06 August, 2007

Waris Dirie

Born into a nomadic Somali family, 39-year-old supermodel Waris Dirie survived the traditional form of female genital mutilation that kills hundreds of women in Africa every year - including her own younger sister and two cousins. Now, as the UN’s newly appointed Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, she has decided to break her years and years of silence to speak out to help save the lives of millions of women, young and old, across Africa and many other far eastern countries.

Dirie remembers the mutilation only as 'that horror.' As a little girl, she was blindfolded and held down by her mother, with only a cloth to bite on to relieve her pain, while her clitoris was cut out with a dirty razor. The same procedure, Dirie says, killed her sister - along with many other girls in Somalia who were cut in the wrong vein and bled to death or died of an infection. But Waris, who survived this tragic procedure, shows a strength, not only of the physical sort, but also a strength of mind, body and soul. Dirie underwent this crime...survived...and she is living AND campaigning to tell about it. More on My Hero Project

More On Waris: Waris Dirie Foundation, Hello Mag, BBC, biography.jrank, Google News

Image: UN

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