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The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms Rashida Manjoo has today called for "urgent action to address the accountability deficit and also the adverse impacts of changes in funding and services"

Ms Rashida Manjoo has now finalised her two week country mission. Today she presented a nine page press statement which offers an initial, but comprehensive, overview of the UK’s approach and performance on violence against women and girls.

During her mission Ms Manjoo gathered information from Government, a number of NGOs and other stakeholders across the UK. At a session, hosted by Imkaan, women had the opportunity to discuss issues affecting black and minority ethnic (BME) women and girls in England. In a session for young women, Ms Manjoo was provided with insight into the specific challenges many young women face including their concerns about media representation and peer on peer exploitation.  We note with gratitude, that Ms Manjoo’s statement has taken many of those concerns into account.

Imkaan warmly welcomes Ms Manjoo’s statement. Reflecting on what it means for black and minority ethnic women and girls, Marai Larasi of Imkaan states, 

“It is rare to find comments within a ‘mainstream’ document, which skilfully addresses issues affecting black and minority ethnic women and girls without essentialising whole communities or minimising violence. Issues affecting black and minority ethnic women and girls are fully integrated into the statement at each stage and are commented on with rigour, care and nuance.” 

Ms Manjoo has reminded the Government that despite welcome developments, there are still significant shortfalls, all of which have specific implications for BME women and girls.

We particularly welcome Ms Manjoo’s critique of the problematic narratives surrounding violence against black and minority ethnic women and girls and her recognition that this violence is often decontextualized from wider patriarchal structures. We also reiterate her acknowledgement that current approaches to funding and welfare reform are having a disproportionate impact on BME women and girls and the specialist services that support them.

Imkaan has appreciated the opportunity to participate in this process and to reflect on progress made, and challenges faced, on addressing violence against women and girls the UK.  We thank Ms Manjoo for her sensitivity, and scrutiny.

We urge the Government to take into account the Special Rapporteur’s statement. It is essential that the Government works in a meaningful way with frontline, specialist women’s organisations, including BME expert NGOs to take immediate action in line with the recommendations.

As Ms Manjoo notes, there have been positive developments in this area; but eliminating violence against women and girls should not be left to "isolated pockets of good practice, which depend largely on the personal commitment of individuals and some authorities, but…not applied consistently throughout the country".Professor Manjoo’s press statement can be read here.

Imkaan’s submission can be read here.

Imkaan hosts dedicated meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on VAW and the BME women’s sector

Imkaan was delighted to host a meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Rashida Manjoo, and the BME women’s sector, during her first official visit to the UK at the end of March.

The event brought together more than 30 BME women from across the country, and provided a dedicated space to highlight and discuss the specific context of violence against BME women and girls in the UK. Imkaan would like to thank all the women who contributed, and we give special thanks to Akima Thomas, for chairing the meeting.

Between 31 March and 15 April, Ms Manjoo will assess the manifestations of and response to violence against women and girls in the UK and will share her preliminary findings at a press conference in London at the end of her visit.   Her final findings and recommendations will be presented at a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council.

Imkaan submitted a briefing paper to Ms Manjoo in advance of her visit, informed by our members and outlining the key issues for the BME women’s sector.  The paper will be available online soon.

imkaan

Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Diana King lends her efforts to eliminating violence against women and girls

On 25th November 2013, Imkaan came together with the Pacific Islands Safety and Prevention Project (The Project) in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to reiterate our call for equality and for the elimination of violence against women and girls. We have chosen to use Purple Butterflies as the symbol of this collaboration.

Imkaan’s Executive Director, Marai Larasi shared this via her Twitter page, and internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Diana King watched our videos discussing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Following this, Diana has chosen to donate her song “Bruises" from her latest album "Agirlnameking" to Imkaan and The Project, as a way to support our cause. She says:

"As an artist, you live for those moments when your soul speaks and there’s no questioning why you are about to do something. This was what happened when I visited Imkaan’s website through a post on Marai’s Twitter page. I watched the videos discussing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and immediately something ignited in me because this cause is also my cause. I have 9 sisters who are now women, and all of us have suffered violent abuse as girls. Sadly it continues among more than a few of us. The wounds left never seem to heal and affects our self worth daily. I wanted to do something and it’s an honour to contribution my song "Bruises" written for an abused friend. This is one of the most natural things I’ve ever done. It simple just felt good and right. Elimination is better than cure."

The staff at Imkaan and The Project are truly honoured, inspired and overwhelmed by Diana’s generosity and commitment to equality. 

Big up Diana King! 

Listen/purchase: Bruises by Diana King

Click here for a bit more information.

96% of women surveyed, who were supported by a BME women’s service, had experienced psychological, emotional & verbal abuse

From Vital Statistics 2 (Imkaan, 2012)

Starting on Valentine’s day, and in the lead up to International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, Imkaan is raising awareness about the experiences and impact of violence on women and girls.

We want women and girls who have experienced violence to be able to access adequate, appropriate and specialist support. We want to make sure that violence against women and girls does not happen in the first place. We want to make sure that all of us take responsibility for preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Buy and Share “Bruises” by Diana King

Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Diana King has chosen to donate her song “Bruises” from her latest album “Agirlnameking” to Imkaan (UK) and The Project (Aotearoa/New Zealand), to support our work to eliminate violence against women and girls.  We are in urgent need of funds to keep our services going and ask you to support us to continue this vital work by purchasing the track.

Purchase Bruises by Diana King

Read about the work your purchase will fund

Join Imkaan at Million Women Rise

Million Women Rise is the biggest women’s march in Europe against male violence in all its forms.  The Imkaan team will be on this year’s march, on International Women’s Day, Saturday 8th March.

We encourage you to show your support to end male violence by joining the march which sets off at 1pm from Duke Street in Central London.   More information is available here.

Widen the conversation

Raise awareness about the impact of violence against women and girls, and the work to eradicate violence by joining the conversation on social media including Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Follow Imkaan on Twitter

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You support matters! Thank you for helping to make a difference.

More than 10,000 women will march through London to call for an end to violence against women

Press release from Million Women Rise.

  • Europe’s biggest march for women
  • Taking place on International Women’s Day – 8 March 2014
  • 10,000 women marched last year and even more expected on Saturday
  • Central London route: Oxford St, Piccadilly Circus, ending in Trafalgar Square
  • 7th annual Million Women Rise march
  • Calling for an end to all forms of violence against women

More than 10,000 women and children will take to the streets of central London on International Women’s Day - Saturday, 8 March, 2014. 

The march, organised by Million Women Rise (MWR), is holding up a mirror to the reality of male violence against women in the UK, bringing women together to say enough is enough.

Million Women Rise organises coaches to make the march accessible to women from all across the UK, thousands of whom will meet at 12 noon outside Selfridges on Oxford Street.

Together they will stop traffic along the capital’s busiest thoroughfares as they follow a route past some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Drummers, whistles, banners and lots of colour will ensure that the marchers cannot be ignored as they break through the silence and acceptance, calling for an end to all forms of violence against women. 

Professor Liz Kelly from the Violence against Women’s Coalition (EVAW) and head of Women and Child Abuse Studies and Research Unit at London Metropolitan University said:

"On Million Women Rise I feel part of a movement of women dedicated to supporting survivors and to ending violence against women and girls.  It is always powerful and inspiring, restoring our strength and our pledge to ourselves and each other to never give up until the violence stops."

Sabrina Qureshi, founder of Million Women Rise, named one of the new pioneers of feminism by the Independent, said:

 “Worldwide, one in three women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime. If violence against women were a disease, governments everywhere would be declaring a state of emergency.

“Every one of the millions of women and children every year who die or are injured as a consequence of male violence is a stark reminder of why we march, and why we cannot rest until we have eliminated this violence against women. To do nothing is to accept this violation of our human rights and to say that those lives are valueless or less important than others.”

The march is supported by women’s organisations up and down the country including the SouthHall Black Sisters, the Women’s Resource Centre, Women and Girls Network, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales.

“Rape Crisis is extremely proud to have been part of the Million Women Rise coalition these last seven years and we’re looking forwarding to marching on London in solidarity with women and children from across the UK and the globe again this International Women’s Day.  Through 40 years’ experience of providing frontline support services to women and girls affected by all forms of sexual violence, we know how urgent and how current the need to highlight and tackle male violence against women remains.  We cannot and will not stop until every woman’s right to live free from the fear and experience of violence is a reality.”

Katie Russell, Rape Crisis England & Wales

While the march is for women and children only, men are invited to cheer from the sidelines.

At the rally in Trafalgar Square following the march, there will be inspirational speakers to listen to, including survivors of the kind of violence and abuse we are marching to prevent.

The march and rally demand more than words, enquiries, policies and strategies from government. Women are marching to demand the money and resources to match the levels of violence we live with and to enable women to live free from the threat of male violence.

Million Women Rise also calls for International Women’s Day (8 March) to be declared a national holiday in celebration and recognition of women’s contribution to all areas of UK society.

            Ends

Notes to Editors

Million Women Rise is a coalition of ordinary women who want to see an end to all forms of violence against women in their lifetime. Everybody who works with MWR does so free of charge and our activities are funded entirely by donations. Please check our website for more information: millionwomenrise.com

Journalists wishing to speak to someone from Million Women Rise should contact Vivienne Hayes on 07930361945 or the info line on 07727419634 or email: info@millionwomenrise.com

Statistics on violence against women in the UK:

  • One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her life.
  • Domestic violence has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police).
  • Two women are murdered every week by their partner or ex-partner.
  • One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
  • One woman in four will experience sexual assault as an adult.
  • Only 5% of rapes reported to the police result in the perpetrator being convicted in court.
  • Women are more worried about rape than any other crime.
  • 250 cases of forced marriage are reported each year.
  • Up to 1,420 women per year are trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation
  • One woman a month is murdered in the name of ‘so called’ honour.
  • Nearly 90% of local authorities do not have a rape crisis centre.
  • More than 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.