Khadija Gbla:
My mother’s strange definition of empowerment

TEDxCanberra · 18:40 · Filmed Oct 2014
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Khadija Gbla grew up caught between two definitions of what it means to be an “empowered woman.” While her Sierra Leonean mother thought that circumsizing her — and thus stifling her sexual urges — was the ultimate form of empowerment, her culture as a teenager in Australia told her that she deserved pleasure and that what happened to her was called “female genital mutilation.” In a candid and funny talk, she shares what it was like to make her way in a “clitoris-centric society,” and how she works to make sure other women don’t have to figure this out. (Warning: This talk contains hard-to-hear details.)

Cross-cultural consultant
Khadija Gbla was born in Sierra Leone, spent her youth in Gambia, and as a teenager put down roots in Australia. She uses her cross-cultural heritage to promote understanding in both directions. Full bio
This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxCanberra, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.



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