Jaha Dukureh was subjected to FGM when she was just one week old. She immigrated to the United States from Africa when she was 15 years old and was forced into marriage shortly afterwards.
Jaha hopes to raise awareness and fight FGM: she wants to debunk the myth that FGM happens only in far-off countries; rather it is a very real and current issue also in the United States. Although FGM is illegal in the USA, many find ways of carrying out this practice either through secret procedures or by smuggling girls overseas to undergo the procedure.
Jaha started an organization Safe Hands for Girls in order to give girls all over the US the chance to share their problems and speak up against FGM. She wishes to educate and raise awareness of the brutal practice and most importantly, wishes to empower women from these backgrounds to change the futures of their daughters.
Jaha is one of a number of women worldwide leading the fight against FGM. Hibo Wardere, is an activist and campaigner in the UK. Hibo is a teaching assistant from Walthamstow, UK. She underwent FGM as a six-year-old in her native Somalia.
In a Guardian article , Hibo is quoted as saying:
“FGM is a devastating, barbaric, medieval, practice that shouldn’t be inflicted on young innocent girls. FGM strikes like a hurricane but the destruction it leaves behind is for life. We need to give them the power to say no. We need to give them the right to have their full body.”
Hear more from Hibo here:
And sign her petition on Change.org to encourage the UK to teach about FGM in schools.