Hamda Cali, an activist, nurse and midwife in Somaliland, Somalia, often thinks of her sister and cousins when she trains health workers to stop female genital mutilation (FGM) in their communities. “I have a younger sister, 15 years old, and two cousins, aged 13 and 15, who are untouched,” she says. “They have not been cut – I stopped it from happening.” Hamda’s mother and aunt wanted all their daughters to undergo FGM soon after they turned five, a tradition in her community. Thanks to Hamda’s many years of work on FGM prevention and advocacy with the Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association, she was able to approach this sensitive issue with confidence, patience, trust and credibility – ultimately protecting her sisters. In a country where 98% of women and girls aged 15-49 years have undergone FGM, Hamda’s story is still unusual. It is an inspiring example of how health workers, empowered with cultural, medical and psychosocial knowledge, can be agents of change…more