21 June 2014 19:00 ~ A Night for Hysteria – Benefit – London

HYSTERIA needs help in continuing its fierce fight in the name of feminisms.

HYSTERIA is a non-profit, radical, feminist periodical and platform, which is powered and exists by contributions and support from range of artists, poets, scholars, students and activists.

We want to invite you to our event, A Night For HYSTERIA, on Saturday 21st June at Bitters & RYE cocktail club in London. An evening to celebrate feminist performance and participate in an ever-broadening discussion about the scope of feminism, all while securing the survival of HYSTERIA. The money raised at this event will cover the printing expenses of the 3rd issue of HYSTERIA.

Amazing performances and music by:
with more to be confirmed

Tickets £5

More info about the event can be found be found here.

We would be completely thrilled to see you on the 21st June, your support would mean a great deal to us to continue to move HYSTERIA forward.

Even if you cannot be there physically on the night, any support you can give by sharing this event to your network and followers or directly donating what you can to our printing cost would be most welcome and greatly appreciated.

Download A Night For HYSTERIA invite (60k .JPEG file)

We really would love to stay connected and hope to share what’s going on in both of our worlds.

Please check out our website and social links below.

Hope to see you on the 21st!

Book online at http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=bb5cff274e6079f0258073f4b&id=c4e984aafa&e=30fd032e87

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Website Hysterical Feminisms

June 3, 2014

Sexism and Local Government – briefing paper – Fawcett

Women’s representation is still depressingly low in local government – currently only 32% of councillors are women3 – but we rarely see this hit the front pages of national newspapers.

Yet local authorities wield an enormous amount of power. Local government budgets make up a quarter of all public spending (over £100 billion) and deep cuts to local government spending are having a hugely disproportionate impact on women. Lack of female councillors will only exacerbate this situation.

Moreover it appears that the sexism and sexual harassment, which is being increasingly scrutinised in Westminster, is equally as prevalent in the corridors of our local town halls.

Download the full paper in pdf format from http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/new-research-shines-a-light-on-sexism-in-local-government/fawcett-society-sexism-and-local-government/#sthash.nOCIjPOp.dpbs

See also:
* Sexism and unsociable hours: why less than a third of councillors are women
- Article in the Guardian by Polly Trenow of Fawcett

June 3, 2014

Scarred for Life? – Young Women in NEET – help the Inquiry – Young Women’s Trust

We are very excited to have launched the ‘Scarred for Life?’ Inquiry which will make a real difference to young women’s lives.

There are currently thousands of young women who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).  This is having a devastating impact on their lives now and in the future.

The Inquiry, led by an expert Panel and chaired by broadcaster Sian Williams, will make recommendations about what needs to be done to:

- Reduce the numbers of young women who are NEET

- Reduce the length of time young women are NEET

- Reduce the impact being NEET has on young women’s lives

You can help us

If you are a young woman aged 18-24, please click here.

If you are a member of the public, a professional working with young women, a policy maker or someone with evidence that could help our Inquiry, please click here.

To find out more about the Inquiry, please click here.


June 3, 2014

Support KMEWO in demanding Justice for Dunya !

On Friday 23rd May 2014, a 15 year’s old child bride was brutality murdered by her 45 years old polygamist husband in Iraqi Kurdistan – district Kalakji. Reports from Iraqi Kurdistan says that the husband removed one of the girl’s eyes, severed her breasts, disembowelled  , tied her to a car and dragged her body on the road and then firing nine bullets into her body. Police officials say they were unable to capture the murderer and that he fled the crime scene before the police arrived. The man is now on the run.

Honour Killing is a daily crime committed against women and young girls in the Region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Although hundreds of women fall victims of Honour Killings every year, the authorities seems unable or unwilling to offer them any protection.  According to official statistics in the last four months of 2014 alone, 14 women have been murdered.

Multilayers of crimes against Dunya:

Despite the tragic murder of this 15 years old child bride, Dunya, the reports after her death highlights a number of disturbing concerns relating to violence and oppression against women and girls:

1-    Child marriage twice:

Though only 15 years old, Dunya was put through another marriage (Bride exchange) when she was 11 years old, which did not work. At the age of 14 she was given to a man, 35 years older than her for 3500 US dollars. The legal age for marriage in Iraqi Kurdistan is 16 years old; which means no one under 16 should be married in the court, but it is known that underage marriage still happens, formally and informally and the authorities are turning a blind eye on them.  Many underage girls are either forced or encouraged to marriage, which are usually conducted by a local Cleric in secret.

2-    Continues Child abuse , rape and unreported Domestic Violence

The reports and investigation after Dunya’s murder is now bringing out her suffering and the many issues she has to deal with as a child. Speaking to the local media, Dunya ‘s mother is reported to have said that since the marriage 10 months ago, her daughter has been complaining about burns on her hand by her husband and his first wife , continuous beating by the husband’s first wife and his children. She also repeatedly suffered anal rape by her husband and other Domestic violence issues.

3-    Official neglects:

The KRG officials are claiming that they are taking many measures to help and protect women and young girls at risk or Honour crimes; including the installation of a helpline, and the setting up of a special departments and training for officers to deal with risks of Honour crimes. Yet according to Dunya’s mother she reported the danger to police hours before her body was found and it was hours before the police turn up to investigate.; The crime took place in the same small town and for hours no police force looked or concerned about Dunya . This is yet another ignorant act by officials in Iraqi Kurdistan.

4-    Tribal conciliation

While the perpetrator is still on the run; it is been reported that tribal deals has been offered to Dunya’s father, which is being considered. This is the most shameful and revolting way of dealing with crimes against women especially if the matter is related to “honour” ; if a tribal deal is agreed and Dunya’s father announce his forgiveness for a sum of money ; this will enormously reduce any judicial punishment and undermines the law that should not accepts any justification for killing women in the name of “honour” .

KMEWO and the undersigned organisations call on the Prime Minster of Kurdistan Regional Government ( Nechiravan Barzany) and the Kurdistan Parliament to ensure the following demands are met :

  • We at KMEWO holds KRG officials and the Directorate of Investigation DV partially responsible for the crimes; we also holds the police responsible and call for an independent investigation in to their roles in these crimes against Dunya .
  • We holds Dunya’s parents and the religious cleric who married her responsible for her suffering and untimely death; all these people must be brought to justice under the act No 8 anti DV law in Iraqi Kurdistan that prohibits child marriage.
  • We suspect that the perpetrator is been protected by local tribal leader; we call for an immediate investigation into those who called Dunya’s father for a tribal deal.
  • We demand that every effort is made to bring the perpetrator to justice and that no tribal deal should be accepted or reduce the sentence given for this brutal and aggressive crime against a child.
  • If because of an official or non-official tribal deal, the complaint against Dunya’s husband is withdrawn; we demand that the Attorney General act on the evidence available and not accepting any deals or forgiveness by Dunya’s parents who are already perpetrators of child marriage.

We call upon all human right organisations, all ante DV and Honour crimes organisations to support us in bringing this perpetrator to justice and not allowing any tribal deals or official’s ignorance to succeed.

If you are endorsing the above demands please send the name and email address of your organisation to info@kmewo.com.

Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women Organisation

Organisation’s signatures:

  1. IMECE – Women Centre / UK – London
  2. Kurdish Women Project – UK
  3. ROJ Women Association – UK
  4. Iranian and Kurdish Women Rights Organisation IKWRO / UK
  5. Caxton House Community Centre / UK -Islington
  6. Kurdistan Sociologist and Psychologists Association
  7. Alliance for Workers Liberty – Women’s Forum /UK
  8. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees / UK
  9. NINA Centre for defending women’s rights / Sweden
  10. WARVIN Foundation for Women Issues / Iraq
  11. ASUDA Women Centre / Iraq – Kurdistan
  12. Kurdistan Forum – Belgium
  13. International Free Women’s Foundation – Netherland
  14. Kurdish Women Centre in Köln – Germany
  15. Never Forget Pela and Fadime Organisation / Sweden (GAPF- Glöm Aldrig Pela och Fadime )
  16. Free Women’s Organisation in Kurdistan – RJAK
  17. Halabja Organisation – Iraqi Kurdistan
  18. Women Organisation in West Sweden ( kurdiska kvinnoförening i västra Götaland)
  19. Nergiz Society in Gothenburg – Sweden
  20. ASUDA Centre for The Development of Youth in Kurdistan – Iraq
  21. Women’s freedom Organisation in Kurdistan NINA
  22. IKAF – Iraqi and Kurdish Refugee Organisation in Norway

June 2, 2014

Solace launches new research demonstrating the long term impact of domestic violence

Solace Women’s Aid has launched the findings of a 3 year research project, Finding the Costs of Freedom, that examines how women and children rebuild their lives after domestic violence. Conducted in partnership with the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), this is the first longitudinal study of it’s kind in Europe.

Tracking 100 women who had accessed one or more of Solace Women’s Aid services, the research identified that for all of the participants, removing themselves from the immediate control of an abusive man was only the first step. Over 90% experienced post-separation abuse, indicating the critical need for specialist support for women in the period after leaving an abusive situation.

Professor Liz Kelly, Director of CWASU, said:

“That 90% of the sample experienced post separation abuse shows that leaving violent men does not make women and children safe. Specialist support and the women’s own ongoing safety work was more effective here than interventions of statutory agencies.”

Women faced a series of barriers in accessing the resources to rebuild their lives and quality support from statutory agencies, including; protection from further abuse, housing, employment, financial support, divorce and safe child contact. These were exacerbated by changes to the legal and policy context over the course of the research.

The study highlighted that the specialist and holistic service provision at Solace Women’s Aid was critical to women being and feeling safe, as well as dealing with the legacies of abuse for themselves and their children through counselling and therapeutic support.

One of the participants in the research study said

“I don’t know what I would have done without them [Solace]…they were really helpful. They were so good, never judged, never made you feel bad…just supported.”

Mary Mason, Chief Executive of Solace Women’s Aid, said

“The research demonstrates that services which focus on short term risk reduction and time-limited provision is insufficient to support survivors rebuilding their lives after abuse.”

“This study provides a crucial evidence base, demonstrating the necessity to invest in the long term needs of women and children so that they can thrive in safety and freedom from abuse.”

Key recommendations that have emerged from the research include:

  1. All women and children who have experienced domestic violence should be able to access a range of practical and therapeutic support for a minimum of two years after separation from their abusers.
  2. All agencies dealing with victims of domestic violence should ensure staff are trained to recognise domestic violence and have an understanding of coercive control and the reality that leaving does not necessarily end abuse.
  3. Refuge provision should be guaranteed and funded through a national refuge fund with a move on pathway. Women and children made homeless through domestic violence should be acknowledged as a unique group fleeing crimes that take place in the home. This should be recognised through special measures, including the offer of a social housing tenancy.
  4. The end of crisis loans and community care grants has made the rebuilding process even more complex, and welfare benefit reforms have created serious hardship. A specific fund for families relocating due to domestic violence should be created by central government.
  5. Community resources and individuals hold the potential to be enablers or barriers to women rebuilding their lives. National and local awareness raising work needs to expand understanding of what domestic violence is, including post-separation abuse, alongside clear messages about listening to and respecting survivors and offering support when needed.

As one of the research participants said,

“I think there should be more Solaces…and there should be more training for the external world out there.”

The Executive Summary of Finding the Costs of Freedom is available here.

Press Release at http://www.solacewomensaid.org/press-release-finding-the-costs-of-freedom/

June 2, 2014