comprises of a group of women who are in
positions of leadership or are working with
communities. They will meet several times
a year and are an independent informal group
advising on issues to empower Muslim women
and increase their participation in civic,
economic and social life. NMWAG has been
set up by Communities and Local Government
as part of its work to prevent violent extremism.
Government believes that we need to do more
to help the voices of moderation in our
communities be heard and listened to. This
group will also help to encourage more women
to engage with individuals at risk of being
targeted by violent extremists.
Prime Minister said: "Muslim women
have a huge role to play in helping us build
a stronger, better society. That is why
I am delighted today to mark the official
launch of the National Muslim Women's Advisory
Group. From a range of different communities
and traditions, and with careers including
business, journalism, academia and public
service, the group represents an extraordinary
richness of experience and understanding.
group is made up of women who have first-hand
knowledge of what is happening in our communities.
They will report on the progress of existing
projects, and they will suggest imaginative
new ways to give Muslim women a real voice
and the opportunity to play a bigger role
in their community.
specific remit of the group will be to:
act as ambassadors for Muslim women at
grass roots and represent their views
and concerns to Government;
provide leadership to communities and
act as positive role models for Muslim
women in society;
empower Muslim women to engage more with
the media on a wide range of issues and
help dispel myths around the role of Muslim
women in society;
meet in the form of a round table to discuss
issues and concerns that are affecting
Muslim women eg. Access for women in Mosques.
map out what work is currently taking
place across the country to empower Muslim
women and then draw up specific action
plan for each region and work out where
the gaps are.
MUSLIM WOMEN'S ADVISORY GROUP
A list of the women on the advisory group:
Siddika is a Director of PeaceMaker a voluntary
organisation in Oldham, and she has led
on work promoting cohesion since the 2001
Fareena is the editor of the magazine Q-News,
popular with Britain's Muslim communities.
It provides analysis of current affairs,
culture, ideas and spirituality.
Farkhanda has worked in the voluntary sector
for more than 20 years - in youth and community
work, poverty and deprivation, and race
equality development. She is a board and
management committee member of a number
of agencies such as the Muslim Women's Resource
Centre in Glasgow and the Scottish Interfaith
Rukaiya works for Muslim Youth Helpline
and manages Muslim youth.net. This is Britain's
first guidance and support channel for Muslim
Tasneem graduated in Political Science and
Social policy and carried out research into
second generation British Muslims. She is
actively involved in the Muslim Youthwork
Foundation - an organisation that creates
a positive space for young people to have
their voices heard.
Adeeba is Deputy Chief Executive of Bradford-based
charity QED (Quest for Economic Development)
UK which aims to improve the economic, social
and educational position of South Asian
communities. She is also Chair of the Ethnic
Minority Business Forum and was awarded
an MBE in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours
list for her services to ethnic minority
Sabin is the principal community cohesion
officer for the London Borough of Hounslow
with substantial community and local authority
experience leading local and national Government
initiatives focused on community cohesion,
community development and extremism. She
is currently leading on a major study on
far right extremism and religious fundamentalism.
Murtaza Lakha, London
Sabira has a Masters in Law from the University
of Warwick where she specialised in comparing
the English and Sharia legal systems. Sabira
is a volunteer with community groups in
London and a keen promoter of civil and
political participation for both faith based
and ethnic communities.
Al Toma, Leicester
Batool Al-Toma is a research and education
officer at the Islamic Foundation and has
devised and facilitated a number of training
seminars, conferences, and educational forums
both on and offline. As coordinator of the
New Muslims Project she has established
a variety of services related to the overall
support, education and continuing development
of converts to Islam in the UK.
Parvin is the founder director of Forum
for Advocacy, Training and Information in
a Multicultural Area (FATIMA), which is
a regional women's network that supports
the economic empowerment of all women, especially
those from diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Shaista is involved in a number of Birmingham
based and national initiatives that aim
to increase Muslim women's participation
in mainstream and community decision-making
processes. She is Director of Muslim Voice
UK (MVUK), the UK's first Muslim opinion
online polling organisation which she established
Shahien is founder and director of All Wales
Saheli Association, a specialist user-led
agency that works to advance the needs,
concerns and aspirations of Asian and Muslim
children and families. She is also Executive
Director of the Henna Foundation, which
provides advice for Asian women.
Reedah is a qualified barrister and set
up ArRum, the UK's first club promoting
Islamic art and culture based in Clerkenwell,
London. She has planned events celebrating
cultural diversity including debates, workshops,
art exhibitions, film screenings, theatre,
music, poetry and lectures dealing with
current socio-political, economic and interfaith
Dala, Nelson, Lancashire
Zulekha works for Lancashire County Council
and has pioneered programmes around cohesion
and developing models of social enterprise
for ethnic communities. In addition she
was one of the founding members of 'Sahara'
a women's organisation in West Lancashire
in the 1980's, which led the way on issues
such as domestic violence.
Rokhsana is the founding director of the
Change Institute which specialises in public
policy around race, faith, corporate affairs.
She is leading work with the European Commission
around extremism and de-radicalisation and
has also been an ambassador for Muslim-Jewish
dialogue and tackling discrimination.
Kauser, North West
Samina has led on engagement with young
people since the 2001 disturbances working
closely with Asian gangs and breaking down
barriers for young women.
Shahda is a Social Policy graduate who has
worked at both Sunderland and Teesside Universities.
She now works in partnership with key agencies
within the private, community, voluntary
and faith sector both locally and regionally
to promote the social inclusion of hard
to reach communities.
Arshad-Mather MBE, Yorkshire and Humber
Naheed is self-employed working in Higher
Education sector both at under-graduate
and postgraduate levels. She is a member
of Voice 4 Change England with expertise
in the field of education, housing, criminal
justice system and the third sector.
Andleen is a secondary school teacher and
a trustee of City Circle, an organisation
promoting the development of a distinct
British Muslim identity. It seeks to promote
community cohesion and integration by building
alliances between Muslim and non-Muslim
communities and by developing the skills
and resources of Muslim professionals into
practical projects at a community level.