Women We Love | Jaha Dukureh, A Women’s Rights Activist

Women We Love | Jaha Dukureh, A Women’s Rights Activist

She is a Gambian Women’s Rights Activist and founder of Safe Hands for Girls, a nonprofit organization for young women and girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). 

She played a key role in President Obama’s administration by investigating the profile of FGM in the USA and contributing to the subsequent Summit to End FGM at the United States Institute of Peace. Additionally, in collaboration with women’s organizations and civil society, she was an active force in the Gambian Government’s decision to ban FGM, following extensive youth mobilization and campaigning in the country. 

As a survivor of FGM, forced into child marriage at 15, Ms. Dukureh has fought and continues to fight for the eradication of FGM and women’s rights. Due to her outstanding work on women’s rights and advocating against FGM, she was recognized as one of the most influential people in the world, being named to the Time 100 list in 2016. In 2017, New African magazine included her among the 100 most influential Africans for her activism. 

That same year, she was honored with the “Human Rights Activist, Humanitarian of the Year” award at the seventh annual African Diaspora Awards. In 2018, Apolitical recognized her as one of the top 100 global gender policy influencers, YouthHubAfrica named her one of the top 10 Africa Changemakers, and she was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Her feature documentary “Jaha’s Promise” which began in 2017, details her life and work to end FGM. In February 2018, Jaha was appointed UN Women Ambassador for Africa. In this role, Jaha supports UN Women’s advocacy to end FGM and child marriage in Africa, focusing specifically on mobilizing youth. She holds a similar advising role at The World Bank. She has also been pivotal in engaging religious leaders in the coalition of stakeholders dedicated to ending FGM in Africa. 

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