Neda Barzegar

For the last 2 years, I've been involved with IKWRO, sharing my story to bring a survivor's voice in campaigning against honour-based violence. At the age of 18, I was forced to run away from home with my two younger sisters (then aged 11 and 16). We had become aware of plans to force my 16 year old sister to marry a much older man and had little support from the police whom we contacted. The most difficult thing about leaving home was the idea of having brought "shame" to the family and the isolation from the community. After years of hard work and struggle, we have all three, become independent women pursuing our own ambitions. I've recently finished my PhD in eye research and am currently working as a junior surgeon. I feel honoured to have been able to use my experience in a positive way through working with IKWRO and hope to continue campaigning for women's rights.