Dr Mariam Dahir is an end FGM activist from Hargeisa, Somaliland. In Somalia, 98% of women have undergone some form of FGM. As a doctor, teacher, activist and mother, Dr.Mariam breaks the silence surrounding the practice in all aspects of her life. She recently became the chairperson of Somaliland’s first ever Youth Anti-FGM Network, whose aim is to reach 10,000 young people every year with end FGM messages.

Dr Mariam Dahir is from Hargeisa, Somaliland. Walking through the market, she meets female traders, asking about their health, and talking about FGM and its impacts. As a trainee doctor, she was horrified to see the harmful health implications in a country where the overwhelming majority – 98% – of girls are cut. ‘I saw women unable to give birth, horrific complications. I wanted to know why this was happening and how I could help’ 

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Dr Mariam Dahir has become an activist against FGM in her country. ‘You know the community – they don’t like to hear a woman’s voice, especially if you are younger. It is always challenging,’ she explains. ‘We link religion, culture and tradition together here. When I started speaking out against FGM, many people in my community were critical. But things are changing. More people are speaking out against FGM in Somaliland’ 

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As a lecturer at Frantz Fanon University in Hargeisa, Dr Mariam shapes the next generation of academics, doctors and change makers in Somaliland.

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