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Untold Stories With Hibo

Hibo Wardere, originally from Somalia, faced a traumatic experience at the young age of six when she became a victim of type 3 Female Genital Mutilation, which would later impact her when she became pregnant with her first child.
What makes Hibo truly extraordinary is her ability to transform her personal anguish into a powerful force for change. She inspires, through her sharing of how she overcame the trauma of this difficult procedure known around the world as a ‘cultural practice’ controlling girls and women’s sexuality to promote premarital virginity and marital fidelity.
Hibo’s overarching objective is to shed light on the fact that FGM is a form of child abuse that must be eradicated, all while avoiding the demonisation of the communities where this practice persists.
Collaborating closely with the charity Educate not Mutilate, Hibo Wardere leads educational sessions on FGM, furthering her mission to inform, prevent, and ultimately put an end to this harmful tradition. Her resilience and determination makes her a true voice of courage in the fight against FGM.

“There are a huge chunk of people that are ignored, not heard, not acknowledged, because the culture is seen sometimes as not wanting to know and understand peoples cultures. I don’t want to know, I’m just doing my job and my work says A, B and C.”
Then it becomes a ‘tick box exercise’. A lot of women fall victim to this standard of care and it is infuriating”

Incredibly, she transformed her personal anguish into a powerful force for change through her tireless activism against FGM. Hibo is not only a dedicated advocate but also an author renowned for her work raising awareness about this ‘cultural’ practice and it’s impact on girls and women.
Her influential book “Cut: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today” serves as a testament to her personal journey and her campaign against FGM.

Hibo has supported Holding Her Space work through her workshops and she will always be a valuable mama in our Village.

During my birth it was ridiculous what I was experiencing.They did not understand me, they did not understand my cut, they understood nothing!. For them it was a case of ‘let’s just get the baby out!’ and that is not the way to help a woman who is giving birth. For any woman who has undergone trauma you need to have an understanding of her and who she is, of her culture, why she acts in a certain way, why she may not want to be touched in a certain way. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration that aren’t.

Hibo Wardere

Somali-born campaigner against Female Genital Mutilation 
Mother of 7