Meet Fahma Mohamed, one of the youngest people in the UK to receive a PHD aged 19

by Rachel Ogbu//

Fahma Mohamed, 20, became one of the youngest people in the UK to receive the honorary doctorate degree in the UK last year, at only 19.

Mohamed, who also has a law doctorate, is also a strong campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM).  “This has been seven years of hard work, we had so many obstacles to overcome and struggles at the beginning because it was so taboo,” she told The Guardian. “It was fighting against something people were in denial about, it was hard for people to understand our point of view and for people in the community to be able to come out and say I am against this, too. But now people have completely changed. Of course there are still people out there who might not agree. But there are many people who have said that our work has broken the cycle of abuse in their family. I am so glad and thankful to everyone I have met on this journey, [who] has been willing to listen to me and others doing this work and given me the opportunity to help young girls out there.”

Fahma Mohamed started campaigning against the practice when she was 13 then went on to front a national campaign with the Guardian and to expose the continued occurrence of FGM in Britain. Her work attracted praise from the former UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, whom she met during her advocacy work. It is said that her campaign in the UK culminated in compulsory training for public sector workers to help teachers, doctors and social workers identify and assist girls at risk.

She was given the Doctor of Laws by the University of Bristol in acknowledgement of her campaign work to end and assist victims of FGM.

Fahma Mohamed speaking with United Nations’ secretary general Ban Ki-Moon

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