Hibo Wardere, 46, who fled Somalia’s civil war at the age of 18 having suffered FGM aged six, has made it her life’s work to educate and speak frankly about the brutal surgery which affects 200 million women in 30 countries.
Mrs Wardere, a teaching assistant who visits schools to educate children about the procedure, has written a book about her one-woman fight to wipe out FGM in her lifetime.
…She said: “I had a scary confrontation on the 257 bus in Walthamstow. A woman with a full niqab recognised me and ran at me screaming my name and snarling, ‘You came to my child’s school, you told her FGM was abuse.’
“I could only see her eyes but they were full of rage. She was so angry she had to be dragged off the bus, but I was jumping for joy inside because that meant a child had confronted their parent.”
A recent City University London and Equality Now study shows that FGM has been carried out on 137,000 women and girls living in England and Wales but Mrs Wardere believes these figures will sky-rocket once a full NHS survey comes out next year.