"I have the privilege to talk to world leaders about FGM and there has progress at a policy and political level - such as the landmark outlawing of female genital mutilation in Sudan in May 2020. However, I still believe that real change comes from people on the ground. In the next ten years and post-Covid we have to build back better, building movements with women and children at the heart. The true focus must be to help Africa to rise, to invest in women and young people, and to find development that works for everyone. WOW Festival has been an incubator for the voices of women."
Nimco Ali OBE is a Somali British social activist and writer. She co-founded Daughters of Eve, a non-profit organisation which works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from female genital mutilation (FGM), in 2010 and The Five Foundation, which leverages resources for front line activists, in 2019. Nimco has helped to position FGM as a central issue in ending violence against women and girls.
Her professional experience has included working for counter-terrorism within the civil service, supporting the rights of girls in the UK as part of Girlguiding UK and as network lead on The Girl Generation, the DfID-funded anti-FGM social change communications initiative. She is also a leading commentator in international media on the rights of girls and women – particularly surrounding FGM and related issues. Nimco’s debut book What We Are Told Not To Talk About was published in 2019. In 2014, she was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, and placed at No 6 on the Woman’s Hour Power List. Most recently she was named by the Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, as well one of the Evening Standard‘s 1000 most powerful and BBC’s 100 Women 2018.