Five prominent Africans who suffered female genital mutilation

Theodora Aidoo December 02, 2019
Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: December 2, 2019
Image result for Waris Dirie
Waris Dirie, founder of the Desert Flower Foundation – Pic Credit: Sarah Lee/Eyevine

Waris Dirie

Born in Somalia, Waris Dirie was just five when she became a victim of female genital mutilation. When she was 13 years old, she fled home after her father attempted to marry her to a 60-year-old man.

Today she is an international supermodel and an anti-FGM activist who has received a Woman of the Year award for her campaign work. To campaign against FGM practice, she set up the Desert Flower Foundation and in 2012, she was appointed a UN special ambassador.

“If a white man or woman saw a white child that is mutilated, there would be screaming. I guarantee it would end,” she says. “This is abuse against a child, so to say this is your ‘thing’, it’s to do with your religion or race, it’s all wrong. This is about child protection. I don’t see anything else, and I think it’s covered up by racism, and the idea that ‘I don’t want to get involved’. It’s pure violence against girls, and it destroys the rest of their lives. And for what? For who?”


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