Waris Dirie

Somali model, author, actress, activist

Waris Dirie (born 1965) is a Somali model, author, actress and human rights activist in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). From 1997 to 2003, she was a UN special ambassador against female genital mutilation. In 2002 she founded her own organization in Vienna, the Desert Flower Foundation.

Waris Dirie in 2018


  • Women’s loyalty has to be earned with trust and affection, rather than barbaric rituals. The time has come to leave the old ways of suffering behind.
  • Every 11 seconds a little girl is being mutilated somewhere in the world, it has nothing to do with religion, culture or tradition but against all rights of humanity its a crime its cruel its unacceptable.
  • I knew most married women in my community put up with everything and anything. Any abuse, hopelessness, and I thought, was I here to be used and be abused? I knew there was so much I could do with my life, but on my terms.
  • I just knew that I had to tell the world that there was torture, an undercover war against women. But this is not one person's war – all of us have to do something.
  • What really made me take a stand was that nobody was doing anything.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: