On the 10th of October, the Huffington Post published an article by Efua Dorkenoo, Programme Director of a global campaign called The Girl Generation. In the article she highlights who The Girl Generation are, what they are about and how they came to be:
The issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) requires urgent action: more than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM – the equivalent of Kenya’s entire population almost three times over. In the 29 countries in African and the Middle East where FGM is most concentrated, another 30 million girls are at risk of being cut in the next decade. There is growing commitment to ending FGM across the African continent, with African leaders playing a crucial role in achieving the United Nations global ban on FGM in 2012.[pullquote]Although the movement has been building for decades, it has never had a shared identity. Other human rights and public health campaigns of the last century have made huge progress by rallying around a common identity: we all know what the red ribbon stands for. [/pullquote]
Almost ten months ago, our small team – spread between Nairobi and London, and with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development – started work to develop a name and logo, with the aim of producing an umbrella identity that could help to rally and unite the growing Africa-led movement to end FGM.
Although the movement has been building for decades, it has never had a shared identity. Other human rights and public health campaigns of the last century have made huge progress by rallying around a common identity: we all know what the red ribbon stands for. A highly visible, shared identity can help bring activists from different backgrounds together, with a common sense of purpose, and push for change more effectively – from the global stage, to within their own communities and families.
Read How the Girl Generation came to be on the Huffington Post HERE…
Efua Dorkenoo, is widely known as the mother of the global campaign to end female genital mutilation because of her gallant efforts to create a movement with one voice, one identity, that fought in unison universally. She wanted to brand the anti-FGM campaign and make it easily recognisable. Given the complexity of this issue, and the fact that there are many people who are not happy with being referred to as “mutilated” and who consider FGM to be a huge part of their culture and see no reason why it should be abolished, it was a herculean task that only a warrior would take on. She herself alluded to this when she stated in the article quoted above that, “it was a surprisingly long and complicated journey.”
Armed with her passion and her convictions, a GoWoman warrior she definitely was but what we didn’t know is that whilst she was fighting to put an end to FGM on the world stage, privately she was also fighting a battle with cancer which she sadly lost at the age of 65, a week after The Girl Generation was officially launched. While we mourn her beautiful soul, I can’t help but feel happy and I am sure that her loved ones are proud, that she went in peace knowing that although she was losing one battle, she had won another which will quite possibly change the world for the better and will definitely remain a huge part of her legacy.
We all owe it to her to ensure that her fight wasn’t in vain. She has left her mark. What will ours be? The launch of The Girl Generation was a major step in the right direction but there are still many more leaps ahead. Leaps with huge gaps! Us women carry the future in our wombs. We need to have more open and honest conversations. We need to protect our children; our girls yes but our boys too must know better. In protecting our children we are also preserving the future. May the spirit of Efua Dorkenoo continue to work through each and every one of us.
When the cycle is broken once, it is broken forever ~ The Girl Generation
Read a beautiful tribute published by The Guardian HERE
Image source: The Guardian