The Middle Eastern Women and Society organisation and the University of Greenwich have partnered to run a project researching and raising awareness about polygamy in London. The project aims to bring polygamy to the attention of the public and government in order to uphold the existing ban on polygamy and promote women’s rights within the community. According to the Home Office there are approximately 25,000 women registered as second wives and the Polygamy Matters campaign aims to end the practice of polygamy in the UK and protect women and children.
Halaleh Taheri, Director of MEWSo and lead campaigner of Polygamy Matters, said in her speech: “Polygamy is unequal and against women’s rights and we should protect women and children because they deserve a better life. It’s important to work with politicians and decision makers to highlight the issue of polygamy to the wider society in order to change attitudes and stop the practise of polygamy. Education is an important tool for the campaign and all these changes will not happen without the support of the Government”.
The partnered organisations have so far run a pilot project speaking openly about polygamy with women trapped in these relationships. Elena Vacchelli, Greenwich University, who ran the workshops and women reported the abuse and domestic violence they suffered in such relationships as well as the emotional and financial sufferings of their children.
The Family Life Celebration on July 7th 2018 marked the end of the pilot project and celebrated the lives of the women who were brave enough to speak out about life in a polygamous relationship. The event introduced the Polygamy Matters campaign to the public and gave the audience the opportunity to engage with and support the campaign. Many people gave their option and showed solidarity in tackling the issue. The next stage will be growing the campaign as well as reaching and changing the lives of more women affected by polygamy.
If you are interested in joining the Polygamy Matters campaign or know someone affected by polygamy, please contact Halaleh Taheri on 07958145666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Life Celebration featured in the Islington Tribune in July 2018