Iranian student wins Irish ethnic title


Sheelan Yousefizadeh (21), representing Iran, won the title of Ms Ethnic Ireland 2013 last night.

The Trinity College Dublin natural science student beat rivals from Ireland, Poland, Nicaragua, Lithuania, Uruguay and India as more than 300 people gathered in Dublin last night for a celebration of Ireland’s ethnic diversity marking International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The Ms Ethnic Ireland conference and beauty contest is in its third year. It crowns one of 18 contestants with the title which they use to raise awareness of violence against women with a special focus on female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide.

MEP Emer Costello said she hoped Ireland could hold a seminar on FGM as part of its EU presidency next year. About 500,000 women in Europe are living with FGM and another 180,000 women are at risk, she said.

She praised event organiser Ifrah Ahmed who has led awareness of FGM in Ireland.Ms Costello said Ireland’s FGM Bill last March was “largely due to Ifrah’s campaigning spirit”.

Ms Ahmed, who is a survivor of FGM, has lived in Ireland for six years and uses her own experience to raise awareness.