Funding English lessons will decrease isolation, say IKWRO
Diana Nammi, IKWRO’s Executive Director was one of the women invited by the Prime Minister, David Cameron to speak with him about isolation of Muslim women last week.
Diana advised the Prime Minister that the UK government must stop tolerating discrimination of Muslim women and end all barriers to to equality and access to justice and human rights.
She urged him to address legal aid cuts and to end parallel legal systems by closing down all religious ‘courts’ including ‘sharia courts’, as well as ending segregation. Diana also called for sustainable funding for organisations like IKWRO that work with women and girls at risk of violence to ensure they are safe, can access their rights and end their isolation. All women that IKWRO work with are keen to learn English, however many have been prevented from doing so by controlling men and past cuts to English language classes have made this more difficult.
We welcome the announcement of £20 million funding for English classes but also urge the government not to punish vulnerable women themselves if they cannot satisfy tests on language progress. Keeping women on temporary status makes them more vulnerable as men often use immigration as a tool of control and returning married women to their country of origin could put them at risk of “honour” based violence and even “honour” killing from their family or community.