Jaha's Promise (screening)
Jaha's Promise tells the story of a young woman who returns home to campaign against the brutal practices that almost destroyed her life. Jaha Dukureh was subject to female genital mutilation (FGM) as a baby and when she was 15 she was taken to New York City to marry a middle-aged man she'd never met before. A decade later, having escaped that forced marriage, she returned to the Gambia in west Africa. This film constructs Jaha's life story from her own vivid testimony, family archives and witnesses, and centres on her life's see–saw story of setback and success.
It is also a documentary that focuses on the trials that women like her endure from an early age. As Jaha says, “In our culture a woman is built on sacrifices.” But Jaha is not a victim and she doesn't want our sympathy. She wants to hold power structures accountable both in Africa and in the West. Jaha demands respect for the rights of girls no matter what society they live in. Jaha's Promise captures her story and her spirit and the movement for change in Africa that she is part of.