Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW): Nimko Ali

by Duke Magazine

Nimko Ali (OBE) is a Somali-British social activist and writer. She is the co-founder of Daughters of Eve, a non-profit organization which works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from female genital mutilation (FGM) and the founder of The Five Foundation, which leverages resources for front line activists.

Born in 1982 in Somalia, Ali has been vocal by propagating different campaigns on providing education and adequate awareness on female genital mutilation (FGM). The inspiration behind her initiative stems from her personal experience with the inhumane procedure she was subjected to at age seven and which led to severe health complications and reconstructive surgery.

Her professional experience has traversed through 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. 

The 38-year-old girl child advocate is a leading commentator in international media on the rights of girls and women, with majors surrounding FGM and related issues. 

Ali holds a degree from the University of West of England, Bristol.

As a writer, Ali authored the book “What We Are Told Not To Talk About was published in 2019 as her debut.

In 2014, she was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, and placed at spot six on the Woman’s Hour Power List. 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.

For her pivotal role in combating female genital mutilation and gender inequality, Ali was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 2019 Birthday Honors.

In 2020, she was appointed as an independent government advisor on tackling violence against women and girls.

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