Sadya Touré was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) at the age of four. And she has been on a mission of female empowerment ever since. At 13, she joined Mali’s National Parliament of Children, where she skipped school lunch to save money and travel to events promoting girls’ education.
Later, Sadya educated older, all-male village councils about FGM’s disastrous effects on women’s health, and founded an organization, Mali Musso, that provides full university scholarships, housing assistance and career training to girls from rural Mali. She is also a blogger and the author of Being an Ambitious Woman in Mali, a book about supporting the empowerment of women in Timbuktu and surrounding communities.