A women’s rights activist was awarded an OBE for her work to empower women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Rafaat Mughal, founder of the JAN Trust in Wood Green, was named in the Queen’s New Years honours list.

She started the trust in 1989 and has since helped thousands of women across London to become independent, active members of society.

Mrs Mughal said: “I am honoured to be awarded an OBE.

“It is such an achievement to be recognised for the work I have been carrying out for the past 25 years for disadvantaged women, supporting and assisting them with their integration into society and tackling the violence and abuse they suffer.

“I am flattered to receive this award.”

As well as founding the charity, Mrs Mughal also lectures on the Middle East, east Africa and Europe, and previously worked as a researcher on issues affecting ethnic minorities.

She was also one of the first Muslim women to be elected as a councillor in Haringey.

Mrs Mughal was invited to 10 Downing Street by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and was also runner-up for the Lifetime Achievement Award 2012 in the Directory of Social Change Awards.

The JAN Trust has won multiple awards, including The Third Centre Awards for Excellence 2013 in the category of ‘Small Charity Big Achiever’ as well as The Centre for Social Justice Award 2013.