Jaha’s Cause ~ Help her to victory and support her anti-FGM campaign


photo: http://www.lorealparisusa.com/en/women-of-worth/2015-honoree.aspx?profile=Jaha-Dukureh


Jaha Dukureh was born in The Gambia. She was infibulated in infancy, and at fifteen sent to America to marry a man in his forties. The marriage did not last and she ran away. Now married to a husband of her choice and is still living in the U.S., she has three children, including a daughter.

Her decision to protect her daughter from FGM spurred her to fight to protect other girls. She started a Change.org petition that caught the attention of President Obama. The practice of FGM within the US was already an offence, but Jaha’s intervention resulted in the Girls’ Protection Act of 2010, which criminalizes the transport of U.S. girls abroad for FGM.

Now Jaha is taking her campaign home to The Gambia, where currently 78% of girls are infibulated. She is talking to the women who carry out FGM, and to the younger generation. As the daughter of an influential imam, she is also in a good  position to argue against the strongly held myth that FGM is required by Islam. Her goal is a national ban on FGM in The Gambia.

Jaha is one of the 10 women nominated for L’Oreal’s Women of Worth 2015. If Jaha wins, L’Oreal will promote Jaha’s cause and donate $25,000 to her organisation Safe Hands For Girls. This U.S. based group is run by FGM survivors and aims to raise awareness of the abuse and to give support to other survivors. Follow the link to see their work.





Jaha’s Journey – the film

To learn more about Jaha’s life and work you can see a clip from Patrick Farrelly’s unfinished film here:




Travel Theme: Faces
#FGM  #Jaha’sJourney #SafeHandsForGirls #JahaDukureh #FemaleGenitalMutilation

20 thoughts on “Jaha’s Cause ~ Help her to victory and support her anti-FGM campaign

  1. I have voted. I hope with all my heart that she succeeds. Not only in getting the law changed, but in having it actually carried out. She reminds me of Malala Yousafzai who won the Nobel Peace prize for campaigning for the right to education for all children, especially girls – and she’s still only 18.

  2. Gawd. Humans are such animals sometimes. I heard a BBC documentary on the radio about this a few months ago, was just appalled that it was still happening, still EXPECTED.! And demanded! By men.

    1. I agree, but it’s good to know that there are men campaigners – not only the Maasai Cricket Warriors of my last week’s post, but I also read of an old West African imam going round villages and telling communities they must give it up. Men aren’t the only upholders either. Women, particularly of the older generations, will support FGM too, and I know this seems impossible to consider for us. But it is part of their identity as decent wives and mothers.There is also a distinction between the communities that infibulate – usually very conservative, and all part of controlling women’s behaviour – and those who use less drastically damaging forms as part of a right of passage. In Kenya the latter ceremonies are being replaced by ones that celebrate transition, but without the cut. There is hope for change, but it won’t be fast.

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