Every year more than two million women and girls undergo the practice widely known as female genital mutilation.
|Dirie describes her experience of female genital|
mutilation in her autobiograpy, Desert Flower
Most cases are carried out openly in Africa, but it is also conducted in secrecy in parts of the Middle East and among immigrant communities in Europe.
Former supermodel, Waris Dirie, went through this traumatic experience herself when she was just five years old and living in Somalia. She now devotes herself to campaigning against the practice.
Recently, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, presented her with the Legion of Honour for her work.
Dirie's autobiographical book Desert Flower, published in 1998, described her personal experiences and became a best seller in Europe and was translated into 55 languages.
She has continued to write about the controversial topic of female genital mutilation in her subsequent books and is working on a movie based on her story.
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