Walking a Tightrope: Women and Veiling in the United Kingdom by Ayesha Salma Kariapper examines the ways in which public debates over the headscarf and the full-face veil have shaped the strategies of women from Muslim communities, strategies developed to deal with the limitations imposed on them in the name of religion, culture, tradition and identity within the community, and with racism and exclusion from mainstream society. You can now download the book for free!

Huda Jawad is a WLUML networker based in London, United Kingdom.  She recently spoke at the Inspiring Migrant Women Conference in London.  Below is the text of her speech, which drew partly upon the reflections she wrote for our 16 Days of Activism in 2013.  The text of the speech was originally published on Huda’s website www.hudajawad.org

Text of Migrant Woman Conference Speech 2 May 2015 Huda Jawad ©

I was born in Baghdad and left Iraq at the age of two. I grew up in the United Arab Emirates and Syria before coming to settle as a teenager in London in the late eighties. My parents were political activists during the time of Saddam Hussein and fled Iraq after the death sentence was imposed on them in absentia. We travelled throughout the Middle East and seemed that we were constantly on the move.

On 24th April 2015, TEDxExter will be happening, with the theme "Taking the Long View".  During the morning connections on "Global Connection", WLUML Board member Karima Bennoune will be appearing via video at 12.19pm BST, giving a follow-up to last year's talk, "When People of Muslim Heritage Challenge Fundamentalism." Also of interest to WLUML will be Chetan Bhatt's talk about origin myths and fundamentalisms, given at 11.59am BST.

Watch the Livestream of the event.

On Tuesday 13th January 2015, women’s rights groups, including Southall Black Sisters, One Law for All, Nari Diganta and the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), met with Mark Stobbs, the Law Society’s Director of Legal Policy at the SBS office. Our organisations welcomed the Law Society’s decision to withdraw its guidance on ‘Sharia’ compliant wills that endorsed discrimination against women and children. We also thanked the Law Society for making a public apology. The Law Society showed that it had listened to the voices of BME women’s rights campaigners and other secular organisations that had been alarmed by the original decision.

The press release shown below was issued today by the Law Society in the United Kingdom, announcing their withdrawal of a practice note issuing guidance for writing 'Sharia-compliant' wills.  

In a letter to the Lawyers' Secular Society, the Law Society stated:

Efua Dorkenoo, widely seen as the mother of the global movement to end female genital mutilation, has died after undergoing treatment for cancer, her family have confirmed. She was 65. Dorkenoo – known affectionately to many as “mama Efua” – was a leading light in the movement to bring an end to FGM for more than 30 years, campaigning against the practice since the 1980s.

On the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
11-12 October 2014
The Tower Hotel, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LD, UK
www.secularconference.com

WLUML's International Director, Fatou Sow, Board member, Karima Bennoune, and Co-Founder Marieme Helie-Lucas are amongst the event's distinguished international speakers.

Join notable free-thinkers, atheists and secularists from around the world for a weekend of discussions and debates on the religious-Right, its attacks on civil rights and freedoms, and the role of secularism for 21st century humanity. The exciting two-day conference will discuss the Arab Spring, Sharia and religious laws, the limits of religion’s role in society, free expression, honour killings, apostasy and blasphemy laws, faith schools, women’s rights, secular values and much more. 

The failure to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM) is a "national scandal" with as many as 170,000 victims in the UK, MPs have said.

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