Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health


The CORTH Impact section is to showcase a selection of public engagement activities that CORTH members have been involved with.

Our latest CORTH Outreach flyer

Centre responses to COVID-19

Mainstreaming Gender and Social Inclusivity in Covid-19 Responses: Case Studies from the Field

Organised by Assessment, Innovation, Strategy and Evaluation Consultancy (AISE).

The founder of AISE Emilomo Ogbe is a long standing CORTH member.

CORTH director Maya Unnithan joined as a panellist at this event to discuss ‘Mainstreaming gender and vulnerable populations in Covid-19 responses, Lessons from the UK’.

View the recording here 

Gender and Social Inclusivity in Covid-19

Submission of Research Evidence on Inquiry into Access to Contraception

Submitted to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health in the UK:
Submit evidence to the Inquiry into Access to Contraception
22 June 2020

This submission provides key information about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on access to contraception over recent months. It mainly explores the impact of changes to services, issues and inequalities around access to contraception, examples of good practice and challenges to the restoration of contraception services.

Submission lead: CORTH member Dr Paula Baraitser (Director SRH:24; Kings College Global Health)

> Submission of Research Evidence on Inquiry into Access to Contraception [PDF 660.40KB]

Submission of Research Evidence on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and COVID-19: Unequal Impact 

Submitted to the Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into ‘Unequal Impact: Coronavirus and the impact on people with protected characteristics

The ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has above all exposed systemic inequalities in healthcare and the powerlessness and vulnerability of individuals and groups to access safe and high quality Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services and care. This submission highlights the importance of framing sexual and reproductive health matters through human rights standards and a reproductive justice framework (especially during pandemics when they can be most easily overlooked).  This submission draws on experiences from within the UK as well as India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Belgium and Estonia.

> Submission of Research Evidence on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and COVID-19: Unequal Impact [PDF 250.65KB]

See our co-director Chi discussing the current pandemic on Channel4 news


Link to news item and video:
CORTH Co-Director Dr Chi Eziefula interviewed for a Channel 4 news special documentary about COVID-19

Chi has also recorded a podcast with Q&A about Covid-19 hosted by University of Brighton:
Coronavirus Q&A: Dr Chi Eziefula

Law clinics at Sussex with a focus on the family law clinic

clock logoCLOCK (Community Legal Companion Scheme)

CLOCK is a legal companion project based at the Sussex Law School which is now working with CORTH to investigate ways of training students to enable them to offer support on sexual reproductive health and rights. CLOCK is led by Maria Moscati (CORTH co-director), Jeanette Ashton, and Alex Newbury from University of Brighton.

What is CLOCK? 

CLOCK was first launched in 2012 by the School of Law at Keele University and is now implemented in several universities in the UK. The project trains students to assist litigants in person who do not have access to legal aid in the Family and County Court in Brighton and online. 

Students help litigants in person to: 

  • Complete court forms
  • Signpost to CLOCK partners (among others law firms, mediation providers, Citizens Advice, CAFCASS, RISE)
  • Assist during the hearings by taking notes and with the preparation of legal bundles

Areeb Mushtaq AhmadAreeb Mushtaq Ahmad – CLOCK legal companion

The project has significant impact on students; litigants; and courts and has a place on the Sussex Family Law Justice Board. The project has received several public endorsements including by the President of the Family Division.

Areeb Mushtaq Ahmad, Law (LLB) with International Relations student who is entering his final year in September reflects on his contribution to the CLOCK project:

"Working for CLOCK in partnership with the Sussex Legal Clinic has been a very practical experience. This was a great chance to change possibilities into opportunities, as unlike many commercial organizations, this was a fully committed pro-bono project. This gave me a great sense of social consciousness and cause. I am proud to have been a part of a great team where socio-economically marginalized litigants were assisted in times of absolute distress”.


 See: CLOCK: A Transformative Experience [PDF 171.87KB]

Son preference and gender equality: 5 British stories

From January 2018 to January 2019, CORTH director Maya Unnithan along with Ben Kasstan travelled across the country to explore ideas around family-making and gender equality with people of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani origin. They conducted over 90 interviews to capture the diverse experiences in these minority communities and discussed whether and how son preference is shifting over time. In these videos, five women share their life experiences and personal views on son preference. They discuss the areas where gender norms had an impact on their personal or professional lives, including family inheritance, arranged marriage, education, employment, and childbearing decisions. The videos have been produced in response to claims that sex-selective abortion is widespread in these minority communities and is an issue that requires restrictions in abortion legislation. The videos instead highlight the need to tackle the root issue of son preference. Gender equality is an important part of contemporary Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE) and Relationships & Sex Education (RSE), and the hope is that the films will spark discussions about the challenges faced by all women in the UK. 

These videos are available at: Son preference and gender equality: Five British stories

uk son preference

Zika Research Network Impact

IDS researchers Alex Shankland, Hayley Macgregor (CORTH co-director) and Isabele Villwock Bachtold have been collaborating with CORTH and Brazilian institutions to explore how the Zika virus in Brazil feeds into the broader dynamics that shape the emergence of an epidemic and the policy responses to health crises. The project supported by a Newton Fund Institutional Links grant, aims to understand the social and emotional impact on families affected by the Zika virus, as well as the reorganisation of public services to meet their needs. In February 2019, researchers from the partner institutions gathered at IDS during a week to present their key project findings and discuss future collaborations. Members of the visiting team Professor Parry Scott and Dr. Soraya Fleischer engaged in the CORTH conversation series.

See: Five years on from Zika – mothers share their stories about the long-term impacts

Zika Research Network

Engagement with Voices in Exile

Toiletry Drive
Note: Due to COVID-19, the donations box will be on hold until further notice.

Over the Christmas period CORTH teamed up with Brighton and Sussex Medical School to collect donations for Voices in Exile, a brilliant Brighton-based charity working to support refugees, asylum seekers and those with no recourse to public funds

Due to the incredible amount of support for this project, CORTH and BMSMS have decided to continue the donations project for the entire year. We will now be implementing a monthly donations theme depending on what is most needed by the charity at the time. This month it will be toiletries. Please see the poster below for all details and feel free to drop off your donations to the box outside the Global Studies office.

More details:

Voices in Exile website

Op-ed article in leading Indian Newspaper

Jayna Kothari, Maya Unnithan and Siri Gloppen contributed to the debate on the invisibility of women’s health and reproductive rights in the 2019 Indian general election with an article in the leading national newspaper calling for action.

See: A half-written promise

CORTH’s digital Outreach

Transform Schools, People For Action is working to improve learning outcomes of government secondary school students across Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, reaching 2.4 million students annually in India. With operations beginning in January 2019, they have been working throughout the year to bring the team’s aspirations to fruition, learning from many partners, organisations, and individuals on the way.

Transform SchoolsCORTH has been formally recognised by Transform Schools who wrote a letter of thanks to the centre, describing how they have been directly impacted by CORTH’s website and social media channels, “The seamless integration between social media channels and the Centre’s website was what appealed to us immediately, besides a clear representation and communication of the wonderful work they are doing”.

We look forward to future collaborations with this new organisation and wish them all the best for their first year in action.

See: Transform Schools website

Contribution to reports of the all party parliamentary group on population, development and reproductive health

Submission of qualitative research evidence on access to contraception among women of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani origin in England (April 2019)

Submitted to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health (APPG SRH) as part of their cross-party inquiry into access to contraception in England. Written evidence submission from University of Sussex academics: Professor Maya Unnithan (Director of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health) and Dr Ben Kasstan April 2019

More details: Inquiry on access to contraception in England

Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development GoalsPopulation Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals

Corth members Maya Unnithan and Sajida Ally have contributed to the new report of the UK All Parliamentary Party Group on Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health report launched at the House of Lords on July 8th 2015. The report on Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals examines the interplay between population dynamics and urbanisation, climate change, migration and conflict. It will be used to guide discussion, funding and programmes of the post 2015 development agenda.

Read more: Population Dynamics and the Sustainable Development Goals [PDF 9.17MB]