In 2017 CEMVO Scotland organised a series of events to support the development of the Scottish Minority Ethnic Women’s Network (SMEWN).
Events to date have focused on employability issues affecting ethnic minority women in collaboration with The Scottish Government Equality Unit and Employability Team followed by an event with the Scottish Government Violence Against Women Unit to focus on the delivery plan for the ‘Equally Safe’ strategy, which was re-drafted following a public consultation. The event provided a “voice” that was absent from ethnic minority women to feed into the delivery plan, and further demonstrating the need for the Network to continue and build.
Over 300 ethnic minority women participated in the above events, and that progressed to the set-up of an Advisory Forum in 2018.
In June 2019 the Advisory Forum presented the following model and structure for a Network at an event that was held for participants that attended previous events:
- Aims/Values and Objectives
- Model and Structure of the Network
- Advisory Forum Members
- Membership Forms
The Scottish Minority Ethnic Women’s Network (SMEWN) receives funding from the Scottish Government Equality Unit which has been managed and administered with capacity building support from CEMVO Scotland. SMEWN Board has developed a workplan and is committed to delivering the following outcomes:
Provide a safe space for women to discuss issues that affect them
Develop a Network where women can share ideas and access support
Develop peer and mentoring support for women that need it
Establish a mechanism where a the network can be a strategic voice that can feed into the Scottish Government and other key decision makers around policy and issues affecting Ethnic Minority Women.
SMEWN was officially launched in October 2019 by Minister for Equalities and Older People Christina McKelvie, and was attended by over 120 women who also joined the Network boosting the membership to just under a hundred. The membership now stands at 147 and has increased its social media presence using the following social media platforms.
Facebook: Scottish Minority Ethnic Women’s Network
In 2020 as a result of the pandemic the Network Board with the support of CEMVO Officer planned a series of webinars titled ‘Lets Break to Educate’ and have delivered three Zoom webinars on the following topics;
- Covid 19 in the community
- Impact of Homeschooling on BME families
- BME women in employment
The first webinar was held in July and was attended by 52 women and had 3 speakers from Public Health Scotland. The next webinar was held in August, had no
speakers and was attended by 17 women. The third webinar was held in September, had 2 speakers and was attended by 27 women. Feedback received after each event confirmed that all the attendees had found the topics interesting and informative.
A fourth webinar will be held on 28th October on the topic of Black Lives Matter to coincide with Black History Month and a fifth webinar in November on the topic of Domestic Violence to coincide with the 16 days of the elimination of domestic violence.
A report summarising the webinars and highlighting the key points and issues will be produced in 2021
For more information and/or if you would like to join the Network then please contact:
Parveen Khan Race Equality Mainstreaming Officer on 07398200596