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GAMBIA: Anti-FGM Campaigner Nominated For 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

By Published February 08, 2018

Gambian activist, Jaha Mapenzi Dukureh has been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the area of helping combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

A Norwegian politician, Jette Christenssen who met Jaha during the launch of her film ‘Jaha’s Promise’ in 2017 nominated her the prestigious award.

“Her case is incredibly important not only for what’s happening in Gambia, but for the rest of the world too, 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.” Christenssen said on her nominee.

The film is about how Jaha – a victim of FGM and early marriage – rallied support to challenge the age-old tradition of female circumcision in the West African country that is predominantly Muslim population.

Though the practice was officially banned in 2015 by former president Yahya Jammeh, activists say some communities continue to engage in the practice.

After the nomination stage, there will be another process for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to shortlist a nominee.

Among persons eligible to submit nominations are members of national assemblies, national governments and past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize and University professors.

Jaha Dukureh is the founder and executive director of Safe Hands for Girls. She is also a regional goodwill ambassador for the United Nations women bloc.

Jaha started Safe Hands out of her living room after realizing that there were so many girls and women like her in her community and a survivor-led movement and support system was overdue.

She is passionate about helping other African women lead their own programs to end FGM and equipping them with tools and resources they need to be successful.

Gambian vice president Fatoumatta Tambajang has congratulated Jaha for her nomination.

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