Tag Archives: cuts

Lend your voice and your signature, and help to save IKWRO’s funding

SidVicious08 on Deviantart.com


Local authorities in London are about to make massive cuts to funding for the voluntary sector.  As a result the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation could lose more than £60,000 in funding over the next two years – funding that we desperately need in order to help women at risk of forced marriage, honour killing and female genital mutilation.  Other projects under the axe include a child abuse helpline, support to enable women to escape domestic violence, assistance for the elderly, the homeless and for destitute asylum seekers, legal advice for people facing discrimination in the workplace and even rape crisis centres. 

Many of these projects were due to run until the end of 2012 but London Councils – the body which disburses grants on behalf of the boroughs – is now saying that contracts could end as early as March next year, leaving organisations with no time to find new funding.

On 25 November representatives from each borough are meeting to decide which projects to shelve.  One week before this, on Thursday 18 November, IKWRO and other organisations are holding a phone-in.  If you live in London you can take part by telephoning your local representative at London Councils. 

Our message to London Councils is that we want them to protect our grants until the end of the original contracts, instead of cutting them in March.  This will give all of us the time to look for other funding so our services don’t have to close down.

We’ve put together a handy action guide to help you get started.  The guide tells you how to get in touch with your London Councils representative and will take you through the phone-in step by step. 

Even if you don’t live in London or can’t take part in the phone-in you can still support the campaign by signing our online petition.  Please add your signature today and make sure to share the petition with all your friends and family too.

Will the spending cuts leave women out in the cold?

Photo by QueenEnigma09 (Deviant Art)

Last week’s spending review ordered local authorities to cut expenditure by a whopping 25.6%. This could be very bad news for women facing domestic violence.

For the last two years we have received £30,000 from local authorities in London through the London Councils grant scheme. We use this funding to help women and girls from the capital’s Middle Eastern communities who are facing domestic abuse and sexual violence. 

Weeks before the spending review the London Councils – knowing that cuts were coming – announced that our funding could be under the axe. Instead of spending money to help women from across London, the boroughs would rather keep it to spend locally.

For weeks we’ve been taking part in consultations, ringing borough councillors and writing to MPs, trying to persuade them to save our project. We had a breakthrough last Tuesday when members of the London Councils Grants Committee met and agreed that tackling violence against women must remain a top priority. But then the spending review happened, and now we’re worried that they might change their minds.

The London Councils must stick to their decision and protect funding for critical violence against women services like ours. We know that difficult decisions have to be taken but the women we work with must not bear the cuts. They have already endured beatings, rape and imprisonment. Many have been forced into marriage, and when they try to escape their husbands they are shunned – or worse – by their own families. Local authorities must not abandon them, budget cuts or not. 

We won’t let the London Councils leave our clients out in the cold. They make their final decision on 25 November – a month from today – and until then IKWRO will keep making noise. We’re only a small team and it’s taking up time that we’d rather spend on clients who need our help now. But if the London Councils decide to maintain our funding then we can continue supporting women and girls for as long as they need us. We think that’s worth fighting for.