Khadija Gbla is a high profile African Australian, award-winning human rights activist, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker. Originally from Sierra Leone, Khadija became a refugee at the tender age of 3 when war broke out in Sierra Leone. Her family fled to Gambia and remained a refugee until Australia granted her refugee status in 2001. Who knew she would become Young South Australian of the Year only 10 years later?
At nine years old Khadija was a victim of Female Genital Mutilation. The FGM was performed with a rusty knife on an unsterile floor of a hut. It left her with scarring complications, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress and the risk of infertility. Unaware of the severity of what she was subjected to by those close to her, it wasn’t until Khadija was 13 when she realised, she was a victim of female genital mutilation
Khadija has dedicated her life to educate and expose the atrocities of FGM, an abuse that has been performed on more than 200 million innocent girls around the globe, with 200,000 survivors like Khadija living in Australia. FGM is a brutal form of gender-based violence performed in many different environments, sometimes even disguised as a medical procedure in more affluent countries with the intent of controlling the sexuality of women. Khadija is cutting open the shroud of silence FGM has hidden behind and is refusing to remain quiet.
An ambassador of Our Watch, Sister Works, lead campaigner and voice against FGM in Australia for the last 19 years and with a TEDx talk watched by over 2 million people Khadija is making serious waves, saving lives and making a difference.
She has recently founded The Desert Flower Centre Australia. A trailblazing clinic specialising in holistic, comprehensive gynaecological, urological reconstructive surgery and trauma-informed care for women impacted by female genital mutilation.
April 1, 2021