Join the Big Sisters

The Big Sisters are a coalition of empowered African women leading grassroots organizations to end FGM and early childhood marriage in The Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Somalia. Stronger united than divided, they are leading the way to implement change at the grassroots level by asking their communities to change the culture of violence against women and girls from the ground up. Their first big challenge: building the movement in every community that will inspire and influence our leaders to issue an African Union wide ban on FGM and early childhood marriage by 2020.

Our Mission

Organize our communities to build the largest grassroots movement ever to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early Childhood Marriage (ECM) in Africa.

Help fight FGM and ECM in your
community with the Big Sisters AU Summit in Dakar, Senegal: December 4-5, 2018

We’re bringing grassroots supporters from all over Africa together for a two day summit in Dakar on December 4-5 of this year to engage with and learn from each other. You’ll learn about the AU campaign and what we need to do in each country to be successful. At the summit, we’ll be asking our leaders to commit to working for an AU ban of FGM and early childhood marriage by 2020. And lastly, we’ll celebrate with a concert to honor the work that you do and your commitment to ending violence against women in your communities all across Africa.

What is FGM and ECM?

Female Genital Mutilation

One of the most gruesome and violent acts against women is widely overlooked – Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is a deep-rooted cultural practice that involves the partial or total removal of female genitalia for nonmedical purposes; still today, 30 countries currently practice FGM against 3 million girls each year, primarily between the ages of 5-14.

Early Childhood Marriage

Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 into Early Childhood Marriage (ECM). ECM is any formal marriage or informal union where one or both of the parties are under 18, taking place across countries, cultures, and religions fueled by gender inequality, poverty, traditions and insecurity. ECM violates girls’ rights to health, education and opportunity, and is closely bound with FGM.

Meet the Big Sisters

We are The Big Sisters. We support, learn, and challenge each other. We are the protectors of our little sisters to make sure not one more girl is cut or forced to marry early. We are a coalition of African women leading change to empower our communities and leaders to take action. We will continue to grow and will not stop until every young girl and woman is free from FGM and ECM.

Jaha Dukureh

Founder and Executive Director of Safe Hands for Girls, based in the U.S, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone

Ifra Ahmed

Founder of Ifrah Foundation focusing on ending FGM in Somalia

Lisa Camara

Programs Manager for Safe Hands for Girls in The Gambia

Lucy Ann-Ganda

Country Coordinator of Safe Hands for Girls in Sierra Leone, Sierra Leonian Reporter

Salamatu Kamara

Founder of Forum Against Harmful Practices in Sierra Leone

Gift Augustine

CesVed Lead in Cross River State, Nigeria, Former Midwife

Elizabeth Anche

Founder of Lizzy Anche Foundation in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Domtila Chesang

Founder of Beyond FGM in West Pokoy County, Kenya

Virginia Lekumoisa

Founder of Nomadrise Initiative in Samburu County, Kenya