Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM

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Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM

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Celebrating Girls!

Thanks to you we have been able to do more than ever before to help our partners change the lives of thousands of girls around the world.

Donor Direct Action’s Efua Dorkenoo Fund To End FGM supports front line groups such as The Galkayo Center in Somalia and the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative in Kenya. These organizations are led by brave African women who have dedicated their lives to ending female genital mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice that often has devastating if not deadly consequences. 

Girls at the Galkayo Center

Girls at The Galkayo Center, Somalia

This International Day of the Girl we’re asking you to make a donation to this Funda recurring contribution if you are able –  to help ensure that every single girl is protected from FGM, and can go on to live her life to her full potential.

Thank you for your ongoing support!


Jessica Neuwirth

Please read my opinion article for CNN on four girls who died recently in Somalia after undergoing FGM.

Support Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM

Read more about Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM

Dr. Denis Mukwege wins Nobel Peace Prize

I am so delighted to share the news with you that Dr. Denis Mukwege, Medical Director of Panzi Hospital in the Congo, has won the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor/activist from Iraq.  Both of these newly awarded Nobel laureates have come close to death several times, and their determination to speak out against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war is an inspiring call to conscience.

Dr. Denis Mukwege at Donor Direct Action Reception, 2017

Dr. Denis Mukwege at Donor Direct Action Reception, September 2017

We are honored to partner with Panzi Foundation and to have supported Dr. Denis Mukwege and his life-saving work. We congratulate him and Nadia Murad on this well deserved recognition of their contribution to humanity.

Dr. Denis Mukwege at Donor Direct Action Reception, 2017

Margot Wallstrom (Former-Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden) , Louise Arbour (UN Special Representative for International Migration), Dr. Denis Mukwege (Founder, Panzi Hospital in Bukavu), Kyung-wha Kang (Foreign Minister of South Korea), Jessica Neuwirth (Director, Donor Direct Action), Laila Bourhil (Special Assistant, Political Affairs, UN), Pramila Patten (SRSG- Sexual Violence)

Felice Gaer (Vice-Chair UN Committee Against Torture), Bani Dugal (Vice Chair, Steering Committee NGO Working Group), Gloria Steinem (Feminist Political Activist) 


Jessica Neuwirth

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25,000 reported rapes in Peru – introducing Manuela Ramos

Peru has one of the highest rates of reported rape in Latin America. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office three rapes are reported every single hour – over 25,000 in 2017! The vast majority of these were women and three quarters of those affected were under 18-years-old. Some of these women and girls face even further hardship after becoming pregnant as a result of rape. Peru continues to ban abortion in almost all instances – including in cases of both rape and fatal fetal abnormality.

Watch a short video on Manuela Ramos, introduced by Jane Fonda

Watch a short message on Manuela Ramos, introduced by Jane Fonda

Our Peruvian partner Manuela Ramos has been working hard to help women and girls individually – and also to ensure that the law is changed in the coming months. This would mean that victims of sexual violence are better supported – and that abortion is safe and legal, at least for the many young girls and women who become pregnant as a result of rape. Please give what you can to support this essential work!


Jessica Neuwirth

Please also read more about the situation for women in Peru in a recent interview with Victoria Villanueva, co-founder of Manuela Ramos on ‘Pass Blue‘.

Support Manuela Ramos.

Read more about Manuela Ramos.

Third Somali girl dies after FGM in less than a week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 18th 2018

Contact: Melody Soto on + 1 (646) 415-7907 or Brendan Wynne at media@donordirectaction.org or +35383 8248732.

Suheyra Qorane Farah and her sister Zamzam underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) on August 29th. The procedure took place in their home in Tuurdibi, a small village in Puntland, Somalia, near the border of Ethiopia. They bled profusely and within a week both had fallen into a coma. At this point they were brought to hospital in nearby Galdogob. Zamzam’s condition improved, but Suheyra’s worsened. She was diagnosed with tetanus and died on September 17th.

This is the third confirmed death of a girl caused by FGM in the Puntland region in less than a week and follows sisters Aasiyo Farah Abdi Warsame, 10, and Khadijo Farah Abdi Warsame, 11, who died on September 11th after bleeding non stop for 24 hours. They were cut just across the Ethiopian border where FGM has been illegal since 2004.

In late July, following the death of yet another girl, Deeqa Dahir Nuur, 10, the Somali federal government stated that it would bring the first ever FGM prosecution in the country. It is unclear it has done anything since. Although related laws exist on child protection, FGM is not specifically illegal in Somalia. Bans have been drafted at both regional level in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland and at federal level.

These are extremely heartbreaking moments for us. It is my hope that these latest deaths will not turn into mere statistics like before,” said Hawa Aden Mohamed, Executive Director of The Galkayo Center in Puntland, Somalia. The Galkayo Center has been working to end FGM in the region since 1999. “We will continue to engage in the hope that the lip service will stop and some action will be taken. There seems to be reluctance in discussing and passing the anti-FGM law in Puntland, which was recently approved by the cabinet. We hope that these deaths will serve as a wake up call for those responsible to see the need to have the law in place to protect girls from this heinous practice. These cases confirm what we have been saying all along, that FGM kills. This happens quite often but people have chosen to turn a blind eye.

Hawa Aden Mohamed, who founded the Galkayo Center, is herself a survivor of FGM. Her own sister died after undergoing it. The Galkayo Center provides education to girls and has often undertaken emergency interventions to help girls cut from FGM who are in urgent need of medical attention. FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. According to UNICEF it has affected at least 200 million women globally and Somalia has the highest prevalence of FGM in the world at 98%.

Donor Direct Action raises funds to support the work of The Galkayo Center and runs the Efua Dorkenoo Fund for frontline anti-FGM groups. “How many more girls have to die from FGM before the government takes action,” said Jessica Neuwirth, founder of Donor Direct Action. “Countless girls have already lost their lives as a result of FGM and for countless others there are lifelong harmful consequences. Organizations like the Galkayo Center are having an impact through their work, but funding to front line groups working to end FGM needs to be drastically increased if we are to end this extreme subjugation of women and girls in this generation.


Support the Galkayo Center

Read more about the Galkayo Center

TNI helps Kenyan girls break the cycle of FGM

A few weeks ago 78 Kenyan girls were protected from undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).

This was thanks to front line activist Agnes Pareyio and her organisation, the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI), based in Narok, Kenya. The girls took part in an alternative rite of passage ceremony. This celebrated the positive aspects of their traditions while eliminating the harm of cutting the girls as part of this tradition.

Agnes Pareyio and girls at TNI, Kenya

The cycle of abuse has now been broken for this group of girls, but until FGM is eliminated completely others will continue to be at severe risk. FGM has devastating lifelong consequences and in some cases can be imminently fatal due to hemorrhage and infection.

Please take two minutes to watch this BBC clip of Agnes in action in Kenya and  donate what you can to support her lifesaving work.


Jessica Neuwirth

Support TNI.

Read more about TNI.

Help freedom fighter Nozizwe end the sex trade

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge has dedicated her life to the freedom of others. Raised by a single mother, she grew up under apartheid and went on to become a senior government minister. She is now Executive Director of Embrace Dignity, a front line organization which fights for an end to the sex trade in South Africa.

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, (c) Wow Woman

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, (c) Wow Woman

“Patriarchy perpetuates prostitution and prostitution perpetuates patriarchy, a vicious cycle that can be broken by shifting the burden of responsibility and criminality from those who sell sex to those who buy or exploit the position of vulnerability caused by inequality” – Nozizwe Madlala Routledge.

Nozizwe was recently profiled in a photographic piece for ‘Wow Woman’. Please read about her life and make a donation to support the groundbreaking work of Embrace Dignity. Help end the horrific sexual exploitation of prostituted women and girls in South Africa.


Jessica Neuwirth

Support Embrace Dignity.

Read more about Embrace Dignity.