Violence Against Women and Girls
Amina’s ‘Ending Violence against Women and Girls’ (VAWG) programme is a prevention programme which aims to challenge sexist and misogynistic attitudes and behaviours amongst the Muslim and BME communities. In parallel to this, the project raises awareness of VAWG as well as organisations that support women who are experiencing VAWG. We work with Muslim and BME communities across Scotland, using our unique and tailored approach, so that information about VAWG is reaching our target groups in a form that they consider, process and accept. We have over 15 years experience of this work, and our VAWG programme grew organically from our helpline work; most of our calls to the helpline related to VAWG issues.
Some of the issues we have highlighted and challenged amongst the Muslim/BME communities include so called honour based violence, sexual harassment, harmful traditional practises such as forced marriages and FGM as well as psychological, financial and sexual abuse.
As part of our prevention programme, we have developed a campaign entitled You Can Change This and many resources which communities and organisations could access. Our recent film is called ‘Hopscotch’ which raises awareness of Islamophobic, racist and sexist comments a woman experiences whilst walking the streets of Edinburgh. To learn more about You Can Change This Click here.
The following provide further information about what the VAWG programme does.
The VAW programme is Scotland wide and includes:
We provide training to Scottish organisations as well to Amina’s staff and volunteers. Amina is committed to raising awareness of the needs of Muslim/BME women experiencing VAWG. We have also introduced our resources to organisations nationally and internationally. Organisations and communities continue to access our films, posters and other campaign materials.
Policy work: where possible, we provide support to government, local authority and organisational policies relevant to our work. Recently we partnered up with local organisations in Dundee and set up a ‘harmful traditional practises’ working group, so that this issue is not marginalised and remains on the agenda of organisations working on VAWG issues. We anticipate that as this group evolves, we would feed into wider policy matters relating to harmful traditional practises.
If there’s an issue you think could be addressed at this level, get in touch to let us know your views, so your voice can be heard.
Shaykh Abdul Aziz and Shaykh Hassan Rabbani (both Islamic scholars who are committed to the rights of women), in conjunction with Amina produced and delivered interactive workshop on VAWG and Islam to Muslim men across Scotland. Over 100 men of different ages and ethnicities have been engaged with, 94% making a commitment to future campaign work to prevent violence against women. This year we have been proactive in reaching men who live in more rural areas.This is a link to one our films, Imams for Change, challenging VAWG: Please Click.
Our self-care and storytelling workshops focus on raising awareness of VAWG, healing and story-telling for women who have experienced violence. During the workshop the women are gently encouraged to tell their stories using a visual map of their lives, depicted in scrapbooks. They also learn some gentle but powerful techniques for practicing self-compassion and taking care of themselves.