If there was one thing you think society should talk more about, what would it be?
“There is no reason for FGM other than patriarchal power”
Khadija Gbla is a high profile, passionate and inspiring African Australian woman. She is an award-winning human rights activist, inspirational speaker, facilitator and philanthropist. She has displayed great courage and determination in achieving her aspirations of giving women, youth and minority groups a voice at a local, state and international level. Khadija utilises her powerful and inspired voice to advocate equality and inclusion.
Khadija was born in Sierra Leone, and was just 3-years-old when war broke out in her country. Ten years later she attained refugee status and resettled in Adelaide. Khadija is the lead voice and campaigner on Female Genital Mutilation in Australia and her TED Talk "My mother’s strange definition of empowerment" has reached nearly 3 Million views.
Khadija runs a not for profit organisation Ending Female Genital Mutilation Australia which works to protect Australian girls from FGM and also to support survivors of FGM. Khadija provides training for professionals, advocacy and community education for practising communities in Australia.
She is an Ambassador for Our Watch, an organisation established to change attitudes of violence towards women and their children, and member of Harmony Alliance -Migrant and Refugee Women for Change aims to provide a national inclusive and informed voice on the multiplicity of issues impacting the experiences and outcomes of migrant and refugee women in Australia
Khadija provides advocacy, training, speaking on domestic and family violence, sexual health, racism, human rights, mental health, migrants and refugees and cultural diversity through her cultural consultancy, khadija Gbla Cultural Consultancy.
Ambassador for SisterWorks, a non for profit social enterprise which supports refugee and migrant women to become economically empowered through the model of learning by doing.
The list of what Khadija has achieved in her young life of advocacy is no short of astounding. She’s been recognized through numerous awards including 2019 Instyle Magazine, The Advocate for Acceptance Human Rights Award; 2017 cosmopolitan magazine women of the year finalist; 2016 Women's Weekly and Qantas Women of the Future finalist; 2016 AusMumpreneur Rising Star and Making a difference –non-profit Award & 2014 The Advertiser South Australia’s 50 most Influential Women… to name a few.
I recently had the privilege of seeing Kadija speak on stage where there was not a dry eye in the audience & she was honoured with a standing ovation. Her story is moving. She is so generous in sharing the path she’s taken to get here and it’s one that many would have not been able to endure. I urge you to watch her TEDTalk to understand what she’s been through and how, at 13, this beautiful soul decided ‘enough is enough’!
This topic is not for the feint hearted...but it’s so important that we understand that FGM is happening here in Australia TODAY! And as a Child Abuse issue, it’s something that is all our business, not just those from certain cultures or backgrounds.
This is a pretty confronting conversation and there are things we talk about that will make many feel really uncomfortable. It’s such an important conversation and I feel honoured to sit with an outstanding human that is so crystal clear around her purpose in life...and it making a true dent in the world. I hope you enjoy this conversation with the glorious Kadija Gbla.
Connect and find out more about Kadija here;-
Khadija’s incredible TedTalk called “My mothers strange definition of empowerment”
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