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Campaigns

KMEWO campaigns and lobbies for action against honour-based violence, domestic violence, forced marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other forms of abuses against women and girls.

We do this by carrying out primary and desk-based research, sending letters and press releases, giving interviews to the press and TV, and give talks to parents and schools about unacceptable traditional practices.

For all  KMEWO press releases and news, click here.

Campaigns


Honour-Based Violence

Dead but not forgotten: the unexpected deaths of three Yazidi sisters

Six years ago three Yazidi were found dead under suspicious circumstances. The cause of their death is not yet confirmed, but murder is strongly believed to be the most likely cause

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A Public Statement by Justice for Dunya’s Campaign

According to KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) and media reports from Iraqi Kurdistan, Dunya’s murderer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Dunya was a 15-year-old child bride who was brutally executed by her 45-year-old polygamist husband in Iraqi Kurdistan – Kalakji district on  23rd of May 2014.

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FGM

International day for zero tolerance against Female Genital Mutilation

The 6th of February is the International Day of Zero Tolerance against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Sponsored by the UN this designated day is intended to increase general awareness of the procedure and to campaign for it to be prohibited globally.

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Grassroots organisation KMEWO calls for stronger measures and increased awareness, to stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

We, the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation (KMEWO), are concerned that we will see a significant rise in victims of FGM in the UK. Therefore, we want to take the opportunity on the 6th February- International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM to call for stronger awareness and support for grassroots organisations in the fight against FGM.

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KMEWO’s statement on the Prime Minister’s comments that “Muslim women need to learn English!”

Allocating £20 million for ESOL provision could be seen as a very positive step towards meeting a great need amongst many Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) communities in the UK to learn English and to support their integration. However, limiting this money for use with “Muslim Women” only and justifying this by linking learning English to tackling extremism is discriminatory, unfair and misguided.

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Forced Marriage

Forced Marriage should be criminalised as much as trafficking and other sexual exploitation of women and young girls

Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women Organisation (KMEWO) provides free, confidential and nonjudgmental advice and support services to women victims/ survivors of violence and Traditional Harmful Practices including Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and FGM.

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No Recourse to Public Funds

Campaigning Skills Training with the Refugee Council & the No Recourse to Public Funds Campaign

This project has been a fantastic opportunity for two member of the KMEWO team to learn new skills.  As a result of the support we have received from the Refugee Council, we were empowered to being raising the issue of No Recourse to Public funds and its devastating effect on the lives of many of our Kurdish and Middle Eastern clients who enter the UK on a spousal visa, are subjected to domestic violence but are unable to access a refuge because they have no recourse to public funds.  These women are faced with the choice of either remaining in an abusive relationship or becoming destitute.

On 4 November 2009, KMEWO contributed to the Amnesty International campaign initiative on this issue and joined a mass lobby of Parliament.  We met with Sarah Teather MP and discussed of no recourse to public funds rule with her.  She agreed to follow-up a number of points that were raised.

The no recourse to public funds rule has long been campaigned against by many women’s rights organisations; however, on 11 November 2009, a few days after the mass lobby,  Home Office Minister Alan Campbell MP announced a three-month pilot scheme to grant women facing violence and who have insecure immigration status the ability to access a refuge and seek specialised support. This pilot proposal will provide the security of funding for an individual woman’s refuge place for up to 40 days, thus enabling her to access the support required by survivors of domestic or other violence. This government initiative will be followed by an evaluation which will be carried out in March 2010.  This government initiative has been cautiously welcomed by many women’s rights organisations as, at the very least, a step in the right direction.

Nevertheless, this initiative is only a short-term pilot scheme, and the funding of a woman’s refuge place will be provided for no more than 40 days, whereas cases can take between 6 months and 2 years to resolve. What is required is a long-term, sustainable, funded and enforceable guarantee that all women – including ‘no recourse’ women – will be equally able to access safety and justice when fleeing violence. Alan Campbell MP stated that this pilot will serve to inform the government towards developing a longer-term solution to this issue.

KMEWO, in line with other women’s, refugee and human rights organisations, looks forward to policies being put into place backed up by secure statutory funding to tackle violence against women, including those subject to no recourse to public funds, rule.

Links to Further Information on No Recourse to Public Funds:

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