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Zeituna Abdullahi

Project Officer, Merti Integrated Development Program

Bold Question: What if women and girls in Northern Kenya had the agency to make choices about their own bodies and learning?

Pathway to Metis: Zeituna Abdullahi is a young pastoralist woman born and raised in a pastoralist community in Isiolo County, where FGM is a deeply entrenched cultural practice. She has dedicated her life to promoting gender equality, providing timely information on menstruation, and ending harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriages, and pregnancies. 

With the support of her mother and late father, she was protected from harmful practices, completed her education, and pursued her dreams of becoming an advocate for women's rights.

Today, she works with women and young people in my community to promote gender equality and end harmful practices such as FGM and early marriages.  Through her work, She has developed a deep understanding of the complex social and cultural dynamics that underlie these practices. She is committed to working with her community to find solutions that respect cultural traditions while promoting human rights.

Empowering the next generation of leaders is essential to achieving lasting change. Through the Dress for Change program, She has provided mentorship and support to young girls and women, helping them to develop the skills and confidence they need to pursue their dreams and become agents of change in their communities.

“We can create a world where all individuals can live free from discrimination and violence, and where women and girls can achieve their full potential.”

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