Sometimes, the suffering of humanity is too much to bear. But sometimes, you can do one really simple thing to make a massive difference
Jaha Dukureh is a formidable and incredibly courageous young woman whose tragic past could have caused her to give up on life altogether. Instead, she’s spearheading a vital campaign that would save millions of girls from a horrific and brutal practice: female genital mutilation.
When she was just one week old, Jaha’s clitoris was barbarically cut off by a ‘midwife’ who believed she was doing the right thing by blindly following tradition. Her vagina was then sewn up, as is the unthinkable practice in her home country, the Gambia: it would only be ripped back open again once Jaha became a child bride. She is now 25 and says the physical pain of FGM never ends; it never goes away.
Jaha was sent from her home country to the USA at the tender age of 15. She endured a forced marriage with an older man who she had never met before. Sex on her wedding night- just hours after a doctor opened up the old wound of her sewn-up genitalia- was not only traumatic on every level, it was unimaginably painful. Jaha escaped from this hell (“I just couldn’t take it”) and started a national campaign against FGM, persuading Obama to confront the archaic practice and outlaw it in the States.
Spurred on by her success, Jaha returned to the Gambia in an attempt to educate her countrymen about the physical, mental and emotional trauma of a practice that has no place in the 21st century, no purpose at all outside being a extreme patriarchal abuse of female sexuality. An FGM survivor will never feel any pleasure from sex. A man, on the other hand, is believed to get more pleasure from sex when a girl has been ‘cut’. Education is clearly the key to change.
But Jaha needs help to continue her crusade against this horror. Patrick Farrelly, an award-winning documentary maker, has agreed to work with her to make sure the FGM issue is widely publicized in affected countries (see map below). Together, they have already started filming, but Jaha needs to raise more money to finish the film and continue her fight against the practice.
Please watch the video above, a powerful and moving trailer of the film Jaha wants to complete. Share it with as many people as possible and consider chipping in a few dollars to Jaha’s Indiegogo campaign so she can reach her goal of outlawing FGM in the Gambia and save millions of young girls in Africa from the same fate. There is hope: FGM has just been banned in Nigeria, and with our help the Gambia could be next.
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