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Honour-based violence: roadshow launch

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honour-based violence, roadshow launch, awareness raising, Jeena, The Elm Foundation, The roadshow will conclude with a policy event in Westminster in October 2018.

The 2018 Honour-Based Violence Roadshow is being launched on 30 May at an event where a range of academics, policymakers and local communities will share their experiences and work around honour-based violence and forced marriages in the region and throughout the UK.

The roadshow is a new partnership between Manchester Metropolitan University, Jeena Charity and The Elm Foundation and is to help in their collaborative efforts to promote greater awareness of honour-based violence or abuse (HBV/A) practices in the UK and the vast challenges associated with supporting victims and their families.

Guest speakers at the launch, which is hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, will highlight current problems and issues faced in supporting both female and male victims of honour-based violence (HBV) and forced marriages.

By bringing together key stakeholders, policymakers and community members to hear survivors’ experiences and the struggles they faced when trying to get access to appropriate support, the partnership hopes to stimulate dialogue with people who can really make an impact and effect policy change.

The objectives of the Roadshow:

For participants – especially those who are either academics, policymakers or practitioners in health, education and social welfare – to be able to contribute to one of a series of workshops, which will provide an opportunity for people to have access to new and emerging research, and crucially, have the chance to add their own voices towards new policy recommendations;

To increase understanding and raise awareness via participant discussion to inform and underpin new research around honour-based violence;

To share evidence of best practice with a diverse range of users and policymakers in order to share learning and ideas to generate new insights;

To share resources and to set future agendas around policy and practice; and

To develop new networks and nurture existing ones.

And among the guest speakers will be:

Manchester Law School’s Dr Annapurna Waughray, whose research focuses on issues of caste, caste-based discrimination and the law, in the Indian sub-continent in the UK, and in the wider South Asian diaspora.

In the Indian sub-continent the link between caste and honour-based violence is undisputed and there is an extensive body of scholarship on the topic as well as widespread activism condemning the role played by caste in honour-based violence.

The link between caste and honour-based violence has been identified in UK research, and caste has been identified in the Crown Prosecution Service‘s guidelines on honour-based violence as a driver for honour-based violence, but research on this topic in the UK is extremely limited. Dr Waughray’s contribution to this project will be directed at this research gap.

Rani Bilkhu, CEO of the charity Jeena, who challenges social issues of domestic violence, human rights, gender equality, female genital mutilation, forced marriages, child sexual exploitation, sexuality and disability in Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) communities, raising awareness on a local, national and international level for over 20 years.

She has tirelessly campaigned in Parliament, and raised awareness of sex selection abortions, obtaining votes on the subject in the House of Commons, and contributes regularly to the government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU).

Grassroot initiatives she has set up, such as the ‘Ugly Side of Beauty‘ and ‘Safe ToolKit’ and Jeena SuitCases, have also helped and supported the vulnerable.

Abda Khan, who is an author and solicitor, runs her own law firm and has worked in the legal industry for nearly 26 years.

Her novel ‘Stained’, deals with the difficult taboo subjects of rape and ‘honour’ issues. It was published in the USA by Harvard Square Editions in 2016, and described by Booklist as the ‘contemporary Tess of the d’Urbervilles’.

Her latest novel, Razia, examines the themes of modern slavery, ‘honour’ based violence, gender inequality, cultural pressures and identity. It is due to be published early in 2019 by London publisher Unbound.

Abda Khan was recognised by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) with a ‘True Honour’ Award in 2017 and was Highly Commended as a finalist in the Arts and Culture category of the NatWest Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017, and she was named as ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year 2018’ by the female empowerment organisation ‘Your Saheli’. She has also been nominated for a National Diversity Award as a Positive Role Model for her gender work.

Shahien Taj OBE, who has been Executive Director of the Henna Foundation for 20 years, and was awarded the OBE for her services to victims of honour-based violence and forced marriages.

A passionate advocate of equality and justice for women and a well-respected member of the Welsh community, she has supported and helped marginalised women throughout her career.

And Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, herself a survivor of a forced marriage, and who is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national, award-winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour-based abuse and forced marriages. Her memoir ‘Shame’ was a Times Top 10 Bestseller.

She is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain. David Cameron, when Prime Minister, said that her work ‘turned my head on the issue of forced marriage’.

Her work is recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014.

After the launch, there are to be a series of roadshow workshops throughout the UK, with a diverse range of audiences and guest speakers, and the roadshow will conclude with a policy event in Westminster in October 2018.

To see the full programme, and to register if you want come along, click here.

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