Critical of the 'outdated', harmful and illegal act of female genital mutilation (FGM) 17-year-old Hiba Warsame wants to convince others that it has no place in modern society.
Her story was shown on ITV News London in December 2014.
Hiba, who’s Youth Mayor of Islington, is from a Somali background and knows people who have experienced FGM – a procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
She hopes that by raising awareness and encouraging people to talk about the practice, she can help put a stop to it.
‘Part of the problem is that people don’t want to speak about it because it’s shrouded in secrecy,’ Hiba says.
‘It’s prevalent in Somalia and other countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
‘People still carry out this procedure because it’s perceived as a pathway to womanhood.
‘If the woman doesn’t have it done then it’s thought she won’t be able to get married because she’s seen as more promiscuous and not clean.
‘The threat of prosecution isn’t working. A better way would be to educate the next generation to stop them from carrying it out on their daughters.’
With Fixers, Hiba is helping to create a film about FGM, which she hopes will be shown to students in schools.
Hoda Ali, an anti-FGM campaigner, appears in the broadcast piece in support of Hiba’s project, to explain more about the practice, and to highlight the extent of the problem.
‘There are thousands of girls at risk of FGM each year – and these are British girls. Either they’re being cut here or they’re being taken back home,’ Hoda explains.
‘It’s child abuse and it’s harmful because of what it does to children medically and mentally.
‘I’m from Somalia and I was cut when I was 7-years-old.
‘I can’t have my own children. It will always affect me.’
Hiba adds: ‘There’s no way for me to change hundreds of years of tradition overnight, but this needs to stop.
‘No girl should have to go through it.’
If you are concerned that a child is at risk or is a victim of FGM, contact the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550, or visit their website.
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Also campaigning to end FGM, Anam and Deeqa have been on
TV encouraging people to speak openly about the practice. Watch their film.