Jaha has fought against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. She was nominated for the award by Jette Christenssen, a Norwegian politician, at the launch of the film ‘Jaha’s Promise’ in 2017.
Christenssen said “ Her case is incredibly important not only for what’s happening in Gambia, but the rest of the world too.” The film is about Jaha’s life who was a victim of early marriage and FGM. The film shows the every day struggle to challenge the old tradition of female circumcision.
An Overview of Jaha Mapenzi
She is the founder and executive director of Safe Hands for Girls and the regional ambassador for the United Nations women bloc. Jaha was inspired to start Safe Hands after realizing that hundreds of girls and women in her community needed a support-led system. She is extremely passionate about helping other African women lead their own programs to end FGM.
On a recent interview she said “ Female genital mutilation is part our tradition, but I didn’t really know what it meant until I got married at 15 and couldn’t have sex. I was suffering from the most severe form of FGM, Type3 FGM, where your vagina is sealed. I couldn’t have sex until I was deinfibulated, when that seal is removed in order to have sex.”
The organization is based in Atlanta and in Gambia where they do advocacy work throughout the country. Jaha believes we can end FGM if we all work together towards a common goal. So far they have organized workshops and training for young people on ways they can pass laws to end FGM in the U.S. Their end goal is to have FGM ended globally by 2030.
Christensen added that “The most important thing about Jaha’s struggle is that the law was changed and it is actually being followed up in Gambia.”” I have nominated Jaha because she is a living proof of that the belief of a single person can cause them to change the world.”
Author: Stan McWest
Hi readers, I am Stan Teyingo, McWest. I was born in Togo/Lome, grew up in Kenya/ Nairobi where i spent over 18 years before moving to the U.S for higher education and work. I’m extremely passionate about the African culture. Having traveled to over 15 countries in Africa, I’m proud to say that I have experienced different values and cultures that I now use in my everyday life skills. Today I’m am extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to write positive articles on Africa, so guys have a scroll