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Integration: Citizenship Committee to question witnesses on PREVENT strategy and gender differences in social inclusion

The House of Lords Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement will take evidence from witnesses from the Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life, the University of Bristol, Birmingham City Council, Muslim Women's Network UK, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England, and Loughborough University. 

The evidence session will start at 10:30am on Wednesday 25 October in Committee Room 3A of the House of Lords. Giving evidence to the Committee on integration and PREVENT will be:

  • Ms Saskia Marsh, Adviser to the Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life (The Missing Muslims)
  • Dr Therese O'Toole, University of Bristol
  • Mrs Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, West Midlands Regional PREVENT lead for Further Education and Higher Education

Questions the witnesses will be asked include:

  • How would you describe the current state of integration and civic engagement amongst minority communities in the UK?
  • What effect does PREVENT have on integration and civic engagement amongst affected groups?
  • Is the Government doing enough to ensure that local stakeholders are consulted and supportive of PREVENT in their area?
  • Should PREVENT be reviewed or re-assessed? If so what elements should change and what should be retained?

At 11.30am, giving evidence regarding women and integration will be:

  • Dr Khursheed Wadia, Muslim Women's Network UK
  • Mr Nazir Afzal, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England
  • Dr Line Nyhagen, Loughborough University

Questions witnesses will be asked include:

  • Is there a problem of social inclusion in the UK? Is the problem greater or less for women within certain communities?
  • Do cultural or religious beliefs within a community about women cause a problem for social cohesion between communities?
  • Is a focus on ‘fundamental British values' helping or hindering the situation?
  • To what extent is a lack of English proficiency a barrier for women, and what are the best ways that this could be addressed?
  • The Government is planning to publish a new integration strategy. What do you hope to see in it?

Following the evidence sessions members of the Committee will be going to Westminster City Hall to witness a Citizenship Ceremony. The new British citizen will make an oath of allegiance, or an affirmation (if the person prefers not to swear by God) and a pledge to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK.

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