A significant part of our work involves activism in the field of violence against women and girls (VAWG). We campaign in many ways to bring about both political and social change for women experiencing violence. By speaking out and making our voices heard, we ensure the needs of our community are represented in spaces where it matters.
Below are some examples of our activist work.
Film: ‘Nothing about us without us’
This short film captures black women’s resistance to government cuts that threaten vital VAWG services for and by Black and minoritised women. It follows women from Apna Haq, who travel to London to march with other women and hand in a petition to Downing Street to protest against the continued closure of black women’s organisations, which threatens women’s lives.
Reclaim the Night, Rotherham
Apna Haq takes part in the annual Reclaim the Night event held in Rotherham town centre, to address gender-based violence. This event is organised by women’s organisations working to stop violence against women and is supported by members of the public who say ‘no more’ to violence in the city.
Rise Together Campaign
Rise Together is a campaign driving attention and investment to five of the strongest Black and minoritised people-led and focused organisations tackling violence against women in the UK. In 2018, this initiative of GMSP Foundation, I.G. Advisors and Social Misfits Media launched Phase I, aimed at helping the UK public take action during the international 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women (25 November to 10 December). Their crowdfunding initiative during the 16 days raised an incredible £8,000.
These organisations are:
- Apna Haq
- Ashiana Network
- IMECE Women’s Centre
- Latin American Women’s Aid (LAWA)
- Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS).
Million Women Rise
Apna Haq is an active supporter of Million Women Rise, a national campaign to raise awareness of male violence against women. We take women from the Rotherham community to join the annual march to join in solidarity with other women from across the UK, to have our voices heard that violence against women and girls is unacceptable and that together we will continue to support women to highlight this.
White Ribbon IC Change campaign
Apna Haq fully supports the White Ribbon IC Change campaign, calling on the British government to ratify the Istanbul Convention on violence against women. We work locally to amplify the message of the White Ribbon campaign, such as in mosques where we share the message with men to understand what domestic violence is and to stand up to help stamp it out.
“The Istanbul Convention will create rights for women irrelevant of where they are from in Europe, residing in any European country - to have the right to be protected from issues of violence against women through prevention, and prosecution, a right to hotlines, shelters medical services, counselling and legal aid. Given the poor current standards for women whether UK nationals or not the Istanbul Convention can only be welcomed in further establishing a woman’s rights across Europe to live their lives free of violence and intimidation.”
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence
Every year, 25 November - the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - to 10 December - Human Rights Day - marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This internationally recognised campaign period elevates the issue of violence into the public and political eye.
To mark it, we have written a number of blogs over the years, highlighting Apna Haq’s work and services for Black and minoritised women experiencing violence.
- Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2017: Supporting Black and Ethnic Minority Women and Girls on Issues of Domestic Violence. By Zlakha Ahmed.
- Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2015: Forced marriage: What can health professionals do? By Zlakha Ahmed.
- Women’s Aid, 2016: How the world can change, by Zlakha Ahmed.
- Open Democracy: 16 Days: cutting Black and minority ethnic women's organisations, by Rahila Gupta.
If you are interested in Apna Haq’s activism work, why not get in touch and become a volunteer?