Jaha’s emotional FGM story premieres at Copenhagen film festival

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is special guest at the world premiere of Guardian feature documentary on female genital mutilation.


Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was the special guest at the world premiere on Thursday evening of Jaha’s Promise, a feature documentary on female genital mutilation (FGM) following the life story of a 26-year-old campaigner Jaha Dukureh, Guardian UK reported.

The film, made by the Guardian and Accidental Pictures, got a standing ovation from the audience at the annual film festival.

Dukureh, who is a Time 100 leader, survived FGM as a child in the Gambia and then at 15 was flown to New York to marry a man she had never met.

Read More: The girl who said no to FGM: Jaha’s story

In the US the horror of what happened to her body became apparent. The film crew follow her as she confronts her past, her family, her culture, her religion, country and its leaders.

Jaha becomes a lightning-rod for change in Gambia, leading to the eventual government ban on FGM and child marriage and a working relationship with the Obama administration.

The Danish minister for equality Karen Ellemann congratulated Dukureh for putting a “human face to FGM”.

“From the whole Danish government, we can only say thank you.”

Co-director Patrick Farrelly said: “It is astonishing that FGM is not the top priority for the feminist movement, the women’s movement and the whole human rights movement. Two hundred million women and girls have been mutilated in the world today and it isn’t top of any of those agendas.”

The film is directed and produced by Patrick Farrelly and Kate O’Callaghan and was a co-production by Accidental Pictures and the Guardian.

It will be shown on TV in the summer and will beginning touring in FGM-practising countries in April beginning in The Gambia and Sierra Leone.

It was made with support of The Human Dignity Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund.

Jaha currently operates an organization in Gambia dedicated to fighting FGM call the Safe Hands for Girls.



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