Efua Dorkenoo OBE, the ‘incredible African female warrior’, has died

Efua DorkenooEfua DorkenooEfua Dorkenoo OBE, whose many achievements include co-founding FORWARD in 1983, writing the key text on FGM in 1994 and campaigning on the issue through her time at the WHO and Equality Now. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Dorkenoo’s lifelong dream of a global, Africa-led movement against FGM was realised just a week before her death

Efua Dorkenoo, widely seen as the mother of the global movement to end female genital mutilation, has died after undergoing treatment for cancer, her family have confirmed. She was 65. Dorkenoo – known affectionately to many as “mama Efua” – was a leading light in the movement to bring an end to FGM for more than 30 years, campaigning against the practice since the 1980s.

The girls’ and women’s rights campaigner saw the progression of the movement to end FGM go from a minority, often ignored, issue to a key policy priority for governments across the world. Proof of this arrived with the launch of The Girl Generation on October 10 – a major Africa-led campaign to tackle FGM across the globe, run by a consortium of charities and organisations and funded by the department for international development. Dorkenoo – the natural choice to lead the consortium, wrote simply on the day of its launch: “ Finally, The Girl Generation: Together to End FGM is here, and I hope you like it.” A week later she died in hospital.

Dorkenoo was born on 6 September 1949 in Ghana, but moved to London when she was 19 and became a staff nurse in various London hospitals from 1977. Working with African women in the UK, she became aware of the health and mental complications that result from FGM and began campaigning against the practice with the human rights organisation Minority Rights Group.

She went on to gain a masters degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was an honorary senior research fellow at the School of Health Sciences at City University, London.

In 1983 she co-founded FORWARD (The Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development), which became a leading organisation in the battle to raise awareness about FGM. The procedure, which still affects more than 125 million girls and women worldwide and is widely practised in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, was outlawed in the UK in 1985. She published a seminal text on FGM – Cutting the Rose: Female Genital Mutilation: The Practice and Prevention, in 1994.

Dorkenoo was instrumental in getting FGM on the agenda in ministries of health while working at the World Health Organisation from 1995-2001, and went on to become the advocacy director and then senior advisor on FGM at the human rights organisation Equality Now. She was awarded an OBE in recognition of her campaigning work against FGM.

End FGM campaigner Nimko Ali – who worked closely with Dorkenoo at the Girl Generation and is an FGM survivor – said the veteran campaigner had been the inspiration for much of her own work against the practice.

“Efua was an amazing woman – that term is used lightly but her passion and commitment to the cause were truly amazing,” she said. “She started campaigning so that girls like me would not be cut in future, and thanks to her generations of girls in the future will not have to go through FGM.”

Dorkenoo had not only changed policy in the UK and overseas, she had made a personal difference to many survivors’ lives, she added. “She was a giant on whose shoulders we stand, she prepared the way for us, and even though she did not see the end of FGM in her generation, it will end – and that is thanks to her.”

Leyla Hussein, co-founder of Daughters of Eve with Ali, said the formation of an African-led movement against FGM was Dorkenoo’s lifelong dream and despite ill-health her last months were spent visiting everyone from politicians to village leaders across the world. “The Girl Generation was Efua’s baby and she had been trying to make it happen for 30 years,” she said. “Last week Efua gave birth to it, with every last breath she had she worked to make that happen. She was an incredible African female warrior and she never gave up.”

Brendan Wynne, media manager at Equality Now said: “Efua literally changed the course of history, but she made you feel like you could do so too. She banged on doors for decades – usually by herself – but never gave up. She was the most amazing friend you could hope for and now has a dedicated network of inspired and driven people to take her work on and finish the job she started.” Dorkenoo leaves behind her husband Freddie and sons Kobina and Ebow

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FGM: more than 1,700 women and girls treated by NHS since April

9 FGM campaigner Jaha Dukureh at this year’s Girl Summit in London. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi/Guardian

More than 1,700 women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation have been treated by the NHS since April, according to the first official figures to be published on the numbers of FGM cases seen by hospitals in England.

The data, part of a wide-ranging government package to eradicate FGM on British soil, reveals that 467 previously unknown genital mutilation survivors were treated at acute NHS trusts in England in September alone.

Campaigners say such information is a crucial tool in preventing FGM in the UK and in ensuring that victims receive the treatment and support they need.

The public health minister, Jane Ellison, who pushed for the data to be collected, hailed the move. “We know FGM devastates lives but understanding the scale of the problem is essential to tackling it effectively,” she said.

“That is why, for the first time ever, hospitals are reporting information on FGM – a major milestone on the road to ending FGM in one generation here in the UK. This data will help us care for women who have had FGM, and prevent more girls from having to suffer this traumatic experience.”

In recent months there has been a major push to end FGM in the UK, with high-profile campaigns capturing public attention. In February, a Guardian-backed petition launched by a 17-year-old schoolgirl, Fahma Mohamed, was launched on Change.org. It called for more information about FGM to be taught at schools and attracted more than 230,000 signatures as well as the backing of the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel peace prize recipient.

At the international Girl Summit in July, the British government promised more aid to help countries combat FGM, while announcing plans to prosecute parents who allowed their daughters to be mutilated as well as the creation of an FGM unit.

An estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales are affected by FGM, according to a study by Equality Now and City University, released in July.

The World Health Organisation estimates that up to 140 million girls and women have been subjected to FGM, a traditional practice designed to curb sexuality that involves the partial or total removal of the outer sexual organs. The procedure can cause lifelong physical and psychological complications.

“Having accurate data about this crime is an important step in helping prevent its occurrence,” said Kingsley Manning, chair of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), which published the data.

“The information will support the Department of Health in its FGM prevention programme, and we hope to expand the data set over time, so that it provides a more complete picture across a wider variety of care settings.”

Of the 160 acute hospital trusts in England, 125 returned data for September. An HSCIC spokeswoman said the information was mandatory and it expected that all trusts would soon be providing regular data on FGM prevalence.

Mary Wandia, FGM programme manager at Equality Now, described the data collection as a step in the right direction. “It is great news that the NHS is starting to gather this much-needed information,” she said. “What we need now is for healthcare professionals to receive adequate training to ensure that girls at risk are protected and for care and support to be given to girls and women who are living with the consequences of FGM”

Tanya Barron, chief executive of Plan UK, a global children’s charity, said ending FGM in the UK would only be possible if it was also tackled worldwide. “While ensuring protection and prevention policies are in place in the UK is vital, it is the long-term, grassroots work in communities around the world which will prevent FGM happening in the first place,” she said. “Which means that in the battle to end harmful practices like FGM, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, teachers, nurses – everyone has a part to play.”

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The AU Establishes a Team to Investigate Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by the AMISOM

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Mogadishu – The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has today authorized the deployment of an Investigation Team to look into allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) leveled against personnel of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report titled “The Power these Men Have Over Us – Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia” which was issued in Nairobi, Kenya on 8 September, 2014.

The Investigation Team of four, including two women, are from Ghana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and have the requisite training, qualifications, expertise and experience at national, regional and international levels which they would bring to bear in the discharge of this very important responsibility.

The Investigation Team is to conduct investigations into the specific allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse made against AMISOM personnel, particularly the Ugandan and Burundian Contingents as well as AMISOM civilian personnel with a view to:

  • Establishing the facts with respect to these allegations so that a determination can be made on whether the allegations of SEA occurred or not; and,
  • Establishing, if they occurred, the duration that such actions have been taking place and the actions taken by the AMISOM Leadership that either contributed to, or deterred the alleged actions from occurring.

The Investigation Team will conduct its assignment in an independent, professional and transparent manner. The Investigation Team will be responsive to the needs of alleged victims and potential witnesses as well as to the wishes of all concerned to find out the truth about these allegations.

The Chairperson requests the full cooperation of all relevant parties to these investigations, including unfettered access to all persons and sites that will facilitate the conduct of these investigations.

The Chairperson would like to reiterate that the AU’s commitment and determination to reinforce its efforts in combating sexual exploitation and abuse in all its ramifications, especially its impact on victims, survivors and their families. In this regard therefore, The Chairperson has also constituted an Assessment Team consisting of Academics and Women Activists with special expertise on victim of sexual violence, protection and law enforcement and peace and security that will concurrently conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine the extent, nature, patterns and trends of SEA in AMISOM, if at all, so as to inform and guide its policy and response mechanisms not only for AMISOM but for all its Peace Support Operations (PSOs).

The Investigation and Assessment Teams are expected to complete their assignments by 30 November, 2014after which the teams will submit their reports to The Chairperson. The findings and recommendations will be made public, using the appropriate AU channels and with due regards to victim protection, the rights of alleged perpetrators as well as the operational imperatives of AMISOM.

Source: AMISOM

 

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UK government commits further £330k to eradicate FGM

Nicky Morgan at Conservative conferenceNicky Morgan at Conservative conferenceNicky Morgan, secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities. Photograph: Allstar/David Gadd

Having pledged £35m to halt the practice abroad the government is now allocating funds to deal with it in Britain

The government is to commit a further £330,000 towards the battle against female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage within at-risk groups in England, in an announcement timed to coincide with the UN’sinternational day of the girl on Saturday.

The announcement comes after campaigners had complained that while £35m has been pledged by the government to eradicate FGM abroad, just £1m has been allocated to tackling the problem in the UK.

The new funds from the government equalities office will be used for projects that offer expertise and support to vulnerable groups, with £100,000 for work to support victims and survivors of forced marriage, and £150,000 for community engagement in the highest risk areas for FGM and forced marriage.

Nicky Morgan, the minister for women and equalities, said: “These horrific practices are a violation of the rights of girls and women across the world, including here in the UK.

“This funding will offer further much needed support and guidance to those at risk or surviving, while reinforcing the message to communities that this practice will not be tolerated.”

The money will also fund “community champions” to work with local faith leaders to promote messages against FGM and forced marriage, as well as supporting girls at risk to speak out.

“New funding for our world-leading forced marriage unit will help us to rehabilitate more survivors, educate more professionals about the new legislation, and strengthen our work with faith groups to reinforce the message that forced marriage is not condoned by any major religion,” said Theresa May, the home secretary.

“We have already criminalised forced marriage, strengthening protection for victims and sending a clear message to perpetrators that it is entirely unacceptable.

“Together, we will continue to fight to protect girls whose education, freedom and ambition is at risk of being curtailed by unwanted marriage.”

 

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Anti-FGM activist Fahma Mohamed wins young campaigner award

Fahma Mohamed at Women of the Year Lunch at the InterContinental Park Lane hotelFahma Mohamed at Women of the Year Lunch at the InterContinental Park Lane hotelFahma Mohamed at the Women of the Year Lunch with Stephen Lawrence’s mother, Doreen. Photograph: David M. Benett/Getty Images

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Face of Guardian-backed drive to raise awareness of female genital mutilation named as winner of Good Housekeeping prize

Bristol schoolgirl Fahma Mohamed, the face of a Guardian-backed campaign to raise awareness of female genital mutilation in schools, has been awarded Good Housekeeping’s outstanding young campaigner of the year award.

The award recognises “an extraordinary young woman’s determination and campaigning spirit, in her commitment to preventing the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and warnings to protect girls across the UK”, said the organisers, who presented the 17-year-old with the award at an event in London on Monday.

Mohamed was the face of the EndFGM Guardian campaign that launched in February and called on the then education secretary, Michael Gove, to write to all teachers in England and Wales, warning them of the dangers of FGM.

Within three weeks, her petition on Change.org had attracted more than 230,000 signatures and garnered the public support of Pakistani girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai and the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who said he had been inspired after meeting Mohamed.

After sustained pressure Gove agreed to meet Mohamed and fellow campaigners from the charity Integrate Bristol, and finally agreed to write to all teachers about the practice.

Speaking at the awards, which were introduced by the actor Lindsay Lohan and attended by more than 450 women, Mohamed said: “There are so many women in the UK campaigning for what they believe in and it still hasn’t sunk in that the judges chose to give me this award. I’m excited to be named as one of the women of the year and to meet other campaigners at the lunch. This award is for all the young people of Integrate Bristol who have worked so hard over the past five years – I feel it’s acknowledging the importance of eradicating FGM and protecting the rights of girls all over the world.”

Lindsay Nicholson, editorial director of Good Housekeeping, who presented Mohamed with the award, said she was living proof that youth was no barrier to effective campaigning.

“We are delighted to honour Fahma Mohamed, who proves that you don’t need access, influence or a large staff to effect real change – just passion, drive and overwhelming determination,” she said.

Mohamed started volunteering with Integrate Bristol, a youth-led charity that campaigns against FGM, inequality and gender-based violence, when she was 14. She took one of the main roles in the play My Normal Life in June 2013, and became one of three young trustees of the charity at the age of 16.

Mohamed won one of six awards, which also went to campaigner, cook and Guardian contributor Jack Monroe, Irish children’s rights campaigner Christina Noble, Zimbabwean lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and Joanne Thompson.

The award for woman of the year was won by women’s rights campaigner Diana Nammi, director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation

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Violence has no place in modern society(xasiloonidaradu boos kuma laha bulshada xorta ah)

 

A world free from  domestic  violence is possible

Xasiloonidaradu noocay doonto ha noqotee  boos kuma laha bulshada xorta ah shaki kuma jiro in bulshooyinka dunidu u baahan yihiin inay nabad   iyo deganaansho kuwada noolaadaan(Peace and stability)

Haween iyo gabdho badan oo dunida kunool ayaa maalin kasta la kulma  tacadiyo lidku ah xoriyadooda  sababta ay waxaas oo dhan ugu dhacayaan waxaa weeye oo keliya iyaga oo ah  haween

Sowora waxay dhiiri gelinaysaa  indumarka  soomaaliyeed iyo kuwa Aduunkuba  ku noolaadaan xoriyad (freedom) waxay kaloo sowora Difaacisaa   xoriyada dumarka meelay joogaanba inay kunoolaadaan( free from gender-based violence)

Sowora  waxay aaminsan tahay in dumarku yihiin  xoog wayn oo wax bedeli kara dumar badan   oo dunida kunool ayaa maalin kasta iyo saacad kasta  la dhibaateeyaa dhibkaas oo ah mid baahsan kalana duwan

(widespread violence,sexual harassment and abuse in many of the spaces that they populate, their homes,work places,on the streets and on public transport)

“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. “As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace” – Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Forced marriage(Guurka qasabka ah)

Guurka qasabka ah waa mid jira maalin kastana dhaca soomaliya aad iyo aad ayuu uga jiraa siiba meelaha ay ka taliyaan (     Al-Shabaab Terror Group            )

Waxay xoog  iyo caga juglayn kuguursadaan  gabdho  yar yar   iyo kuwo  waaweyn     oo dadoodu  qaarkood gaariso 14 sano  kuwaas  oo aan raali ka ahayn  guurka    xitaa  aan diyaarba u ahayn  aqoon u lahay   waxa guurku yahay

THE UNITED NATION  waxay  u aragtaa guurka qasabka ah inuu yahay mid kasoo horjeeda  xaquuqda aadanaha iyo xoriyada qofkaba xeerka caalamiga ah ee xaquuqda aadanuhu wuxuu dhigayaa  in dumarku xaq u lee yihiin in ay doortaan qofka u noqonaya  ninkeeda  (spouse)

The universal declaration of human rights states that a women,s right to choose a spouse is central to her life and dignity and equality as a human being

Ugu danbayntii  sowora waxay dawlada soomaaliya ugu baaqisa iyada oo  kaashanisa    laamaheda amaanka in guurka qasabka ah looga baabiyo  si dhaqso badan dalka gudihiisa loona keeno cadaalada   kuwada caadaysay   habdhaqankaas foosha xun

Abdikani   Hassan  Human rights  Activist

And  Founder  of Sowora

   

 

 

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UN Women Executive Director applauds joint Nobel Peace Prize win for Malala, Kailash Satyarthi

222Malala Yousafzai at the UN Youth Assembly. Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, on the Nobel Peace Prize award to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi

Today, as we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child and remember the Nigerian schoolgirls still held hostage by Boko Haram, it is particularly fitting that we are able also to congratulate Malala Yousafzai, who at the age of 17 is the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner and an outstanding fighter for girls’ rights and in particular their absolute right to schooling. The award of the Peace Prize jointly to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education” explicitly recognizes this right.

Malala’s staunch and fearless advocacy has amplified the voices of girls who might otherwise remain unheard. She knows that a full education is essential for girls to flourish and participate as equals in life. More than that, as they grow to their full potential in society, their voices, participation and leadership are crucial elements in economic prosperity, inclusive societies, and sustainable peace and security. Empowered girls like Malala are the best drivers of growth, the best hope for reconciliation in conflict, and the best buffer against the radicalization of youth and the repetition of cycles of violence

SOURCE   UN WOMEN

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