The Guardian March 7, 2011
Founding member of Southall Black Sisters, a landmark organisation in the history of black and Asian feminism
Southall Black Sisters, founded in 1979, in the aftermath of the race riots in this area of west London, has since become a landmark in the history of black and Asian feminism. The charity campaigns for and offers practical support to women escaping domestic violence and forced marriages. Chaired by Patel, the small group has long punched above its weight. In supporting Kiranjit Ahluwalia, imprisoned for murdering her violent husband, SBS successfully challenged the legal definition of provocation, and changed an immigration rules which trappedtrapping non-British women in abusive marriages.
The group has often spoken out about government’s community cohesion programmes, which maintains the power of male religious leaders. A secularist campaigner, Patel also co-founded Women Against Fundamentalism.