Ban FGM: NPWJ and NRPTT mourn the passing of Efua Dorkenoo and celebrate her rich contribution to the cause of women’s rights

Brussels – Rome – New York, 20 October 2014

No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) note in great sadness the passing of Efua Dorkenoo, who has been at the forefront of the global movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) for over three decades. We celebrate her unsurpassed devotion and rich contribution to the cause of women’s rights, and deeply mourn her loss, which will be sharply felt not only by those of us who have had the privilege of fighting by her side, but by women’s rights activists and all those affected by FGM worldwide.
Thanks to her pioneering work over the decades, Efua played a crucial role in the international recognition of FGM as a human rights issue. She founded FORWARD in 1983 to raise awareness on FGM.   There and in her subsequent work at the World Health Organisation and Equality Now, she was instrumental in breaking the silence surrounding FGM,supporting grass roots activists and heightening political will to address this widespread and systematic violation of the universal human right to personal integrity.
Her vision has been a beacon of inspiration for us in our work to advocate for clear and effective legislation to unequivocally ban FGM as a human rights violation, in order to legitimize local advocacy and educational efforts, to strengthen those who seek to defy the social pressures of tradition and reject FGM, and to protect women and girls from this form of violence. We had the honour to work closely with her, notably in the framework of the global campaign which led to the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Resolution banning FGM worldwide (A/RES/67/146), on December 2012, as well as in the following years on the implementation of the Resolution. 
The entire human rights international community has lost a true friend and advocate. We mourn Efua’s passing and urge all who knew her and whose lives she touched to carry on her legacy. NPWJ will certainly do so. 

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For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on or +32 494 533 915 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32 (0)2 548-39 15.