My home town again. From the East London and West Essex Guardian
AN ELDERLY support group which was awarded a £37,000 grant is reluctant to allow women to join in activities. Waltham Forest Asian Seniors Group, which was set up 15 years ago, is made up of mostly Pakistani Muslim men.
The aim of the group is to bring isolated members of the Asian community together but women do not attend meetings due to cultural beliefs.
Project manager Dr Shuakat Khan said he and his management team are working to break down barriers between the two genders. He said ” . . . a lot of the men are not comfortable sitting next to a woman. Some of them feel that the women’s needs are greater than theirs so they would feel threatened if they joined. We now have female volunteers giving health check-ups and teaching exercises and although the men were reluctant to leave them in at the start they are getting used to it. . . Change is happening but it is slow . . .”
The group has approximately 60 members and was awarded a grant by the Peoples’ Health Trust last year.
Although women do attend occasional outings with the group, they do not join in the weekly meetings.
Some of the most pertinent comments:
* knowing the council another £37.000 will go towards a womans Asian centre at the same address
* …I’m saddened. Equality has been a cornerstone of our community for decades yet this group is receiving funding which condones segregation. I would be interested to hear what the ‘feminist’ MP for Walthamstow Village, Stella Creasy, has to say.
* Typical of this council. Try to do it with any other community group and you would be told you are discriminating.
Seems like one rule for some and another rule for others.
Regular readers may remember that the ‘Asian Ladies Tea club’ run by Mrs Anjem Choudary at a different venue in Walthamstow plotted sedition and was closed in 2015.