OxHRF: Issues of "Honour" in Marriage and Reproduction

Oxford Against Cutting presents a seminar featuring two short films, delving into the societal pressures surrounding conception and cousin marriage in South Asian communities.

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Oxford Against Cutting (OAC) is a local charity that tackles harmful practices such as FGM and forced marriage, as well as issues of abuse, feelings of shame, and community pressures that can affect girls and women from minoritised communities. During this seminar, OAC will share two short films from their True Izzat series ("izzat" meaning "honour"). The first focuses on the issues of conception, specifically the pressures put on South Asian women to have children and the shame that women can feel if they are unable to conceive. The seminar will be led by Sobia Afridi (Specialist Facilitator) and Kate Agha (CEO) who have experienced living with infertility in South Asian communities. Sobia is a mum of two children, whom she and her husband adopted after 10 years of failed IVF treatments, and will talk about the stigma she felt in her community and the impacts this had on her mental wellbeing.

The second film will focus on Cousin Marriage and Genetic Conditions. In this film we hear from Sobia and her daughter, Sabrena. Sabrena was born with thalassemia, a rare blood condition, due to her parents being first cousins. Sabrena speaks on the impact that this has on her day to day life and encourages anyone who is thinking of marrying their first cousin to get tested to check that they are not carrying a gene which could lead to a life changing genetic condition like hers. Sabrena is studying Psychology in her second year. 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 is proud to be a Young Champion and Volunteer for OAC and loved being involved in the True Izzat film about genetic conditions.

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