Girl Summit 2014: Meet The Women Changing Our World

Ahead of Girl Summit 2014, we look at the inspirational women dedicated to making a difference.

As David Cameron prepares to host the UK’s first ever Girl Summit

Continuing our work supporting Plan UK, Marie Claire will bring you all the coverage from 2014’s Girl Summit – follow #GirlSummit for updates. The aim? To end FGM in a generation. So let’s salute the game-changers already doing that and then share, tweet and shout about the cause to keep the conversation going.

Nimco Ali

A fearless and tireless anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner and co-founder of Daughters of Eve alongside Leyla Hussein, Nimco is an FGM survivor herself. She says: ‘In my family, it took four generations to start having the conversation. My grandmother and my mother had arranged marriages and FGM. But by the time my brother’s daughter is eight years old – when most girls are at risk of FGM – I want her and girls like her to be empowered to fight against this. We’ve come a long way, but we’re just getting started.’

Muna Hassan

A youth campaigner for Integrate Bristol, a charity formed to help with the integration of young people and children who have arrived from other countries and cultures, Muna has worked endlessly to raise awareness of FGM and the risks to girls in the UK. In July she joined Marie Claire editor Trish Halpin, Lynne Featherstone MP and Guardian journalist Alexandra Topping on a board of influencers to back Plan UK’s aim to end EGM in a generation.

Tanya Barron

The Chief Executive of Plan UK since 2012, Tanya started out as a special need’s teacher and has amassed over 20 years’ experience working in International Development. With trends suggesting that at least 30 million girls will be at risk of FGM over the next decade – with more than 20,000 at risk in the UK every year – her work with Plan UK is essential. She says: ‘Knowledge is key. If a girl knows her rights, and her community knows the risks, incidences of FGM will come down over time.’

Justine Greening MP

The Secretary of State for International Development has consistently and vocally supported the fight against FGM, helping to shine a global spotlight on the issue and rally government intervention. In March 2013 she issued a plea for, health and social workers, teachers and relatives not to “look the other way”. She says: ‘We are asking people to take a stand against FGM and child marriage at home and abroad by taking this pledge and making their voices heard at Girl Summit 2014.’

Lynne Featherstone MP

The International Development Minister announced in March 2013 that Britain would work to end FGM in a generation by launching a programme, worth up to £35 million, which aims to reduce FGM by 30 per cent in at least ten priority countries within five years. The programme aims to work with governments and traditional leaders to back laws to end the practice, fund research into the most cost-effective approaches to ending FGM, and support the community within the UK to help change practices globally.

They are talking about FGM. We are talking about FGM. Are you? Pledge your support for ending female genital mutilation and child and forced marriage here.

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