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Kate Agha is the CEO and Co-Founder of Oxford Against Cutting. She has experience in one-to-one outreach work with girls and women from migrant communities suffering all types of domestic abuse and honour-based abuse. She has an MA in Humanitarian and Development Practice and previously practiced law as a solicitor. Her research includes violence against women in Pakistan and the effectiveness of the legal system. Kate has a passion for working with young people and advocacy through creative arts. She is married to a Pakistani man and enjoys reading and learning Urdu in her freetime.
Dr Kate Clayton-Hathway is our Research and Evaluation Director, a Co-Founder of OAC and leads on our Diversity Perspectives work. Kate specialises in intersectional gender equality and diversity issues using research to drive positive change and works with a number of organisations including Oxford Brookes University. She builds on her former successful career in HR and change management consultancy, having returned to study to complete a PhD with Brookes on the social impact of equality law. Kate is a keen human rights activist and campaign coordinator for Oxford City Amnesty International.
Kaddy is an Anti-FGM Advocate and studying to become a midwife. She previously volunteered as Women’s Rights Coordinator for Amnesty International Gambia and is a representative of the Oxford Gambian community. She is passionate about stopping inequalities between men and women, ending violence against women and girls and human rights.
Dot is Operations Manager at Oxford Against Cutting, working to raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and issues around body image through education and conversation. Dot is a lead facilitator and helps design, review and facilitate OAC’s workshops. She has also been a mentor with Refugee Resource and a trustee for Young Women’s Music Project. Dot has a BA in Philosophy and teaches yoga.
Hauwa is a specialist in gender issues affecting women and girls and has been involved in peacebuilding since the age of 13, using her writing and poetry to initiate difficult dialogues addressing societal problems of power dynamics and inequalities. She has experience volunteering in Nigeria with programmes targeting vulnerabilities in internally displaced persons camps, orphanages and impoverished communities. She enjoys organising charity walks to advocate and fundraise for different causes.
Hauwa is keen on social justice and seeks to understand the interplay between culture and human rights. Her passion recently led her on a research project to Ethiopia looking into police detention centres, prisons and the legal aid system.
Hauwa has recently completed an MA in Development & Emergency Practice, specialising in Disasters, Risks and Shelter. Her background is in Economics and Design with interests in finance and sustainability.
Alexis Hawthorne is the Schools Coordinator for OAC. She is currently undertaking an ESRC funded PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, having previously undertaken Masters degrees in Social Anthropology and Social Research Methods. Her research focuses on experiences of mental wellbeing among Ghanaian migrants in the UK, exploring how community practices, gender, family, religion and racial inequalities factor into resettlement and help-seeking behaviours. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University working on equality and diversity projects, and as Refugee and Displacement Research Assistant for Oxfam GB.
As a Sikh woman born in Kenya and now living in the UK, Tanya has three cultures which she intertwines in her daily life. She has a passion for raising awareness of inequality issues affecting women and the LGBTQ community. Tanya owns a henna business where her campaign ‘Henna has no borders’ aims to bring the joys of henna to as many people as possible, regardless of their gender or race. She believes strongly that people shouldn’t be judged for their identity and that more compassion is needed within society to make this world a more welcoming place, especially for people who have experienced trauma. She has a BA. Hons in International Marketing and Business and achieved a ‘First’ for her Masters in PR Management.
Rubie Marie is a survivor of sexual abuse, domestic violence and psychological abuse, as well as a victim of forced marriage and honour based abuse (HBA). She was married at the age of 15, taken out of school, kept a prisoner and forced to marry and fall pregnant soon after. She endured family disownment and lived a life of poverty as a young single parent.
Rubie returned to education where she was determined to complete her GCSE’s at 25 years old followed by various forms of counselling. She has contributed to academic studies in specialised education material for HBA and assisted higher education students in dissertations on the subject. Rubie also contributed towards an anthology book called “Beyond the Scars,” an Amazon best-seller within 24 hours of release, in which she talked about her battle with poor health, abuse and overcoming cultural barriers. She is in the process of completing her autobiography.
Rubie’s journey has taken her down the route of modelling and pageantry, to reach a wider audience globally. She became the first ever Ms Galaxy UK National 2016, Ms Galaxy 2016/2017 International and Ms Earth UK National 2017/2018. In 2018 she achieved Ms Earth Wind first runner up and in February 2020 placed third runner up in Ms Great Britain. Her aim is to give hope to others in similar situations, to show that despite facing many obstacles you can be true to yourself and remove the unhealthy conditioning that victims may have been forced to grow up with. Rubie is dedicated to motivating and empowering women and she has a strong passion for hope and healing.
Mariama is an Adult Care Worker who was born in the Gambia. She is a survivor of FGM and has a passion to help the girl child. As a Facilitator, Mariama uses her lived experience to help protect girls at risk and support survivors. Mariama has two children and enjoys cooking.
Monica Majumdar-Choudhary is a Facilitator for Oxford Against Cutting, with expertise in body image and social media. She is currently the Marketing Manager for Retail Market Group and has worked within the marketing field at Oxford Brookes University as Social Media Officer and Community Engagement Officer. Monica is currently pursuing a PhD at Queen Mary University of London, specialising in the psychological impact of skin lightening products for South Asian women. Monica’s research for her MSc focused on colourism and body identity which was later published by Shades of Noir in ‘Biological Pigment Bias: Perspectives on Colourism’. Monica is passionate about fighting against stigmas in South Asian communities and empowering women and girls.
Babs is a community nurse based in Oxford and a survivor of FGM. She is originally from the Gambia in West Africa and her passion is to use her experience of FGM to fight against harmful and traditional practices. She has worked with professionals and communities to raise awareness and encourage them to use shared knowledge and understanding to help end the practice. She is also a Survivor Ambassador for Savera UK.
Moram is an Anti-FGM Facilitator at Oxford Against Cutting and is currently studying for a Masters in Development Studies, with reference to gender, at SOAS University of London.
Moram has been actively involved in empowering women and girls specifically in Sudan, where she previously worked for CARE International. She has experience volunteering in orphanages and delivering nutrition projects to vulnerable women and girls in rural states in Sudan. She has also volunteered for the European Commission Office in Khartoum and Landell Mills where she focused on capacity building in rural states.
Moram believes strongly in raising awareness through education to empower women and girls, to eradicate harmful practices globally.
Nesreen is a paediatrician and campaigner against FGM from Egypt. She previously worked as a GP in Egypt, at a state health centre in one of the poorest rural areas of the country. In this role, Nesreen was regularly asked to carry out FGM as a medical procedure. She did of course refuse and these requests gave her an opportunity to raise awareness about the harms and risks involved in FGM with individual families. She also worked with various NGOs, bringing health education to rural communities. Nesreen then moved to Oxfordshire and currently works as a paediatrician. She continues to raise awareness against the practice of FGM in her work with Oxford Against Cutting, facilitating workshops with students, communities and teachers, particularly in the medical profession.
Sobia is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead for Oxford City Council. Prior to this she worked in education, for Oxford Brookes University, for over 26 years, supporting under-represented groups to access higher education. She is passionate about tackling issues that some South Asian families consider “taboo” subjects, including forced marriage, first-cousin marriage, fertility, disability and adoption, and has a degree in International Relations.
Sobia has led projects that have won several awards for the university and was a guest speaker at the Step Up Conference, an event to inspire Black and Minority Ethnic students. Her projects have included a mentoring project for young people at the Oxford Central Mosque to improve attainment in Maths and English and confidence at school. In 2012 she was nominated by the university to attend the Queen’s Garden Party in recognition of her exceptional personal achievements and work in the community.
Vania is our Domestic Abuse Specialist and has 11 years’ frontline experience supporting victims of abuse with Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services as Team Leader and Helplines Manager. She has worked extensively on violence against women and girls in both the UK and Portugal, and has held research roles exploring femicide and life stories of women survivors of domestic abuse, focusing on politicisation and activism as pathways to recovery. She has experience of facilitating training that tackles domestic violence, ‘honour’-based violence, No Recourse to Public Funds and trauma.
Vania has a background in psychology and therapy which she has used in her work to facilitate community building and peer to peer support. She has worked with international organisations across the world on gender-based violence with an emphasis on victims of armed conflicts, human trafficking and displacement, as well as women’s involvement in peacebuilding.
She has experience volunteering with refugees and her current research focuses on border control practices and the impact of the No Recourse to Public Funds rule on domestic abuse victims, families and communities. Vania is a human rights activist who is passionate about equality, community building and tackling domestic abuse.
Sabeena is the Chair/ Founder of the Oxfordshire Asian Women’s Voice (OAWV) group. The group was established in 2018 and aims “to support women from South Asia living in Oxford who may experience isolation and loneliness as a result of cultural traditions and language barriers that limit their opportunities for education, employment and socialising outside the confines of the family”. The group meets every week to provide a safe space where women can grow in confidence, share their experiences, learn new skills and try out new activities. OAWV has a strong focus on women’s health and on addressing often unacknowledged mental health issues.
Sabeena has worked as a Volunteer with Home Start, Parent Partnership, MIND, Name It Youth Club in Cowley, and as a Volunteer Teaching Assistant at a primary school in Oxford. She has also supported women with one to one outreach work. Sabeena completed a BA in Political Sciences in Pakistan and after a long pause to support her family, she graduated from Staffordshire University in Family and Children Social Work in 2017.
Carolyn Morris is a Consultant Researcher and Facilitator at OAC. After University, she worked at a community centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, developing a small business with Rohingya refugee women targeting child marriage by providing an income-generating alternative. She has experience with a range of NGOs, including involvement in Rohingya cultural preservation projects with women-led grassroots organisations, ethnographic research for Afghan mental health resources for a social enterprise, and assisting newly resettled refugees in securing employment with the International Rescue Committee. She is passionate about anthropological research, storytelling, and community-led initiatives as essential ingredients to holistically addressing GBV and FGC.
Lena El-Hindi is a Capacity Building and Training Specialist and Representative of the Oxford Sudanese community. Lena previously worked as Gender and Child Rights Advisor for Plan International, UNFPA and the UN Ministry of Welfare in Sudan. Lena has graduated from a combined degree in Law and Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is currently reading an LLM in Human Rights Law.
Valerie is an award winning motivational speaker and author. She is passionate about making a positive and lasting impact on people’s lives within the community and to help others realize their full potential. She founded the FGM support group, Women of Grace UK, where she advocates for projects aimed at protecting women and girls who are vulnerable to FGM. She also enjoys caring for the elderly in the community.
Valerie has written two books, The Unwanted and You Can Choose To Get Back Up.
Rumbi is a Social Media Communications Coordinator at Oxford Against Cutting. She previously worked with the team as the Office Manager, and returns to support us in this role. Rumbi is also a diversity and inclusion consultant, helping our team deliver high-quality inclusion needs-based advisory activities which drive impact and engagement. She previously worked as a language and culture teacher in the Canary Islands, and has extensive project management experience. She is passionate about empowering women and young people, mental health and nutrition. Rumbi holds a BA Hons in Culture, Media and Communications with Professional English.
Imran is a trained psychotherapist, behavioural psychologist, trainer, racial justice campaigner and educator. He regularly delivers training on the intersections of race and gender; men, ‘honour’ based abuse/violence and forced marriage; spiritual abuse; the psychologisation of the PREVENT agenda; white nationalism, incels and online hate. He is a guest lecturer for the University of Bradford and Nottingham Trent Universities.
Imran is also the Founder of Breaking the Silence, a psychotherapeutic programme founded in West Yorkshire, but now operating nationally. Breaking the Silence supports male survivors, from racialised communities, who experienced trauma and abuse in childhood. Over 1000 men have accessed their services since their inception in 2012.
In addition, Imran is a specialist in Holocaust Education and its contemporary relevance (e.g. PREVENT, Windrush) and has worked in collaboration with several institutes, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, to improve the standard of their English language programmes and remove/improve language that upholds structures of inequality. He is a board member of the Ministry of Justice’ funded Male Survivor Partnership and has worked in a consultancy role recently for both the Ministry of Justice (Victims Bill consultations) and the Home Office (updating the Male Survivor Position Statement that is incorporated in the VAWG strategy).
Imran is an experienced speaker, having appeared across a range of platforms, from academia to national radio. He is a frequent guest on podcasts marketed to South Asian audiences, focusing on mental health and masculinity, including We Hear You (Power, Socialisation, and Gender): Empower & Enable.
Dr Brenda Kelly is a Consultant Obstetrician working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. She has a longstanding interest in female genital mutilation (FGM) and in 2014, established the Oxford Rose Clinic. This clinical service provides holistic care and support for women and girls with FGM with access to specialists in women’s health and psychology. She is also proud to be Patron of Oxford Against Cutting.
Papers and Blogs by Dr Kelly:
Caroline is an International Development Consultant, specialising in women’s empowerment and gender equality issues. She has 25+ years of experience working for former-DFID, World Bank, CARE, and many other aid agencies. For five years she was volunteer Research Co-ordinator with 28 Too Many, which has now merged with the end-FGM Orchid Project. Caroline is also a trustee of Tools for Self-Reliance, an international NGO that supports vocational skills training in six African countries, and a Research Associate with Security Women which supports the international Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
Liz had a 25-year career in the emerging digital industry working both in the UK and abroad. She now runs a coaching consultancy and a charitable foundation and has a special interest in helping to work against FGM. She is also a founder member of ‘The Funding Network Oxford‘. Liz’s passion outside work is to help young people with business planning and establishing their own businesses. She loves innovation and is interested in world politics.
Dr Sharon Dixon, Treasurer (MBBS, MRCGP, DRCOG, DFFP, DCH) is the Oxfordshire GP Lead on FGM, as well as the National FGM Lead for the Royal College of General Practitioners. Sharon is a GP partner in Oxford at the Donnington Medical Partnership. She currently holds an NIHR In-Practice fellowship within the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, and as part of this she is undertaking a research project exploring what GPs think would help them support their patients who may be affected by FGM. She has been part of a team running a series of patient and public involvement events to explore community and professional perspectives on research and service priorities in FGM, which culminated in a multi-disciplinary conference under the auspices of the Sheila Kitzinger Programme. She is a member of the Oxford Refugee Health Initiative project.
Richard is a solicitor and Partner at Royds Withy King (RWK) Goodman Solicitors in Oxford where he specialises in clinical negligence claims on behalf of Claimants and their families. Richard loves travel and experiencing different countries and cultures and is also a passionate follower of most sports, especially his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.
Miranda is a Trustee for OAC and the Communications Manager for Orchid Project, an anti-FGM charity based in London. Prior to joining Orchid Project, Miranda gained experience as a journalist, a marketer for Oxford University Press, and most recently in charity communications. She is passionate about women’s rights, and set up the Oxford branch of anti-street harassment organisation, Hollaback! Miranda holds an MSc in Modern Literature from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in English literature from Newcastle University.
Naseem is an experienced, broadly qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Trainer and Facilitator, with expertise in child welfare and engaging with families.
She has knowledge of cultural diversity in hard-to-reach communities and language skills in English (mother tongue), Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Naseem’s areas of interest and experience include child sexual exploitation and honour-based abuse.
Naseem is a Lead Therapist for BYHP and a Clinical Supervisor. She is registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN).
Seiza Bashir currently works as an Independent Chair and Independent Reviewing Officer for Oxfordshire County Council. Born in Sudan, Seiza’s first degree was in Diet Therapy and she then worked for Almannar, an NGO aiming to empower women in Sudan by tackling FGM and early marriage. During this time, Seiza worked with women from displaced camps and rural areas but later had to flee to the UK as an asylum seeker, feeling the persecution of the then-government in Sudan.
Seiza graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2007 as a Social Worker and began her UK career in the Oxfordshire Children and Families Assessment Team. In 2012, Seiza was appointed as Senior Practitioner, managing the duty desk in Oxford city and was one of the lead practitioners for FGM in the county.
Seiza’s late mother, along with her colleagues (Members of the Sudanese Women Union) worked hard fighting against FGM and made the decision not to allow their daughters to go through this experience. Seiza was raised to be proud that she had not had FGM, despite all the bullying and the name calling she experienced as a child. Seiza is a mother of two children.
Leethen has worked in frontline social work and is a safeguarding expert specialising in female genital mutilation and other harmful practices. He previously worked as the Head of the National Female Genital Mutilation Centre in the UK. He works internationally as a trainer and consultant on safeguarding children and harmful practices. Leethen is a student at the University of Sussex, where he is reading for a PhD in Social Work and Social Care.
Sabrena is an A level student and hopes to go to university in 2022 to study Psychology. She was born in Karachi and came to England in 2004, after her parents adopted her from an orphanage when she was only a few days old. Sabrena loves horses and wishes she could ride more. She feels lucky to have good friends and enjoys spending time with them. Sabrena is proud to be a Young Champion and Volunteer for OAC and loved being involved in the 5Cs film about genetic conditions. Sabrena has thalassemia and will be raising awareness about this illness and the risks of cousin marriage as part of her work with the charity.
I have been involved with OAC and the Youth Wing since the very beginning. With my strong passion for human rights, working with other young people has been inspiring. I’ve also been given amazing opportunities, for example speaking at conferences and taking part in Integrate UK’s music video, #myclitoris. In the future I wish to continue working with other people and performing arts and plan to do Psychology and Drama at A-level.
I am 19 years old and I have been interested in FGM since the age of 14. I want to do something for our women.
I’m 15 and just completing year 10. I got involved with the youth wing after doing a project on FGM for school and realising that I had to do something to help. I love music so working on a song about body rights for OAC has been amazing. I hope I can keep helping the charity raise the awareness that is needed about FGM.
Millie is in her last year of school and aims to travel before studying history and politics at university, then going into journalism. She is passionate about women’s rights, especially in the context of intersectionality, and thinks that initiating conversations on supposedly “taboo” subjects is a key way to raise awareness.
I am a writer, currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Warwick University. I heard about FGM though a society in my sixth form and this resulted in me co-leading FGM discussions with my peers. I have been involved with Oxford Against Cutting for 2 years, during which time I have helped to create educational resources for young people. I am keen to raise awareness of FGM through educational projects as well as help prevent the practice through campaigns and working with FGM survivors.
I am currently in my last year of school and hope to study medicine at university. I have a strong passion for human rights which has led me to join Amnesty International groups and the OAC Youth Wing. I hope that I can use my medical career in future to help to improve the lives of those who have undergone FGM and to raise awareness of the harm that it causes.
Emily is an artist who also has a passion for human rights. She studied anthropology at university and hopes to continue combining creativity with activism well into the future. Emily was the creator of Oxford Against Cutting’s core campaign image (a drawing of a woman with a gag) and currently does design work for a charity that redistributes surplus food in Brighton.