Kenyan anti-FGM activist Nice Nailantei is in Time’s 2018 list of 100 most influential people in the world.
Nailantei was recognised on Thursday night for working with members of the Maasai community to end Female Genital Mutilation.
She is a project officer with Amref Health Africa who has saved an estimated 15,000 girls around Kenya from the cut, as well as from child marriage.
“As a Maasai child in Kenya, Nailantei accomplished something remarkable: she escaped the cut, her culture’s ritualized female genital mutilation,”said Time magazine.
She was in the forefront of negotiations with village elders, who traditionally have not worked with women, and convinced them that alternative coming-of-age ceremonies will be healthier for girls and better for communities.
Amref Health Africa’s global CEO Githinji Gitahi congratulated the woman, terming her an extraordinary person, passionate about the rights of girls.
“[She] is transforming social norms and practices so they can become the women they want to be,” Gitahi said. “I have the privilege of knowing [Nailantei] and seeing how she is improving the lives of girls every day.”