Fathers' Daughters



Nihal Arthanayake is the father of two small children - the second is a girl. Through his work on his Asian Network phone-in programme, Nihal began to discover that being the father of a girl in the Asian community was not always straightforward. This programme is his quest to find out about that relationship in Britain's South Asian communities and to investigate the issues that arise from cultural expectations.

The programme speaks to a number of Asian women from different religious and cultural backgrounds about their experiences with their fathers. Some of them have disturbing stories - women who have suffered from violent and abusive fathers, women who were forced into disastrous marriages, women who were cut out of their father's will and not treated equally to sons, women who attempted suicide. Some have cut all ties with their fathers and, as a consequence, the rest of their families. We hear from a girl whose father was liberal until the surrounding community convinced him to change his behaviour towards his daughter - but also talk to a father and his daughter who show the other side of the story with a loving, close and mutually respectful relationship.

The programme is backed up by opinion and statistics from experts in the field. Interviews include Dr Aisha Gill, Reader in Criminology with particular expertise in health and criminal justice responses to violence against ethnic minority women in the UK; Aina Khan, Senior Solicity in Family Law; and Polly Harrar of The Sharan Project.

Producer: Laura Parfitt

A White Pebble Media production for BBC Radio 4.