The United Nations Organization for Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) Goodwill Ambassador for Africa on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Marriage, Ms. Jaha Dukureh, came in Liberia on Saturday, November 19, 2022. She is on a mission to lend support to the country’s attempts to stop FGM, a cruel practice against women and girls.
In February of 2018, Jaha Dukureh, a famous activist, was designated Regional UN Women Ambassador for Africa. Ms. Dukureh, who is a survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM) and was married against her will at the age of 15, has decided to devote her time and energy to helping UN Women’s efforts to stop female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Africa, with a focus on engaging youth.
Ms. Dukureh is the chief executive officer and founder of “Safe Hands for Girls,” a non-governmental organization. This group helps African women and girls who have survived female genital mutilation (FGM) and treats the long-term physical and psychological effects of this procedure. After youth involvement and lobbying in the country, she contributed, together with women’s organizations and civil society, to the Gambian government’s decision to abolish female genital mutilation (FGM).
She is visiting Liberia from November 19 to November 27, 2022, in order to strengthen the country’s efforts to prevent female genital mutilation (FGM), a destructive practice that affects women and girls.
The arrival of Ms. Dukureh coincides with the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This event will be observed from November 25 to December 10, 2022, with “Join, Activism to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls” as the worldwide theme and “With one voice, let us unite to end violence against women, girls, and children” as the national theme.
During her journey to Liberia, Ms. Dukureh is expected to meet with a number of stakeholders in order to campaign for the abolition of female genital mutilation (FGM). These stakeholders include, among others, government officials, diplomats, traditional leaders, representatives of civil society, women’s organizations, and the media.
In reality, Ambassador Jaha Dukureh has met with dozens of traditional women at the National Traditional Council’s headquarters, where she stressed that UN Women is not attempting to abolish the Liberian tradition, but rather to eliminate its detrimental components. She advised traditional Liberian women to abandon the harmful components of their culture and embrace the beneficial ones.
She highlighted that her message was not to tell Liberians that we want everything to disappear, but rather to inform Liberian ladies that we do not want the cutting.
She feels that when an African culture is gone, its prestige and morals are also lost, and as a result, UN Women is more concerned with encouraging good traditional practices and eradicating negative ones.
Ambassador Dukureh personally vowed to campaign for the rights of traditional peoples to practice their culture in the international community when she leaves Liberia, and to oppose any efforts to restrict those rights.
She did, however, emphasize how vital it was for the UN to consider methods to preserve the positive aspects of Liberian culture and eliminate the negative ones, as well as to empower traditional women.
Such a common understanding between the local people and the UN or all the activists against FGM is designed to encourage this. This is why we enthusiastically welcome Ambassador Jaha Dukureh to Liberia and praising her for her tremendous work across Africa.