Ifrah Ahmed started the Ifrah Foundation, which aims to end FGM in the Horn of Africa, after she left Somalia to settle in Ireland. She has certainly seen the pandemic’s impact on FGM in Somalia, where an estimated 98% of females have undergone the practice – the highest level anywhere in the world. When schools were closed during Covid, cutters were going into homes to convince mothers that their daughters should be cut.
In response, Ahmed’s foundation trained 80 women in settlements for internally displaced people and distributed radios to receive broadcasts of anti-FGM messaging. Over the past five years, her foundation has trained more than 5,000 university students, MPs, community groups and religious leaders to speak out against the practice, debunking myths around the idea that FGM is a requirement under Islamic law. Many campaigners use their personal stories of being cut in their activism, sharing testimonies that enable more powerful and impactful work.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN