Thank you for being a champion for Equality Now’s Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund (AGLDF)!
Because of donors like you, Equality Now is supporting the efforts of courageous women like Jaha and 45 young girls from the Pokot and Narok district in Kenya that fled their homes to prevent being mutilated.
Jaha experienced female genital mutilation (FGM) as an infant in Gambia. FGM is a harmful cultural tradition performed in many countries, in some cultures to keep girls “marriageable.” However, no one told Jaha the reason she had been mutilated was to guarantee her virginity before marriage. She learned this in a Manhattan doctor’s office at age 15 when she was forced into a marriage to a 45-year-old man. Jaha then had to go through a re-opening process, which felt like undergoing FGM again.
There are millions of girls like Jaha, whose young bodies have been permanently altered without their permission and often against their will. The devastating effects can last a lifetime. Now 24 and living in Atlanta, Jaha with the support of Equality Now has launched a campaign with an online petition, asking Congress to fund the necessary studies to determine how many girls are at risk of FGM in the United States so that the 2013 law protecting girls and signed by President Obama can be enforced.
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Program Officer for Sexual Violence, Trafficking and FGM