Here’s a statement from Jane Ellison MP and me, following the sad passing of Efua Dorkenoo. Also available on Huffington Post.
We learned with very great sadness of the passing of Efua Dorkenoo OBE on Saturday 14 October.
We had the honour of working closely with Efua for some years, and she was deservingly known as ‘Mama Efua’, the mother of the movement against FGM. Efua worked tirelessly for many decades, most recently as Programme Director for the International Social Change campaign, The Girl Generation’.
But Efua’s pioneering work began in the early 1980s and since then, she dedicated her career to the cause, and was a powerful voice for the rights of women and girls, ensuring that FGM survivors and girls who need protection remained at the heart of her life’s work to eradicate FGM.
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.
Thankfully she lived to see her dream of an African-led global campaign realised.
Efua enjoyed a long and varied career, including working as an adviser to the World Health Organisation. In 1983, her services to women and girls were recognised when she received an OBE (Order of the British Empire). She of course also authored the groundbreaking publication ‘Cutting the Rose: Female Genital Mutilation’ (1996).
Efua was a truly inspirational woman, and it was a great honour to work with her.
We will continue to remember her, in our work to achieve her vision to end FGM in a generation.
Surely there can be no greater tribute to her than this – that we work tirelessly to protect future generations of the girls she cared so deeply about.
Our thoughts are with her husband Freddie and her family at this very difficult time.