IKWRO is delighted to announce the nominees and winners of the True Honour Awards 2024. On behalf of IKWRO and all of the judges, we congratulate every nominee for their crucial work to end “honour” based abuse and support survivors. Every single one deserves recognition and praise.

The Family United Organisation

The Family United Organisation is a registered charity within the UK that is dedicated to empowering those affected by FGM and forced marriages, particularly among the older generation in our community. There are a significant number of individuals in their forties and beyond who have endured the traumatic experiences of FGM and coerced marriages at a young age. 

Yet, amidst language barriers and the weight of tradition, many have resigned themselves to these injustices. The Family United Organisation provides not only emotional and financial support but a safe space for those affected by this to talk and seek help. Through their partnership with La Fraternite, in which their membership consists of 95% FGM survivors, Family United has been able to offer trainings, workshops, and connections to any additional support those affected may need. Along with this, they have collaborated with Forward to offer learning sessions and morning coffees which allow for members of the community to get information and support. Their organization has also run various events in Sierra Leone, particularly in regions like Bo and Kenema, where the prevalence of FGM and forced marriages remains high. Through financial support, educational initiatives, and medical aid, they are actively uplifting vulnerable communities and providing opportunities for growth and empowerment. Furthermore, they have begun on a project to establish a vocational training school in Kenema which will equip the young people and disabled members of the community with the tools they need to empower themselves. 

Aminata Bah 

Aminata Bah’s fight against FGM/C and GBV has spanned over a decade. As a former inhabitant of the heavily affected area of Guinea she carries a deep personal commitment to addressing these critical issues that afflict women and girls worldwide. Since 2017, she has served as the Head of Women and Community Partnership at La Fraternite Guineenne, where they have led a variety of transformative initiatives aimed at safeguarding women and girls. 

Through a series of community workshops and women’s projects across various London boroughs, survivors and affected individuals find solace, empowerment, and support in safe environments facilitated by Aminata. Furthermore, she has played a pivotal role as a FGM health advocate, dedicating over two years to the FGM Clinic in Croydon. Their efforts have ensured that survivors and affected communities have access to vital services and support systems. Aminata has also been trained by Forward UK to become a FGM Community Champion and Peer Educator and has served as an Ambassador at the End FGM European Network since 2019. In addition to this, she was elected to the board in 2022 and has since become one of the co-presidents of the Network, she continues to amplify voices, raise awareness, and champion the rights of those impacted by FGM/C.

Deqa Dirie 

 Deqa Dirie’s work is at the forefront of healthcare advocacy and social change. With a distinguished career spanning multiple domains, Deqa has been unwavering in her dedication to improving health outcomes and addressing disparities. With a deep understanding of public health, Deqa has navigated the intricacies of health and social issues, championing the rights of women, children, and marginalised communities. Throughout her career she has been involved in a variety of collaborations, from governmental bodies to grassroots organisations, where she has left an irreplaceable mark through her visionary leadership.

Deqa’s impact has reached across many diverse areas, from maternal and child nutrition to combating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and addressing the scourge of human trafficking. Her endeavors have shaped policies, influenced government actions, and spearheaded initiatives aimed at dismantling systemic barriers and fostering inclusivity. Deqa’s role as CEO of DCL-PRO Services exemplifies her commitment to amplifying voices and expanding access to essential services. With a keen focus on change management and policy advocacy, she is paving pathways for vulnerable populations, ensuring they receive the care, support, and dignity they deserve.

Dr. Helen Murphy 

Dr. Helen Murphy is a passionate advocate and educator dedicated to combating misogyny and violence against women and girls globally. As a distinguished social psychologist, she utilizes her lecturing platform to shed light on critical issues and advocate for transformative change. At the heart of Dr. Murphy’s work lies a steadfast commitment to education as a catalyst for social mobility and empowerment. Recognizing the profound impact education has on the lives of women and girls, Dr. Murphy fervently opposes regimes that perpetuate systemic barriers and deny access to education. 

Through engaging lectures and discourse, Dr. Murphy challenges societal norms and fosters a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding misogyny and gender-based violence. Her dedication to amplifying voices and advocating for gender equality resonates deeply with her students and peers alike. Furthermore, Dr. Murphy recognizes the interconnectedness of education and social justice, acknowledging that empowered women and girls can shape a more inclusive and equitable future for all. 

Hawa D. Sesay

 Hawa D Sesay is a beacon of resilience, compassion, and empowerment in the fight against FGM. Surviving FGM at the age of 13 while growing up in Sierra Leone, Hawa’s personal experience inspired her to become a founder of the ‘Hawa Trust Foundation’ in the UK with the mission of providing dignity, care, and support to survivors of FGM. Collaborating with Hackney Council for Voluntary Service, Hawa’s foundation delivers impactful education campaigns in schools, fostering awareness and understanding about the harmful practice of FGM. 

In addition to this, since 2019 Hawa has been actively involved in projects in Sierra Leone aimed at eradicating FGM as a source of income for rural communities. Through initiatives promoting sustainable farming and shifting attitudes towards FGM, Hawa empowers communities to embrace change and break free from harmful traditions. Hawa also works closely with specialists at Guys and St Thomas Hospital to provide comprehensive support to FGM survivors, offering monthly support groups and one-on-one sessions to address the long-term effects of this traumatic experience. 

Hibo Wardere

Hibo Wardere is an extraordinary individual whose resilience and dedication have made her a formidable force in the fight against FGM. Hibo was born and raised in Somalia and moved to the UK when she was only a teenager. At the age of 6, Hibo became a survivor of FGM. Today, Hibo Wardere wears many hats—she is a devoted mother, a passionate teacher, a skilled mediator, and a compelling public speaker. However, it is her role as an anti-FGM campaigner that truly sets her apart.

With unwavering determination, she tirelessly advocates for the eradication of FGM, using her voice to educate and empower others. As a trainer, Hibo imparts invaluable knowledge and insights to a diverse array of professionals, including teachers, politicians, police officers, social workers, midwives, and doctors. Through her trainings, she equips individuals with the tools and understanding necessary to combat FGM effectively. In April of last year, Hibo’s memoir, “Cut: One Woman’s Fight against FGM in Britain Today,” was published—an intimate and powerful account of her journey and her tireless advocacy. Through her memoir and public engagements, she sheds light on the realities of FGM and inspires others to join the fight against this deeply entrenched practice.

Miss Hindzz

Miss Hindzz is a beacon of resilience, courage, and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity. During the tumultuous period of the pandemic, Miss Hindzz escaped the “honour” based abuse she was experiencing and began to work on healing and self-discovery. In her Instagram stories and posts, Miss Hindzz has bravely shared glimpses of her journey, offering solace and solidarity to countless individuals who have experienced similar traumas. She has become a source of inspiration and empowerment.

As she continues to heal, Miss Hindzz remains steadfast in her commitment to raise awareness and advocate for change. 

Oxford Against Cutting (OAC)

Oxford Against Cutting (OAC), is an organization dedicated to eradicating harmful practices such as ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage. OAC delivers sensitive and age-appropriate education and training, providing survivors with information, advice, and support. At the heart of OAC’s mission lies a steadfast commitment to challenging the notion of ‘honour’ and dismantling the systems of oppression that perpetuate these harmful practices.

Through initiatives such as the ‘True Izzat’ (True Honour) film series, OAC confronts the stigma and shame surrounding topics related to sexual health, offering a platform for dialogue and empowerment in English, Punjabi, and Urdu. Furthermore, OAC’s Web Cafes serve as a vital space for individuals to engage in critical conversations surrounding ‘honour’-based violence, exploring its impact on diverse communities and cultures. By fostering peer-to-peer learning and creative arts projects, OAC empowers young people to become agents of change in their communities. They have also just finished a series ‘What is ‘honour’’ in Urdu, Bangla, and Punjabi. These sessions provide a space for people to unpick ideas around ‘honour’ and OAC plans to run more of these sessions in other languages.

The Sky Project 

The Sky Project is a beacon of hope and resilience in the battle against Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’ Based Abuse. Established in 2009 with a mission to enlighten and empower. This Bristol-based charity stands as an institution of education, awareness, and advocacy. What sets The Sky Project apart is not just its noble cause, but its unwavering commitment to volunteerism. 

Led by Sabeena Pirooz and fueled by the passion of its dedicated team, the charity operates on the principles of compassion, solidarity, and pro bono service. At the core of The Sky Project’s endeavors lies a profound belief in the power of education to effectuate change. Through bespoke and accredited training sessions, the charity equips professionals with the knowledge, sensitivity, and cultural competence needed to combat Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’ Based Abuse across diverse communities. The Sky Project’s mission is about building bridges—bridges that span cultural, gender, religious, and racial boundaries. By fostering understanding and empathy, the charity not only safeguards victims but also strives to dismantle the systemic barriers that perpetuate violence and oppression. Guided by the ethos of collective action, The Sky Project works in tandem with a diverse array of stakeholders—from law enforcement to academia—to forge a united front against Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’ Based Abuse. Together, they challenge societal norms, safeguard victims, and ensure that the conversation surrounding these issues remains alive and unwavering.

Valerie Lolomari, Women of Grace (UK)

Women of Grace is a UK- based charity founded on the unwavering dedication of survivors, activists, and professionals, with a mission that has made great strides in the fight against FGM and HBV. At the heart of their work lies a profound understanding of the harrowing impacts of GBV, particularly ‘Honor’ Based Abuse. Guided by empathy and expertise, Women of Grace provides a sanctuary for minoritized women, including refugees and asylum seekers, offering them solace, solidarity, and support.

Through a spectrum of initiatives, from workshops to wellness services, Women of Grace not only raises awareness about harmful practices but also fosters empowerment within communities. 

FORWARD - Winner of Special Recognition for Outstanding Organisation Tackling “Honour” Based Abuse 

FORWARD is a pioneering organization led by and for African women, dedicated to ending violence against African women and girls. With over 35 years of unwavering commitment and dedication, FORWARD stands at the forefront of the fight against FGM, forced and child marriage, domestic and sexual violence, and associated honour-based harms and trauma. 

What sets FORWARD apart is not only their depth of knowledge and expertise in the field but also their profound ability to work closely with communities, building bridges and fostering meaningful connections. Through holistic, culturally appropriate specialist support, FORWARD addresses the intersectional and complex needs and experiences of African women and girls, nurturing resilient leaders and driving sustained change. At the core of FORWARD’s vision is the belief that African women and girls everywhere deserve to live in dignity, thrive, and enjoy optimum well-being. Their tireless advocacy and strategic approach have led to significant policy changes, including lobbying for UK legislation on FGM and child marriage, as well as partnering in campaigns to raise the legal age of marriage to 18 years in the UK in 2023.In addition to their advocacy efforts, FORWARD is renowned for their collaborative approach, supporting over 10 community women’s organizations in England while actively recognizing and celebrating the achievements of their partners. As noted by one of their partner organizations, FORWARD’s commitment to collaboration and empowerment stands as a beacon of integrity and solidarity in the fight against gender-based violence. Through strategic partnerships, community research, and capacity-building initiatives, FORWARD continues to pave the way for gender justice and social transformation. Their unwavering dedication to amplifying voices, influencing decision-makers, and shifting societal norms sets a powerful example for organizations worldwide.

Lucky Roy Singh Winner of Special Recognition as Inspiring Activist Tackling “Honour” Based Violence

Lucky Roy Singh is an exemplary LGBTQ+ activist, Honour-Based Domestic Violence Campaigner, and the nurturing Mother of the House of Spice, residing in Manchester, UK. Lucky’s tireless dedication to supporting survivors of domestic abuse and honour-based violence is truly commendable. Through extensive education initiatives with police forces, social workers, and the NHS, Lucky has advocated tirelessly for survivors, amplifying their voices, and championing their rights to the British Government. This year, Lucky stands as an outstanding nominee for the Gaydio LGBT Influencer of the Year, a testament to their unwavering commitment to advocacy and activism. 

Lucky’s leadership extends beyond advocacy to the realm of performance art, where their talent and dedication shine through the House of Spice. As the founder of the UK’s first LGBTQ+ South Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African House, Lucky has created a powerful platform for marginalized voices to be heard and celebrated. During Manchester Pride in 2022, Lucky delivered a poignant speech, vowing to turn instances of racism within the LGBTQ+ community into opportunities for empowerment and unity. Through their leadership, the House of Spice has secured major performance opportunities at events like Manchester Pride, Homobloc, Transcreative, and more, fostering a sense of belonging and strength within the community. Lucky’s mentorship and guidance continue to inspire and uplift individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, nurturing long-term resilience and empowerment. Their unwavering commitment to anti-racism work and advocacy serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for us all. 

Police Constable Joanna Harrison- Winner of Special Recognition for Professionals Working to End “Honour” Based Abuse

Joanna Harrison is a dedicated Police Constable within Cumbria Constabulary, whose exemplary work in addressing “Honour” Based Abuse (HBA) has earned her recognition and praise. In a concerning case involving a young woman from Pakistan, Joanna’s keen eye and compassionate approach played a pivotal role in recognizing the signs of HBA. Through her dedication and commitment to building rapport with the young woman, Joanna facilitated a safe space for her to disclose instances of controlling and coercive behaviour by her partner and his family members. 

Throughout the ordeal, safeguarding the young woman remained Joanna’s unwavering priority. Joanna’s humility and dedication shine through her acknowledgment of her role in the case, emphasizing her focus on the well-being and safety of the young woman above all else. Her passion for addressing domestic abuse and violence against women and girls is evident in her words and actions, reflecting her unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in her community.

In addition to her impactful work within Cumbria Constabulary, Joanna has actively engaged in raising awareness about domestic abuse through workshops delivered to young people in schools, partnering with the Restorative Justice Charity – Remedi. Her dedication to education and prevention underscores her commitment to tackling the root causes of violence and abuse. Looking ahead, Joanna’s aspirations to become a Detective Constable reflect her steadfast resolve to pursue justice for survivors of abuse and hold perpetrators of the most serious crimes accountable. Her unwavering commitment to supporting survivors and advocating for change is a testament to her character and dedication to serving her community. 

Police Sergeant Kate Warner – Winner of Special Recognition for Professionals Working to End “Honour” Based Abuse 

Kate was born and raised in Cumbria and is familiar with the inner workings of the community. She has extensive experience in handling sensitive cases of honour based abuse, and is humble in her pursuit to end these harmful practices. Kate has previous experience at the Met Police working with HBA cases, and her expertise has carried over to her new career in Penrith where she continues to provide necessary assistance. 

She supervises and directs staff on ways to protect victims and their families, always keeping the safety and privacy of survivors in mind. She navigates the difficulties of these issues and continues to be open minded to developing new ways to protect against harmful practices. Kate is at the forefront of the fight against honour based abuse and we greatly appreciate her brilliant efforts.

Winner of Special Recognition for International Commitment to Ending "Honour" Based Abuse - Sonita Alizadeh

Sonita Alizada is a young Afghan rapper working to end child marriage. With a poet’s soul and activist’s passion, she uses rap, courage to stand up for women’s and girls’ rights. Sonita was born in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Being almost sold into marriage twice at age 10 and again 16, Alizadeh’s mother, who had moved back to Afghanistan, instructed her to return home to meet her future husband. 

With the help of Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, an Iranian filmmaker, who recorded her journey in a documentary called “Sonita” helped Alizadeh record a powerful and evocative video, “Daughters for Sale,” which was seen around the world. The rap song and her story helped Sonita to obtain a full scholarship to come to the US in 2015.

Today, Alizadeh lives in the United States and has pursued a joint major at Bard College in Human Rights and Music. As a Rhodes Scholar, she will be attending the University of Oxford in September 2024 to obtain her master’s degree in Politics.

Besides school, she is still a passionate advocate to end child marriage and promote the rights of other women around the world. She has shared the stage with heads of state, Nobel Laureates, and renowned change-makers and helped develop a curriculum on child marriage for over one million students. Her message about ending child marriage is reaching the highest levels of global leadership and civil society, and her story and vision have been shared worldwide. Through her music and advocacy, she wants to encourage world leaders, policymakers to take urgent action to end child marriage. “If girls are forced into early marriages, the societies, the world will be in the cycle of poverty and illiteracy,” she says, “if you want to see the world in peace, better health, and condition, prevent girls from early marriages and keep them in school.”

Winner of Special Recognition for Longstanding Commitment to Ending "Honour" Based Abuse - Jaswant Kaur Narwal

Jaswant Kaur Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor, has over 34 years’ experience in the Criminal Justice System having been with the CPS since 1989. Jaswant holds a wealth of experience acquired through a rich career to-date, shaped by a desire to achieve real, systemic impact, keep diversity and inclusion on the agenda and make a positive contribution through her work. She began her career in London after successfully winning a scholarship with CPS and has worked up through the ranks in this role to become one of the most senior prosecutors in the country, first appointed to the Chief position in 2007 under the 42 area structure.

Effectively operating as both a senior prosecutor and a senior civil servant, Jaswant’s responsibilities include dealing with serious, high-profile cases, necessitating exposure to the media, and managing public expectations. Recently headed the team that prosecuted David Carrick Metropolitan Police officer rape case). And features on Netflix docuseries episode 6 ‘When Missing turns to Murder’ released recently about the Surjit Athwal honour killing case. She has also worked with and learned from her peers in other jurisdictions, taking inspiration from Scotland’s success with youth crime and working with French authorities to prevent cross-border financial and organised crime, and with the Americans by developing a US/UK FGM Law Enforcement Proclamation. She has a particular focus on race, diversity and inclusion issues; acting as the CPS’s National Lead for ‘honour’- based abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. She is also the CPS National Lead for Race. Conscious of her position as one of few senior ethnic minority figures in her field, she has influenced and made organisational as well as wider progress on race and diversity, such as by launching a CPS Sikh Society and building relationships with the Society of Asian Lawyers, as well as in a personal capacity through acting as a Patron of the True Honour charity and a Mentor for ethnic minority managers from the public and private sectors. She has also worked closely with the CPS/Bar to bring changes and improve diversity to CPS briefing policies.

The Winner of the True Honour Awards 2024 - Nina Aouilk

Nina Aouilk is a remarkable individual whose unwavering dedication and tireless efforts have become a beacon of hope in the face of FGM and “honour” based abuse. As a survivor of “honour” based abuse herself Nina has dedicated her life to helping those who have also been affected by this trauma.

At the forefront of her advocacy, she shattered barriers and defied convention, by starting a global dialogue that has reached an unmatched scale. Her ground-breaking viral video reached over 60 million people worldwide. Through the lens of her own harrowing experiences, she forged connections, bridging hearts and minds across continents, and sparking a movement rooted in empathy and understanding.

A trailblazer in every sense, she exemplifies the transformative power of action, founding a non-profit organization that serves as a beacon of hope for victims and survivors seeking solace and sanctuary. With steadfast resolve, she has travelled the globe, amplifying the voices of the oppressed, shedding light on the injustice of child marriages, sexual abuse, and forced unions. She remains steadfast in their unwavering resolve to combat the heinous practice of honour killings, challenging societal norms and advocating for systemic change. Within TEDx and beyond, she has become a catalyst for change whose words resonate with the power of truth and the urgency of action. 

The Winner of the True Honour Awards 2024 - Halimot Ogunnaike

Halimot Ogunnaike is a survivor of FGM/C, having been subjected at the age of 9 and later modern-day slavery, and trafficking. Halimot has become a beacon of resilience and hope, urging others to join her in the fight against “honour”-based abuse. Her story is not just one of survival but a testament to the power of resilience and the potential for positive change in the face of adversity. 

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