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Training for Professionals

Protecting women & girls
from harmful cultural practices

MEWSo provides bespoke training sessions to professionals working with women and girls about harmful cultural practices they may be unaware of or need more information about.


We developed these sessions when the law to ban virginity tests and hymen reconstructive surgery came into effect in July 2022. Since then, we have also added training sessions on polygamy, a harmful practise that, while illegal, still goes on within certain communities.

Our training is tailored to each organisation's individual requirements and is designed to appeal to a variety of audiences, including frontline practitioners, board and management committee members, other charities and voluntary groups, and volunteers.

Training Programme Outline

Our training programme explains the cultural history and background to practises like virginity testing and polygamy; the communities where these customs are most prevalent; and the consequences, both physical and mental, for women and girls subjected to them. We teach professionals, and those in training, about safeguarding and working with the relevant agencies, including the police, the NHS, Social Services and schools, to protect young women.

What Professionals Gain From Our Training

  • A better understanding of these harmful cultural practises

  • How to spot the signs of what is happening to women and girls

  • The confidence to challenge and respond accordingly

  • Better understanding and knowledge of what is best practice

  • More information about the support available to help deal with such cases.

Our Impact on Your Service
We find that our training not only informs those who participate in sessions, but it can have a greater impact on the culture of the service. It:

  • Improves operational best practice 

  • Informs policy and governance development

  • Ensures that your service is fulfilling its Equality Duty

  • Breaks down cultural misconceptions

  • Builds bridges between communities 

  • Increases intersectional awareness amongst the team

  • Supports Middle Eastern, North African and Asian women who work or volunteer within your service. 

Some organisations who have benefited from MEWSo's consultancy, training and workshops in this area:

  • Refuge: National Domestic Abuse Helpline

  • Islington Council's Domestic Abuse Commissioning Group

  • MOPAC: the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

  • Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse - a national charity bringing communities together to fight domestic abuse

  • Rosa: Fund For Women

  • Social Services Depts & services for women at Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

Click for our full Training Guide. For more information or to book a training session, please

email: and write Book Training Session in the subject box. Thank you.

Virginity Tests, Hymen Reconstructive Surgeries & Polygamy are all Illegal Cultural Practises that still go on in the UK
Women and girls must be protected

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