Nobel Prize Nominee and UN Goodwill Ambassador Jaha Dukureh is announcing her candidacy for President of The Gambia. Dukureh will be the youngest female president in the world if elected.
As one of the youngest Africans ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Dukureh has dedicated her life to public services. She has served as a politician, activist, and leader in the international development and non-profit sector.
She became a lightning rod for major progressive change after being subjected to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. As a youth leader Dukureh was adamant to use her voice and raise awareness in The Gambia and globally, and has become the leading voice of a new generation of African women rising up to demand equality for women.
Dukureh’s platform demands the type of vigorous change she is now famous for by investing more and more effectively, in people. Her platform ensures quality access to healthcare for all by providing adequate prenatal healthcare and combating childhood malnutrition. She promises the right to proper education, thereby reinvigorating the economy with a well-trained and robust workforce. She also plans for major renovations in infrastructure and social safety nets that protect the poor.
The Gambia has a median age of around 18, meaning Dukuheh’s perception and experience are especially fitting. Her expansive international experience also gives her a leading edge in foreign affairs. In an age where the entire world is calling for more female leadership and true gender equality, Dukureh’s candidacy reverberates with progressive movements across the globe.
Dukureh is the founder of Safe Hands for Girls, a survivor-led organization, whose grassroots programs create awareness of FGM and other forms of violence against women through education, advocacy, and youth-led campaigns. Its work led to FGM and child marriage being banned in The Gambia in 2015. Jaha is currently focused on scaling an African-led movement, The Big Sisters Movement, to end FGM and child marriage by 2030.
Her leadership, courage, and informed advocacy has been pivotal in engaging religious leaders in the coalition of stakeholder dedicated to ending FGM in Africa. Jaha is also the co-chair of Youth The Inter-Party Committee of The Gambia, which consists of all political parties and their leaders. Her role as co-chair is to promote unity, collaboration, peacebuilding, and joint solutions to challenges facing the nation.
Jaha was appointed UN Women Ambassador for Africa in February 2018. In this role, Jaha supports UN Women’s advocacy to end FGM and child marriage in Africa, with a focus on mobilizing youth. She holds a similar advising role at The World Bank.
Her work has been met by international acclaim, most notably being awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Medal of Honor, as well as being recognized as among Time 100 most influential people in the world. She was named African Youth of The Year amongst other notable awards. At 31 years old, she is considered one of the rising leaders of the continent of Africa.