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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 the Research Director and Co-Founder of OAC. She is a Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University specialising in gender equality issues. Building on a successful career in HR and change management, Kate returned to study to gain an MA in Equality and Diversity from London Metropolitan University. Her interest in diversity and human rights has extended to roles as a campaign and volunteer coordinator for Oxford City Amnesty International and she has been Community Outreach Coordinator for Oxford International Women’s Festival.
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.
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.
Dot is Project Coordinator at Oxford Against Cutting, working to raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage through education and conversation. Dot co-facilitates safeguarding training for teachers, as well as workshops for young people on FGM, forced marriage and body image. Alongside her role at Oxford Against Cutting Dot is a mentor with Refugee Resource and a trustee for The Young Women’s Music Project. Dot holds a BA in Philosophy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sobia has been working in education for 25 years, at Oxford Brookes University, supporting under-represented groups to access higher education. She 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. She has a degree in International Relations.
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.
Hassan is a highly active member of the Oxford Somali community and deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, particularly for young people. He has been a football coach and Chairman of East Oxford United for 10 years, and supports boys from various minority ethnic groups to participate in matches across the county. He also took a boys’ team from the UK to a football tournament in Russia in 2017 and regularly organises tournaments for community football teams. Most recently, Hassan co-founded the Diversity Football League to bring community groups together in their love of football. In 2018, Hassan co-led Oxford Against Cutting’s FGM and Football Project, supporting learning about healthy relationships through workshops and sport. He currently leads our men’s work, helping raise awareness of FGM and encouraging men to take an active role in helping end the practice. In 2017 Hassan won Volunteer of the Year Award by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action. He also runs a small informal charity to support children in Mogadishu to go to school.
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 worked for DFID, World Bank, CARE, and many other aid agencies. Caroline is also volunteer Research Co-ordinator with 28 Too Many, an international NGO concerned with elimination of FGM in the 28 African countries where the practice continues.
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 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.
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.
Naseem Sarbatta-Walia is an experienced, broadly qualified Counsellor and Facilitator, with expertise in child welfare and engaging with families. She has knowledge of cultural diversity in hard-to-reach BAME communities and language skills in English (mother tongue), Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Naseem’s areas of interest and experience include bereavement counselling, young carers, child sexual exploitation and honour-based abuse. She is an Early Help Practitioner for Oxfordshire County Council and is a registered member of (BACP) British Association and Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Black and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN). She has a Diploma in Counselling, BSc in Reflective Therapeutic Practice, certified working with survivors of Abuse, Dip IAG and experience of many psycho educational programmes for domestic abuse.
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.
Ahd is a young person and representative of the Oxford Sudanese community. She has participated in OAC projects since the charity started, won a Volunteer’s Award and most recently helped deliver lessons for her peers at Cherwell School. Ahd has finished her A-Levels and is currently taking a gap year before she goes to university to study Law.
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.
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 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 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.