Fahma Mohamed was born in The Netherlands in 1996 and moved to Bristol, England with her family when she was 7 years old. At school Fahma attended an after-school session that discussed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Fahma was horrified at what she learned and decided she wanted to help in any way she could to stop this practice. She began actively campaigning at the age of 14 when she joined the End FG project with Integrate Bristol; a charity co-founded by her school English teacher, Lisa Zimmerman.
In 2014, after 3 years of relentless campaigning, raising awareness and challenging the taboo of FGM in Britain, Integrate UK successfully launched an online petition to end the practice which received over 250,000 signatures. The petition received support from activist Malala Yousafzai and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Fahma was invited to meet with the then UK Education Secretary, MP Michael Gove and encouraged him to write to all UK schools urging them to introduce courses in FGM for teachers and parents. Her activism also resulted in compulsory training for public sector workers to help teachers, doctors and social workers identify and assist girls at risk. That same year Mohamed was named the Young Activist of the Year by Good Housekeeping magazine.
In 2016, when she was just 19 years old, Fahma became one of the youngest people in the UK to receive an honorary degree when she was awarded a Doctorate of Law by Bristol University in recognition of her activism and fight for policy changes. Fahma continues to campaign for women’s rights against the phenomenon of online sexual predation and forced marriage of children, whilst studying Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London.
Fahma’s active role in raising awareness and fighting to abolish the horrific practice that affects millions of young girls in the UK and around the world is inspirational. Deciding to take a stand and become actively involved in campaigning from such a young age is a great reminder that no matter how old you are, you can fight for what you believe in and have a positive impact.
-Emily Clarke, Junior Girl