Why I Started This Blog

My name is Jaha Dukureh. I am 23 years old and I think it is time we openly talk about ending FGM. We need to lift ourselves and become healers in our community. We need to restore the broken and encourage the discouraged. We are strong and we will not let FGM silence us, we shall be heard.

The purpose of this Blog is to engage in an open dialogue with the greater female population of America and around the world, those from communities, mostly affected by FGM. The practice of FGM is most prevalent in these communities due to lack of awareness and education. The believe is that it is a religious obligation. The fact is that the practice of Female Genital Mutilation predates religion and is not prescribed by Islam or Christianity.

I need my fellow women to speak up; let’s share our experiences, let’s talk about how this has affected us. I will start by sharing my story. This is not about being against my tradition or who I am; this is more about who I am and what I believe in. I believe every woman has the right to their body, and I am sure most of us will love to know what it feels like to be fully aroused. FGM took away a part of my femininity, my ownership to my body. I don’t think FGM makes me cleaner neither does it prevent me from STDs. FGM makes me more vulnerable to STDs.

I would like to start this blog with one of the reasons why this fight is so close to me. In 1998, I was nine years old. A beautiful baby was born in to my family, she was my half-sister. She was so precious. Her eyes glowed like morning sun; a head full of hair, her skin was satin silk soft. She was an angel, an angel that only stayed for two weeks. On day 7, she was named Fatou, a beautiful name, named after her grandmother. The naming ceremony was a celebration with food and family company. I remember the joy my father had, as his newest wife just gave birth to her first child. There were lots of meat, lots of drinks and I remember nothing but the smiles of the people that were in attendance. As the crowd left the ceremony, Fatou was ready to go through yet another tradition. A close family friend of ours was in attendance and she performed all the circumcisions in my family, both male and female including me. She was the best they knew, my parents trusted her. I remember my step mother being both anxious and happy, she wanted her daughter to be fully a woman. Fatou screamed as they cut her, she was so innocent yet so fragile. Her tiny body could not take the pain, she bled heavily hours after she was mutilated. My mother advised that she be taken to the hospital, the bleeding didn’t stop and she died as a result. I understand god is responsible for every life but the concept of mutilating women does not sit well with me. I saw the pain my step mother went through, losing her first child and even as a child I knew my daughter will never go through that.

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7 thoughts on “Why I Started This Blog

  1. Iesha

    Jaha thank you. I can actually relate to your story because my baby sister died while we were on vacation in africa in 2006. She was two, I was already cut when I was a baby. This was my second time going to Africa and it was very horrific. my family is from Mauritania but my parents have lived in Georgia for 25 years. I don’t think they are criminals I just think they need awareness. People in our society don’t want to be criminalized. My mum is doing better and I think she regrets not saying no to my grandmother. Ill be back on your blog and i will get some of my friends to check you out.

    Reply
    1. Jaha Dukuray

      Hi Iesha
      Sorry to hear your families tragedy and it is very often we hear stories like ours in our society. Am glad u shared thank you. Please tell your friends and family to check my blog out. I am very open to opinions and conversation.

      Reply
  2. Cham

    Wow Jaha u Just said everything dat ws in my mind. I Just hate fgm and we innocent souls didn’t even had d chance To choose pfff, AM surely gonna contribute cuz its something i really fell strongly about xx

    Reply
  3. fatou

    A very insightful view on the topic jaha. I do relate to you in many aspects of your story as I am also from a community where this practice is still prevalent. Sadly I believe its more traditional than religious as many of my family members still believe in the practise.

    There is a lot of deep rooted propaganda associated with FGM. I grew up being told that the practise encourages chastity of women, makes giving birth easier and many other odd ideas. These notions are completely false but sadly many of our people still believe in it due to lack of sufficient education available to people.

    I cant think of an immediate solution, but I believe we can we can always start by changing the views of our communities by putting the right information out there. We can all start by talking to our mothers, sisters, aunts etc and try to explain to them what the practice really means and how it affects the lives and health of women in the long run.

    Reply
  4. fatima njie

    Hi Jaha I think this blog is great and I have enjoyed reading it. I born and raised in the US and I have been through FGM. I can’t talk to most of my friends about it because they don’t understand it. A lot of people think this only happens to people in Africa. I am glad someone is standing up and doing this.

    Reply

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