Waris Dirie found safe – campaigner against female genital mutilation

Somali women’s rights activist found safe after going missing for three days.

blog imageWaris Dirie, former supermodel and Bond girl, has been found safe after going missing in Brussels – good news on what is International Women’s Day.

It must be a relief for everyone who knows her that she’s turned up because – like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is under death threat – she is a campaigner against female genital mutilation.

Dirie has already moved city once to avoid an obsessed stalker who broke into her home twice and physically attacked her. And only last week, another former model and campaigner against female circumcision, Guinean-born Katoucha Niane, was found dead in the Seine. Thankfully there are no signs of foul play in that case and it appears to have been an accidental drowning.

Dirie underwent the procedure of circumcision at the age of five and considers herself lucky to have survived – her sister and two cousins did not. In 1997, she was appointed by Kofi Annan as Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation. She also holds France’s highest honour, the Legion d’Honneur and is author of several books about her life and about female circumcision – Desert Flower, Desert Dawn and Desert Children.

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