Ep. 38: Nimko Ali on Surviving Female Genital Mutilation
Updated: Feb 3, 2021
Nimko Ali tells the On the Edge with Andrew Gold podcast about how she was cut at a young age. She has an OBE for services to prevent FGM
Nimko Ali is on the show today to talk about Female Genital Mutilation or FGM. I planned this episode to appear now, as I saw it’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th, and it’s something I wanted learn about. I’d often heard about FGM but didn’t actually know all that much about it. Was it a religious custom or a cultural tradition, or simply a barbaric act carried out on girls by some patriarchal groups. It appears to be the latter.
Book - What we're told not to talk about: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rude-There-Such-Thing-Over-Sharing/dp/024129262X
Five Foundation: https://www.thefivefoundation.org/
In any case, Nimko is of Somali heritage and was herself cut as a child. She is the co-founder of the Five Foundation, so make sure to get on there and donate, share and support however you can to help to end FGM. She also has a prestigious OBE, was named in the BBC’s 100 Women, won Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year and won the International Women’s Rights Award at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. I read and loved her book What We’re Told Not To Talk About – link in the show notes. Split into categories labelled periods, orgasms, pregnancy and menopause, it collects haunting and inspirational stories from women around the world. It goes into intense and surprisingly vivid, or disgusting, detail, which is one of the book’s strengths, it’s a lot of fun to read and I found myself both laughing and crying.
We discuss what it was like for Nimko to be cut, and how it affects her life today. And although this is a very serious topic, Nimko is able to talk at times with humour. So, we delve into her previous fancy for English football player Michael Owen and her current interest in Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is a bit of a dark horse to say the least. If you get to the end, Nimko tells the men listening how they can get in touch with her to ask her on a date, because she hasn’t been with someone seriously for five years.