Teen Activist Hadja Idrissa Bah Fights for Girls and Women
Nearly all of Guinean women between 15 and 49 have undergone female genital mutilation. This is just one human rights issue that 19-year-old activist Hadja Idrissa Bah is fighting in the West African country.
Guinea: Hadja Idrissa Bah fights for women's rights
Since the age of 13, Hadja Idrissa Bah has been fighting for children's rights in Guinea. Hadja Idrissa Bah, 19, is a Guinean activist fighting for the rights of children. She is the founding President of the Guinean Girls 'Leaders' Club, which defends the rights of girls by specifically fighting against early marriage, female genital mutilation and rape of minors. The association also promotes the emancipation of girls through education. Now, at 18, she’s the president of the Children's Parliament and is an activist against forced marriages / polygamy / sexual violence / genital mutilation.
Like Idrissa Bah, 96% of Guinean women between 15 and 49 have been victims of genital mutilation, according to a 2005 survey, and more than one in two Guinean girls are married before they turn 18. In Guinea, girls are not allowed to marry before the age of 17, but many families do not respect the law. So, the Hadja association carries out actions to raise awareness among the population, but also actions to punish the failure of child marriages. In Guinea, excision is prohibited and punishable by law. However, it is the second country that practices the most in the world, according to the association "Excision, let's talk about it!" In fact, about 97% of women aged 15-49 have experienced FGM in this country in West Africa.
In Guinea, 63% of marriages are forced marriages according to gouvernement guinéen and 85% of women have been subjected to domestic violence. On March 8, 2018, for International Women's Day, Idrissa Bah organized a major demonstration in Conakry. With early marriages, the fight against female genital mutilation is a priority for Hadja, herself a victim of excision. Today, her priority is to defend the rights of children, to prevent the rape of children.