Sometime around the late 80’s, politically active Asian women in Enfield realised that the issues affecting Asian women in the sub-continent and in the United Kingdom were similar. In Britain there was an added difficulty of language and cultural barriers for women in getting suitable help.
Many issues that limited the lives of Asian women in the sub-continent also affect Asian women in the United Kingdom. In Britain the added problem of language and cultural barriers made it difficult for women to get suitable help.
A group of Asian women volunteers in Enfield, interested in the issues of equal opportunities and women’s rights, began to mobilise themselves. They wanted to know what kinds of services were available to Asian women and where did they go for help? They found out from organisations in Enfield that Asian women were not using mainstream provision. But in other parts of London, wherever specialist services were offered to Asian women, they were using the services enthusiastically. It was clear that Asian women had nowhere to turn to
We took up this challenge and in early 1991 the Asian Mahila Samiti Project was set up. It lasted only one year, but four members of the project formed a new and independent committee, Enfield Saheli, on 1 November 1992. They were able to persuade the funders -The Trust for London and the London Borough of Enfield – to continue their funding through the new organisation – Enfield Saheli.
Shirin Hallam became the chair for the first six years and Bharti Shetty became its treasurer for many years. Since then, our organisation has grown considerably and is always run by the best leaders. Our family has had endless support from our trustees namely Ms. Gail Hawksworth, Ms. Esther Mclaughlin, Ms. Bilay Want and Ms. Swapna Toley. We owe our success to them.
Contact telephone number: 020 837 36218
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