U.N. Special Ambassador Waris Dirie was born to a family of tribal nomads in Somalia. She told her story—enduring female circumcision, fleeing through the desert, and, improbably, becoming a top model—in her first book, Desert Flower.
In Desert Dawn, she wrote about her return to Somalia and her work as a U.N. Special Ambassador against FGM (female genital mutilation).
Her latest book recounts her investigations into the practice of FGM in Europe—it is estimated that as many as 500,000 women and girls have undergone FGM or are at risk. Here are the voices of women who have felt emboldened by Waris Dirie’s courage.