Online Event: FGM & Healthcare Tuesday 6th Feb

Join us to discuss female genital mutilation (FGM) and healthcare at our free online event, in partnership with Oxford Against Cutting.

This online panel discussion will highlight the issue of FGM, its indicators and impact, and look at the responsibilities of healthcare professionals including GPs, midwives, medical students, nurses, and health visitors, while also discussing how specialist organisations can help better equip health professionals to respond to FGM.

Tuesday 6th February


Free, booking required

Click here to book

The event takes place on The International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, an annual event that allows those working to end FGM to celebrate achievements, advocate for the abandonment of the practice and to raise awareness.

Meet the speakers 



Afrah Qassim 

Afrah is the Founder and CEO of Savera UK, a leading national charity working to end ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices including female genital mutilation, forced marriage, virginity testing and breast ironing. Afrah is also the Chair of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) and winner of the Woman of Courage Award by Merseyside Women of the Year Awards 2022.



Khatra Paterson

Khatra Paterson is a Somalian-born, female business owner and mother of two, with a passion for ensuring women’s health and wellbeing. As an FGM survivor and Savera UK Survivor Ambassador, Khatra is keen to raise awareness about how women can promote and maintain their health and wellbeing irrespective of their experiences. Having spent 32 years as a nurse, midwife and health visitor, Khatra’s caring and compassionate side has been well proven. Khatra has overcome trauma to build a thriving and inclusive £2 million business and she remains resolved to make a real difference in people’s lives by supporting survivors of FGM.




Babs Ceesay

Babs is a community nurse based in Oxford and a survivor of FGM. She is a survivor ambassador for Savera UK and an Anti-FGM Facilitator for Oxford Against Cutting. 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.





Dr Sharon Dixon is the primary care representative at the Oxfordshire FGM group and acts as a college representative for FGM for the Royal College of General Practitioners. Sharon is a GP partner in Oxford at the Donnington Medical Partnership. She is a qualitative researcher, having been involved in qualitative research on primary care perspectives on pathways to care across a range of service needs (including using diagnostic tests, safeguarding, domestic violence and abuse, endometriosis, and Female Genital Mutilation), research on understanding and improving equity in research, and research on partnership priority setting for technology development in women’s health. She is currently an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow, undertaking a mixed-methods research study seeking to improve the evidence base for managing adolescent period pain in primary care. 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 has co-developed a learning resource for primary care professionals about FGM and supporting patients and communities who may be affected by FGM. She is a member of the Oxford Refugee Health Initiative project.




Bryony Kendall

Bryony is a Named GP for safeguarding for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, and the North West representative to the NHS England National Network of Named GPs. She works for NICE on their Women’s and Reproductive Health Suite committees, and is the general practice representative to the National Child Mortality Database. She was involved with a project with NHSE to co-produce a learning module for GPs about FGM, which included development of an Easy Read information leaflet. She is passionate about incorporating co-production and partnership working in NHS care.




Nicola Biggar

Nicola Biggar is Head of Midwifery, Women’s and Children’s Services at East Cheshire NHS Trust and has been a midwife for 18 years, working in a variety of roles within midwifery. She understands the importance of providing high quality care and experience. Her team has seen an increase in the diversity of patients at our Maternity Unit within the trust and wants to ensure that the care they provide is up to date and evidence based.



Aislinn O’Dwyer

This event will be chaired by Aislinn O-Dwyer, who is also the Chair of the Board of Directors at Savera UK and an experienced Non-Executive Director across the health, education, and the voluntary sectors, having previously been on the Boards of Edge Hill University and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. She is currently also the Chair of East Cheshire NHS Trust. She is deeply committed to human rights and reducing health and social inequalities. For the last year she has been working with Savera UK CEO, Afrah Qassim, on the development of the 3-year Savera UK strategy, to eliminate honour-based abuse and harmful practices.

Event in partnership with Oxford Against Cutting.