Jaha Dukureh is the Founder and Executive Director of Safe Hands for Girls, a nonprofit organization working to protect young women and girls who are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). For her outstanding work as a global campaigner to end FGM and promote women’s rights, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2016.
Ms. Dukureh’s work directly led to the ban on FGM in The Gambia in 2015. Her efforts also helped create a law in the U.S. that made it illegal to transport girls out of the U.S. for the purpose of FGM. She successfully advocated with the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to take the essential first step of commissioning a report on the prevalence of FGM in the U.S. The CDC released its findings last year, estimating more than 503,000 young women and girls are either living with or at risk of FGM in the U.S. Her campaign has received backing from the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and various members of Congress, including Senator Harry Reid, Congressmen John Lewis, and Joseph Crowley.
Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Guardian, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and other media outlets. Last year she was featured in the L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth campaign.