• Petitioned President of the United States

This petition was delivered to:

President of the United States

End Female Genital Mutilation in the US - Commission a prevalence report on women impacted and girls at risk

    1. Jaha Dukureh
    2. Petition by

      Jaha Dukureh

      Atlanta, GA

  1.  
  2.   
July 2014

Victory

Over the past few months, more than 220,000 of you have signed this petition, urging the American government to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States, and commission a prevalence report on FGM’s impact on women and girls.

Because of your voice, the U.S. has acted.

At a summit on FGM and child marriage in London, the Obama administration announced it would conduct a major study into FGM to establish how many women are living with the consequences of FGM in the United States and how many girls are at risk. Not only that, but the administration said they would create a preliminary working group on FGM, with a mission of measuring the extent of FGM in the United States and coming up with concrete plans to tackle it.

This could not have happened without your support. Today, we stand more than 220,000 people strong from all over the globe. And we can say that our voices -- along with those at The Guardian and Equality Now -- helped compel the Obama administration to act.

My name is Jaha Dukureh and I am 24 years old. As an infant growing up in Gambia, I experienced Female Genital Mutilation. It took away a part of my femininity, my ownership to my body. Some girls, including my half-sister who died from complications from being cut, even lose their lives.

I am committed to ending this destructive practice and I need you to join me.  The World Health Organization defines Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons." In some cultures, FGM is believed to preserve the virginity of girls and keep them “pure” until marriage. It is also believed to keep girls faithful to their spouses because of lack of arousal during intercourse. 

Apart from the violent and painful nature of the process, victims continue to suffer the physical and mental agony for the rest of their lives including complications during menstruation, sexual intercourse and childbirth. That is why the United Nations has declared FGM a human rights violation -- and yet the practice continues here in the United States and around the world.

When I was 15 years old, I moved to New York and was forced in to marriage. I was lucky to escape and create a new life in Atlanta, where I now live with my second husband and children. I ended my silence about my experience and started speaking out about FGM. I created a blog where other women in our communities here in the US have shared their stories.

Many in the US hear about FGM and think it only happens in far away lands. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. I hear from girls everyday that were born here in the United States who have been through FGM. These young women are your average American teenagers -- some of them you know, some of them you went or go to school with. And there are many more girls in the US that are at risk of being cut.  The practice of FGM is illegal in the US but girls are being taken to other countries, usually their parents’ country of origin where they are cut in what is now known as “vacation cutting."

Laws have been passed to try to address FGM in the US -- including one signed by President Obama in early 2013 making it illegal to take a girl out of the country for purposes of FGM -- but girls continue to be cut. Part of the difficulty in recognizing and addressing the problem in the US is the lack of awareness and up-to-date research/statistics on the prevalence of FGM. That's why I started this campaign.

In order to improve efforts to protect these little girls, we must know the facts about FGM in the US. I'm asking President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services, to take the essential first step of commissioning a report on the current statistics of women in the US impacted by FGM and the girls at risk of being mutilated.

This is just the beginning of our work and we won't back down and we won't go away until girls are protected. Join me, Congressman Crowley, and Equality Now in calling for the Administration to develop a strategic action plan to end FGM.  Please sign my petition now.

To:
President of the United States
Please commission a report to update the prevalence statistics of women subjected to Female Genital Mutilation and the girls at risk of being mutilated in the United States so you can develop a comprehensive strategic plan to end FGM and provide services to those that have already been subjected to this human rights violation.

Help us end Female Genital Mutilation in the US and abroad.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. U.S. Announces Major Study Into Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Over the past few months, more than 220,000 of you have signed this petition, urging the American government to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States, and commission a prevalence report on FGM’s impact on women and girls.

      Because of your voice, the U.S. has acted.

      At a summit on FGM and child marriage in London, the Obama administration announced it would conduct a major study into FGM to establish how many women are living with the consequences of FGM in the United States and how many girls are at risk. Not only that, but the administration said they would create a preliminary working group on FGM, with a mission of measuring the extent of FGM in the United States and coming up with concrete plans to tackle it.

      This could not have happened without your support. Today, we stand more than 220,000 people strong from all over the globe. And we can say that our voices -- along with those at The Guardian and Equality Now -- helped compel the Obama administration to act.

      Check out this news article from The Guardian, which covers the announcement from the Obama administration. This is a first step in ending FGM in the States, and where the U.S. leads we hope others might follow. Thank you, again.

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/22/white-house-us-female-genital-mutilation

      White House announces major study into US female genital mutilation

      The Obama administration is to carry out a major study into female genital mutilation, in an effort to establish how many women are living with the consequences of FGM in the United States and how many girls are at risk.

    2. New York Times coverage -- and progress in DC

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      A lot has happened since my last update! Two weeks ago, I joined Rep. Joe Crowley and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee as they sent a letter signed by over 50 members of Congress to the Obama Administration supporting the demands of our campaign. I was also able to meet with the Department of Health and Human Services along with other government agencies and policymakers. Everyone I talked to was interested in supporting our work, but we need to keep the pressure up to ensure that they follow through with action to protect girls.

      Check out New York Times coverage of our campaign and keep signing and sharing the petition. You can also tweet your support for the petition (www.change.org/EndFGMUS) to President Obama at @BarackObama.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/us/a-fight-as-us-girls-face-genital-cutting-abroad.html

      A Fight as U.S. Girls Face Genital Cutting Abroad

      ATLANTA - Last summer, an American-born teenager of Somali descent fled her parents' home in a suburb here after she discovered that a coming vacation to Somalia would include a sacred rite of passage: the cutting of her genitalia.

    3. Reached 200,000 signatures
    4. Help the campaign by calling your member of Congress!

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Rep. Crowley is asking members of Congress to join him in sending a letter to the Obama Administration in support of our demands to address FGM in the US. You can check out the letter here: http://www.equalitynow.org/sites/default/files/Crowley.pdf Here's what you can do to help:

      1. Find your Representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

      2. Call and/or e-mail your Rep. asking him or her to sign on to Rep. Crowley's letter. Here's the kind of message you can use: I've joined a survivor-led campaign on Change.org to end female genital mutilation in the United States. I'm asking you to join this effort by signing on to a letter to the Obama Administration organized by Rep. Crowley and Rep. Jackson Lee. Please contact Representative Crowley's office to join this effort that is very important to me and thousands of girls at risk of FGM in the US.

      Thank you so much for your ongoing support. Please continue to sign and share the petition (www.change.org/EndFGMUS).

    5. Reached 50,000 signatures
    6. 1500

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for supporting my petition. We have reached 1500 signatures. I just want all of you to know that I truly appreciate it. Let's keep sharing the petition. With all of you we can definitely reach our goal.

    7. Reached 1,500 signatures
    8. Website

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Our website is up www.safehandsforgirls.org. Check it out and support our efforts.

    9. The Guardian

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      I was mentioned in a article by the guardian along with Fahma Mohamed.

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/06/ban-ki-moon-un-guardian-fgm-campaign-fahma-mohamed

    10. Cosmopolitan

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your signatures, here is a link to a cosmopolitan article I am featured in.
      http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/female-genital-mutilation-united-states

    11. 1000!!!!!!

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      We have over a 1000 signatures and we now have Fahma Mohamed, the inspiration behind our campaign in our corner. Thank you all.

    12. Reached 1,000 signatures
    13. We are doing great

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Guys share when you sign. Let's shout.

    14. Reached 250 signatures
    15. 200

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all we now have 200 signatures.

    16. Reached 100 signatures
    17. Yeah!

      Jaha Dukureh
      Petition Organizer

      We now have 50 signatures, Thank you all for signing and please share with friends.

    18. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    @AshleyJudd

    Jul 01, 2014

    Help me and let's make history! @JahaENDFGM's campaign to #EndFGM in the US, now over 217,000 sigs! http://t.co/YVWACuOXxf @ChelseaClinton

    ashley judd
    214k followers

    @PaulaAbdul

    May 27, 2014

    Join me and @JahaENDFGM to call for an end to FGM in the US: http://t.co/pJimzOlYnd #endFGM

    The Real Paula Abdul
    2.38M followers

    @RealRobinWright

    May 23, 2014

    @JahaENDFGM's petition is only 2,000 signatures away from 100,000! Let's make it happen TODAY! #EndFGMUS #EndFGM http://t.co/1XoTB4eJSc

    Robin Wright
    30k followers

    @GemmaArterton

    May 23, 2014

    End FGM NOW - Protect Girls From Getting Cut and Support Victims of Female Genital Mutilation in the USA http://t.co/xgdVjaGABU via @Change

    Gemma Arterton
    4.07k followers

    @DMiliband

    May 23, 2014

    RT @theIRC: #FGM happening in US?We need to know. IRC supports call to @BarackObama to commission study.Sign petition http://t.co/Q8rg2hVeFd

    David Miliband
    158k followers

    @theIRC

    May 23, 2014

    #FGM happening in the US? We need to know. IRC supports call to @BarackObama to commission study. Sign Petition: http://t.co/qW8m8SZQCb

    Intl Rescue Comm IRC
    49.2k followers

    @rorybremner

    May 22, 2014

    Petition against FGM HERE: Please sign.. http://t.co/LT2IIYYjf7

    Rory Bremner
    49.9k followers

    @jempin515

    May 11, 2014

    IMPORTANT- PLEASE take a few seconds to sign against this unspoken nightmare http://t.co/qVtSSvaCaw IT MUST STOP. See http://t.co/kuT1QCGzCm

    Jennifer Pinches
    17.4k followers

    @sister_fa

    May 16, 2014

    Please support this campaign from Jaha Dukureh at http://t.co/te5JDUr4Yi with your signature! http://t.co/ETZOqeqPoj

    Sister Fa
    238 followers

    @girleffect

    May 19, 2014

    #FGM is a human rights violation that must cease, says @UN's Ban Ki-moon – sign the petition to #endFGM today: http://t.co/U9NGWEgh0c

    The Girl Effect
    89.1k followers

    @EnoughProject

    May 19, 2014

    FGM is a brutal & unconscionable practice that was banned by the @UN, sign this petition to ban it in the US: http://t.co/AfmauF7jn4

    Enough Project
    25.7k followers

    @equalitynow

    May 17, 2014

    Please sign + RT to get @JahaENDFGM's petition over 40,000 signatures today! http://t.co/4Vll0Yddjn #EndFGMUS #EndFGM

    equalitynow
    23.5k followers

    @SusanSarandon

    May 16, 2014

    Please sign and share @JahaENDFGM's campaign to end female genital mutilation in the US: http://t.co/S5kPhwEivH #endFGM

    Susan Sarandon
    130k followers

    @arusbridger

    May 12, 2014

    FGM survivor @JahaENDFGM works with Ban Ki Moon, @Change & @guardian to end FGM in the US #endfgm http://t.co/ID3OZsarBC

    alan rusbridger
    132k followers

    @cenkuygur

    May 14, 2014

    FGM is an American problem too, #endFGM, sign this petition from http://t.co/SuKnPtkHON - http://t.co/4KG2ov24Lx

    Cenk Uygur
    69.4k followers

    @LucasLilieholm

    May 14, 2014

    FGM is an American problem too, #endFGM, sign this petition from http://t.co/Y6RNcvBqnE - http://t.co/R5uY81uXDT

    Lucas Lilieholm
    956 followers

    @AnaKasparian

    May 14, 2014

    End FGM NOW - Protect Girls From Getting Cut and Support Victims of Female Genital Mutilation in the USA http://t.co/ciNd0Msp3A via @Change

    Ana Kasparian
    57.1k followers

    @ChimeforChange

    May 13, 2014

    End FGM NOW - Protect Girls From Getting Cut and Support Victims of Female Genital Mutilation in the USA: http://t.co/Owu3DYm5vK #BBOG

    Chime For Change
    27.2k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • nancy dudwick UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OH
      • 3 months ago

      It is a brutal practice, which has no medical benefit at all. Moreover, girls and women often die from the procedure, or experience constant bladder infections, pain and other discomfort.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Linda Olive King LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, GA
      • 3 months ago

      Sorry, I meant to say what do they do to MEN?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Linda Olive King LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, GA
      • 3 months ago

      Because it is a barbaric violation against female rights! Especially little children that are so brutally violated and pain beyond belief! I can't imagine In a civilized world that this is still bring practiced even in our country! This sickens me to my core... Please stop this mutilation of our females! Please please stop this and respect our females, no more suffering and pain that last all their lives.. This is beyond any torture I can imagine.. What do they do to me? I am sure they don't cut their male organs open!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lynne Smith CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
      • 3 months ago

      What a savage practice, which probably ruins the girls' lives forever!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jaimee Jenkins MESA, AZ
      • 3 months ago

      This is a barbaric practice that needs to end immediately.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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