Efua dorkenoo akpedada thanksgiving

Efua Dorkenoo, OBE, is the Advocacy Director, FGM programme in Equality Now’s London office. She is also a trained bio-social scientist in public health and an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Health Sciences at City University, London. Starting in the early 1980s, her pioneering work on FGM has contributed to the international recognition of FGM as a public health and a human rights issue. From 1995-2001, she worked as the WHO’s first technical expert at their Geneva headquarters and assisted the organization in introducing FGM onto the agendas of the Ministries of Health of WHO Member States. Ms. Dorkenoo was awarded the British State Honours - OBE (Order of the British Empire) by the British Queen in recognition of her work as the founder of the UK NGO FORWARD in 1994 and for her campaigning work against FGM. In 2000, along with Gloria Steinem, she received Equality Now’s international human rights award for her lifelong activism on the issue of women’s rights. Ms. Dorkenoo’s book, 'Cutting the Rose: Female Genital Mutilation, The Practice and its Prevention' (Minority Rights Publications 1994), was considered a first on FGM and was selected by an international jury for inclusion on the 2002 prestigious book list, “Africa 100 Best Books for the 20th Century.”

Profile of speaker: Efua Dorkenoo, deceased in October 2014 , was Programme Director, End FGM/C Social Change Campaign. [Editor's note: In honour of her work, please add your comments to this post so that we can include links and further information about her work for girls and women.] She spoke at the 2014 Girl Summit on campaigning on FGM for more than 30 years in her talk entitled "Using media, communications and branding to build a global movement for social change from the bottom up - Africa/Global." She was granted the title Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and was a Ghanaian founder, in 1983, of the Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development ( FORWARD ), a British charity that supports women who have experienced FGM. Dorkenoo was the author of Cutting the Rose: Female Genital Mutilation (1996). She was Advocacy Director of the FGM Programme for Equality Now, an international human rights organisation. She launched the Girl Generation campaign, available here .

Her vision and leadership has brought us all to the position today where FGM is recognised as a grave violation of human rights, as well as a health issue with devastating consequences.