Nimco Ali – The Somalian Social Activist

Nimco Ali is a British Somali feminist, social activist and independent training consultant who served as a women’s rights activist and an independent training consultant for a number of years. She is the Co-Founder and Director of the Daughters of Eve non-profit organization which was established in 2010 to help young women and girls, with a focus on providing education and raising awareness on female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is a set of procedures that involve partial or total removal of external female genitalia, including the clitoris and labia, and sometimes also infibulations – narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal by sewing up the labia, carried out before puberty, and often on girls very much younger.

Nimco Ali was born in Somalia and grew up in the UK, where she studied at Bristol University and went on to work as a civil servant. At a young age of 7, Ali underwent the procedure at a hospital in Djibouti while on vacation with her family. She later suffered health complications and had to undergo reconstructive surgery. The experience and meeting other females who had been incised inspired her to assist at risk girls and to call for the eradication of FGM. FGM, which can prove fatal and often leads to medical complications, has been illegal in the UK since 1985, but was formerly considered a mainly cultural issue. Nimco Ali and Daughters of Eve have successfully campaigned for it to be recognised as child abuse.

In addition, Ali served as a Network Coordinator for the End FGM/C Social Change Campaign and has also written extensively on national gender rights. On International Women’s Day 2019, it was announced that the 2019 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy’s International Women’s Rights Award would be awarded to Ali for her “approach to ending FGM by offering holistic support to survivors of the practice”.
Nimco formerly worked on ‘The Girl Generation: Together to End FGM’ campaign, which celebrates the Africa-led movement to end FGM in one generation. At the 2017 general election, Ali contested the seat of Hornsey and Wood Green in North London for the Women’s Equality Party. Nimco polled 551 votes (0.9%), finishing in 5th place out of the 8 candidates that stood and losing her deposit.

In 2014, she and her Co-Founder received a community/charity award at the 2014 Red Magazine Woman of the Year awards for their work with Daughters of Eve. They also placed sixth in the Woman’s Hour Power List 2014. In April 2015, Ali spoke at one of the early meetings of a new political party, the Women’s Equality Party. She was named one of BBC’s 100 Women in 2018. Currently she is an ambassador for #MAKERSUK. MAKERS is AOL’s women’s leadership platform that highlights the stories of ground-breaking women today to create the leaders of tomorrow. Nimco is also a trustee for Women for Refugee Women and the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize. She equally is a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party. Ali is set to release her book “RUDE” in June, 2019, which includes her personal story of living with FGM, the intimate and powerful stories of women and their own relationship with their vagina – from first periods to pregnancies, orgasms to the menopause. Most recently she was named by The Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, and as one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 most powerful.

Culled from Wikipedia

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