Leyla Hussein is a trained psychotherapist and a multi-award winning campaigner on FGM and gender rights, including Cosmopolitan Ultimate Campaigner Women of the Year Award 2010. In 2011, she won the Emma Humphreys Prize Lin Groves Special Award for her work in raising awareness of violence against women and children; she received the 2012 True Honour Award by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation in recognition of her work on preventing honour-based violence, protecting victims/survivors and bringing perpetrators to justice. She received the World Peace and Prosperity Foundation award 2013.
She was included in the BBC 100 Women list of 2013 and recently voted sixth in the Woman’s Hour 2014 Power List. She co-founded Daughters Of Eve who are working to protect girls and young women at risk from FGM. She also advises the UK-wide Tackling FGM Initiative, has worked as a consultant for the international End FGM Social Change Campaign, and is the chief executive of Hawa’s Haven. Leyla Hussein is also a community facilitator at Manor Gardens, where she now runs Dahlia’s Project, which she set up in 2013, the only counselling service for FGM survivors in the UK. Her documentary Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut, on FGM in the UK, was nominated for a Bafta in 2014.
She successfully lobbied at a political level and her e-petition ‘Stop FGM in the UK Now’ gathered over 100,000 signatures, triggering a much needed debate in Parliament on FGM in the UK. She was subsequently called in to give evidence at the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the matter.