Women’s loyalty has to be earned with trust and affection, rather than barbaric rituals. The time has come to leave the old ways of suffering behind— Waris Dirie
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Female genital mutilation targets little girls, baby girls - fragile angels who are helpless, who cannot fight back. It's a crime against a child, a crime against humanity. It's abuse. It's absolutely criminal and we have to stop it.
My mother named me after a miracle of nature: Waris means desert flower.
The desert flower blooms in a barren environment where few living things can survive.
Mama tied a blindfold over my eyes. The next thing I felt my flesh was being cut away. I heard the blade sawing back and forth through my skin. The pain between my legs was so intense I wished I would die.
Because women and girls are not valued equally as human beings, they are treated as less than such. Female genital mutilation is one example of this that has to be stopped.
Every day, women move mountains. It is an insult to have an international women's day.
If you can survive in the desert, you survive anywhere.
I know more than anything life in desert. You can tell by looking at the dirt how long ago it rained, how hard it rained, how much water came through. You can by looking at a plant, a tree, from an animal's look. I can read the desert like I read my hand.
I know what I am fighting for. I am fighting for the most basic rights of innocent children. And that is why I never take the criticism too deep under my skin.
I always knew, from the very day of my own mutilation, that I would one day fight against this practice. I did not know how and when, but I knew that I would fight it.
Sometimes I wonder where I am from. I am either way ahead or I come from another world. I don't recognise this world.
Fashion is fun, ridiculously fun. But it's base and it's wrong. You're not doing anything good for the world. You're just saying, 'Buy it, buy it, buy it.
I love life. I wish I could live another 500 years, truly. There is so much to do. I don't feel bitter or angry or disappointed. If anything, I am very grateful for where I come from. I have absolutely no regrets.
Less hatred, more love, less war, more peace, more respect for the Mother Nature and for other people.
I am strong, determined, impulsive, happy, and emotional.
Somalia is facing many problems, I don't even know where to start.
I don't know what a supermodel is. If they call me that, I might have to punch them. It's just so vain and so unreal.
FGM breaches all human rights and has no place in any 21st century society.
I've never been one to stay still. I was born a nomad, and I still am a nomad and always will be.
Brooklyn's good. Brooklyn's funky. Brooklyn's happening.
In the current situation, it is very difficult for foreign NGOs to work in Somalia because it is so unstable and dangerous. I really hope that my country will one day rise out of this mess and reach the potential it has.
Laws are important. But they can only be effective if the people know about the particular laws.
Don’t do to your daughters what has been done to you! They are perfect and beautiful.
We need to empower women: provide them with work for their own income, and teach them to become independent of men so they will never have to have their children suffering the same torture.
Give love and share happiness with the people around you, and never give up fighting for what you believe in.
I love the truth. Tell the truth and live the truth, because we've seen enough lies and look what it's doing.
Well, of course there’s my own experience of being mutilated as a little child. Having gone through this cruel practice and all the long-term consequences that come with it, I just cannot sit back and watch it being done to thousands of little girls every year. I believe that it is my responsibility to use the attention I get to fight against the continuing practice of FGM.
Personal style? I don't really believe in that. Whatever is comfortable.
When I became successful as a model in the United States, I knew that my chance to be heard had come and so I took it.
My family is and will always stay the most important to me.
I belong nowhere and to no one.
I still do find it very difficult in the West to connect to this politeness of smiling, not saying how you're thinking or not saying how you really feel.