Glasgow councillor issues plea to end gender violence in the city

A Glasgow councillor has issued a plea to end honour-killings and gender based violence directed at Muslim and BME women across the city.

Last week Bailie Soryia Siddique joined the “Say Her Name” candlelight vigil organised by Scotland’s leading charity for Muslim and BME women which works to overcome violence against women.

Amina organised the vigil to commemorate the victims of honour-based killings on the last day of 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

The names of approximately 100 Muslim and/or BME women who have been killed because of honour were read out loud in unison by representatives from key organisations and politicians.

A minute’s silence was then held for all the victims, some whose illustrations were also on display to empower other victims to come forward and report honour-based abuse.

Speaking about the event, CEO of Amina MWRC (Muslim Women’s Resource Centre) Mariam Ahmed, said: “We were delighted to see the community come together and join us in remembering the women who have been sadly lost due to honour-based violence.

“We hope to continue our work in highlighting the prevalence of honour-based abuse and hope women facing this know they are not alone, there is help and, as a community, we will stand together to challenge this form of abuse against women and girls.”

In the UK, there are approximately 12-15 reported honour killings every year. The statistics are likely to be much higher, with many unreported cases due to people and children being taken abroad and their whereabouts being unknown.

Perpetrators are usually the family which also result in many cases remaining unreported.

Bailie Soryia Siddique said: “I attended a moving candlelight vigil to commemorate victims of honour-based killings.

“This could never be and will never be acceptable. Thanks to Amina Muslim Women Resource Centre for this very important event.

“There is a need for a national strategy to ensure this horrific crime is eradicated. There must be prevention, early intervention and support for victims of this horrific crime.”

It comes following last week’s full council meeting where members discussed the importance of women’s safety.

Labour councillor Marie Garitty asked what steps the council had taken to ensure that all members of staff are trained to spot the signs of domestic violence amongst their colleagues, in line with the recent campaign ‘Equally Safe in Practice’ launched by Scottish Women’s Aid.

Councillor Alan Casey responded: “We all have a responsibility to combat gender-based violence. We have updated our guidance to help our employees subject to this type of abuse and offer flexible working arrangements to staff who may be in crisis due to domestic violence.

“Domestic violence information and support is communicated to all council staff through our council staff updates. Help and advice is available to all staff and includes government recommended pathways to support Covid-19.

“The council supports domestic violence campaigns including domestic awareness month. Our new staffing health and wellbeing handbook is currently being finalised and will soon be launched across all council services to raise awareness.”

More information can be found on the council website. Amina also has a national freefone helpline for BME and Muslim who can call if they require support and advise on 0808 8010301.

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