April 11, 2021

Khadija Gbla on advocating against FGM & being a mum

Khadija Gbla is not one of those who has bowed down to challenges. She has in fact risen through extreme odds in her childhood. Khadija was born in Sierra Leone in West Africa. In 1991, when war broke she was taken to Gambia before coming to Australia that would be her home for life. However an incident changed her life and even the purpose in life.

Khadija has been subjected to female genital mutilation on the consent of her mother.

In a chilling recount she shares with Mums and stories her journey of traumatized childhood incident, her teens that had the repercussions of the incident, her desire of becoming a mum, which seemed to be a dream due to this act and to the miraculous transition of now being a blessed mum.

“I was told I am going on a holiday and we reached this spot in Gambia where there were two huts. My mum spoke to the old woman who was there and the next thing I knew was that I was taken inside the hut, pinned down and this woman with a sharp rusty knife cut out my clitoris even as a 9-year-old I was screaming in unbearable pain.

In African culture children do not really question parent’s actions. When we moved to Australia I realized that this practice is known as female genital mutilation (FGM). I was so angry that I was subjected to this unnecessary act of violence. I have had a precious part of my body removed that cannot be replaced.”

Khadija had painful menstrual cycles due to this incident and years later she was told by the doctors that she would be not be capable of conceiving a child. But as she says, miracles happen and now since a year, Khadija is a mum to a blessed son.

Khadija has been a recipient of a number of awards for voicing out the concerns of FGM survivors. She is the face and is campaigning actively against female genital mutilation in Australia and according to her she is a lucky survivor but many others she feels are subjected to many more complications in life due to the unfound beliefs of curbing sexual desires in young girls.

She also believes unlike the general perception; FGM is practiced even to this date in many countries and cultures.

On life gifting her the most precious asset to her she says as a mum, I feel “The gift of a child is the best thing to ever happened to me. I consider having a child a win against FGM. “

Mums and stories is glad that we reached out to this inspiring mum and Khadija shared her experience with us.


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