52, had been held as a suspected accessory and was released on bail.

He died on Sunday in a hospital in Lahore, his family confirmed. The cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Ms Shahid’s first husband Chaudhry Muhammad Shakeel is accused of her murder and is awaiting trial in Pakistan.

Initially it was said Ms Shahid, a beautician, had died of a heart attack but a post-mortem examination found she had been strangled.

After an arranged marriage to her cousin Mr Shakeel broke down, she married Syed Mukhtar Kazam. The couple wed in Leeds in 2014 and moved to Dubai.

Mr Kazam claims his wife was killed because her family disapproved of their marriage.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-42862112

#thisisme campaign

Ms Khan, founder of forced marriage and honour based violence charity, the Halo Project, said: “The world can feel different, depending on your gender – gender can affect how safe we feel, where we go, what job we feel able to apply for and other people’s expectations of us.

“The challenges around gender stereotypes and inequality limit all of us and puts pressure on us to conform to outdated, traditional values which are out of sync with todays Wales.”

Former chief crown prosecutor for North West England, Mr Afzal, added: “This is the first stage in a campaign to raise awareness of the underlying reasons for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, in order to challenge those ideas and behaviours and help build a society which does not tolerate these abhorrent acts.”

For more information or to join the conversation about stereotypes, search for or post under the #thisisme hashtag on social media platforms.

 

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/15903286.Campaign_launched_to_tackle_gender_stereotypes_and_prevent_abuse/

Welsh Government #thisisme campaign tackle gender stereotypes and prevent abuse

A CAMPAIGN has been launched by Welsh Government to tackle the underlying reasons for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The multimedia campaign, launching today, is encouraging people to talk about their experiences and concepts of stereotypes using the hashtag #thisisme.

It includes TV, radio and online adverts showing people in situations and challenging ideas about gender.

This ranges from a man working as a midwife and woman working as a mechanic, to a young man expertly applying make-up and a girl playing with a truck, covered in mud.

The drive is also part of Welsh Government’s Live Fear Free campaign which is part of a longer term strategy looking at the causes and consequences of abuse and violence.

Leader of the house, Julie James AM, explained that “gender inequality is a cause and consequence of this abuse and violence” and that the campaign is part of an ongoing commitment to “rid Wales of the scourge of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

“It uses positive examples to challenge gender stereotypes and show that everyone has the right to be who they want to be and achieve their potential,” she said.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/15903286.Campaign_launched_to_tackle_gender_stereotypes_and_prevent_abuse/

Domestic violence: ‘I was told to sleep in the outhouse’

As Welsh Women’s Aid marks 40 years of campaigning to end violence against women, Sarah from Monmouth reveals how living with an abusive partner made her question her own sanity.

It sounds such a cliche, but when I first met my ex-partner, he was the perfect gentleman.

We were friends for two years, having met through our young children. Both widowed, both lonely. Everyone, including family, thought it a perfect idea that we get together and, in October 2009, we did.

By the January we were engaged, and four months later, we went on our first holiday abroad with the children.

But while we were there, he saw me talking to an elderly man, and afterwards, back in the hotel room, he hit me for the first time, accusing me of spending too much time with him.

I was stunned, of course.

I said: “You will never do that again to me”, and the next morning, caught a taxi to the airport with my daughter to catch a plane home.

But there was a cruel twist of fate.

Due to a technical failure at check-in, all flights had been cancelled that day.

So instead of fleeing, I returned to the resort.

When he realised, he wooed me, apologising so profusely that It was impossible not to forgive him.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-42779339

Play about FGM tours secondary schools to raise awareness of issue

Play about FGM tours secondary schools to raise awareness of issue

Play about FGM tours secondary schools to raise awareness of issue

A critically acclaimed play about female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain is touring secondary schools to educate pupils on the issue.

The play Cuttin’It tells the story of two British-Somali teenage girls who have both experienced FGM, and will visit schools in London and Birmingham.

Each school visit includes a pre-show workshop and a post-show Q&A with year 9 and 10 pupils exploring the law surrounding FGM, the different types, and the impact on health, all led by Young Court, the inclusive programme arm of the Royal Court Theatre.

Young Court staff received training from Solace Women’s Aid and Louise Williams, a clinical nurse specialist at the women’s division of University College Hospital, in order to prepare for the sessions.

“Using theatre as a tool has been an exciting way to engage young people in a topic that can sometimes feel inaccessible,” said Ellie Fulcher, one of the organisers. “The work is essential in teaching young people about the female body, exploring gender stereotypes and external pressures in their lives as well as learning about FGM.”

Play about FGM tours secondary schools to raise awareness of issue

Honour violence and forced marriage crimes ‘go unpunished in London’

Hundreds of honour violence and forced marriage crimes are going unpunished in London, according to new figures.

Data shows that police recorded 759 honour violence crimes and 265 forced marriages in the capital between 2015 and 2017 – but just 138 people were charged with offences.

The statistics also show that prosecution rates for both crimes have fallen in the past three years.

Charities and campaigners today said the figures were worrying when nationally statistics showed the number of women coming forward to make allegations was rising.

Diana Nammi, executive director of the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, which provides refuge for victims, said : “What makes it so alarming is that figures that we obtained through freedom of information requests show that, at the same time, since the criminalisation of forced marriage in 2014, many more people at risk than ever before are coming forward for help.

“As “honour” based violence is perpetrated by the victim’s own family and community there is a lot of pressure on victims to drop cases and too often justice is not seen. “London must not be a safe haven for perpetrators of these horrific, damaging crimes. We need to see much more action from the Mayor of London to tackle “honour” based violence and his priority must be to fund women’s rights organisations like IKWRO who are best placed to support victims and survivors who courageously come forward.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/honour-violence-and-forced-marriage-crimes-go-unpunished-in-london-a3749331.html

Forced marriages support

Forced marriage is a hidden crime that’s on the rise, with recent figures showing an increase of 20% over the last two years.

In 2016 alone, there were 1428 reported cases across the UK, with more than one in ten of these taking place in the North West – making it one of the top three worst areas.

If you need help leaving a marriage you’ve been forced into, or you’re trying to stop a forced marriage, visit the following Government website: https://www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage

A survivor’s handbook with details of organisations that can provide help and advice, is available online.

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/2018-01-22/forced-marriages-support/

Campaigner Leyla Hussein on why FGM is a British problem too

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https://www.ft.com/content/a7bbcda2-f6f1-11e7-88f7-5465a6ce1a00

Psychotherapist and campaigner Leyla Hussein is on the couch. “If this could speak, it would tell some stories.” Limbs crossed nimbly, Hussein leans into the brown suede: “I’ve cried on this; I came up with the idea for my counselling service; I crashed here after a day filming an FGM documentary.” Like many of the things in Hussein’s two-bedroom east London flat, the sofa is both a comfort and a repository for some of the past’s most testing moments. Somali-British and a “survivor” of female genital mutilation (FGM), Hussein, 37, has led a campaign since the early 2000s lobbying the UK government and raising public awareness. “I guess I’ve become the black, Muslim, feminist woman who writes and talks about sex and patriarchy — which is quite a rare thing.”

Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.
https://www.ft.com/content/a7bbcda2-f6f1-11e7-88f7-5465a6ce1a00

The flat is a literal “haven” for Hussein, who was moved there in 2006 (the third time in two years) after receiving threats of violence related to her work. “I had been campaigning for four years and started calling FGM child abuse — people didn’t like that. I was physically attacked in the streets.” In the media, Hussein is a one-issue campaigner. But she is impatient with this compartmentalisation: “The issue is much broader; it’s about girls being told their bodies are not good enough.” She says the media want to define FGM as “what black and Asian people do” rather than a practice that encompasses intimate cosmetic surgery and extreme gynaecological procedures that were carried out on some British women into the 20th century.

https://www.ft.com/content/a7bbcda2-f6f1-11e7-88f7-5465a6ce1a00

Celine Dookhran trial: Woman given ’10 minutes to live’

A woman who survived an alleged attack by an accused rapist and murderer has described what she thought would be her last moments alive.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a court how Mujahid Arshid, 33, raped her then slashed her neck and wrists with a knife before telling her she had 10 minutes to live.

Mr Arshid is also accused of raping and murdering 20-year-old Celine Dookhran.

He denies all charges.

Ms Dookhran’s body was found “stuffed” inside a chest-high freezer in July 2017 in an empty house in Kingston, south London.

On day three of the trial, the Old Bailey was played a video interview the surviving woman gave from her hospital bed to detectives two days after the attack.

Jurors heard how both women “tried to relate” to Mr Arshid before he took Ms Dookhran, his niece, upstairs.

The woman, in her 20s, described hearing screaming and thudding, before eventually “there was no more noise.”

When the alleged killer emerged he said Ms Dookhran was “sleeping upstairs,” jurors heard.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42750634

‘There was blood everywhere’: Survivor among hundreds stopped in FGM crackdown at Heathrow Airport

Exclusive: At least 14,250 women and girls living in the UK have undergone FGM

“It was painful, so painful, there was blood everywhere,” Yeabu recalls. “There were other people watching in the room. They were singing their own songs. They were happy when they were cutting me.”

Yeabu* was 16 when her parents sent her to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sierra Leone, telling her afterwards: “You’ve become a proper woman now.”

She says she remembers knowing what was going to happen to her, but was too frightened to fight after seeing other children held down while fighting and biting the cutters.

“As a young girl you have to do it because for them it’s decency,” she explains. “When you’re with your man you are clean if you do that, that’s the mentality.

“I was frightened but we don’t disrespect our people. I they say that’s part of our tradition we have to go through it, but it’s not something I wanted.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/fgm-female-genital-mutilation-police-heathrow-airport-crackdown-operation-limelight-national-centre-a8155981.html

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