Addis Ababa ENA August 14/2019 A five-year national roadmap that helps to end early child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) was launched today.
The aim of the national roadmap is to clearly specify the key strategies, approaches and evidence-based interventions which will be employed to achieve the national target to eliminate child marriage and female genital mutilation by 2025.
It applies across all contexts in the country, including humanitarian and emergency situations that may exacerbate risks of child marriage and FGM for girls as well as reduce access to protective service and have cross-border dimensions.
Launching the roadmap, President Sahlework Zewdie said the roadmap shows Ethiopia’s commitment and special attention to solve the problem of early child marriage and FGM once and for all.
She added that this roadmap is significant to achieve one of the sustainable development goal targets, which is to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM” as well as solve societal problems.
She emphasized the need to work in collaboration in legal, education, health and other sectors in order to ensure the implementation of the roadmap.
Women, Children and Youth Minister, Yalem Tsegaye said the roadmap will strengthen government efforts that has been accomplished so far.
According to the minister, the most recent demographic and health survey of 2016 shows that out of young women aged 20 to 24 years, 40.3 percent were married before the legal age of 18, and 14.1 percent were married before the age of 15, while the practice is declining overall.
She added that the survey shows out of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years,65 percent have been cut.
Yalem noted that all stakeholders must work together to change the attitude of the society towards the early marriage and FGM.
UNICEF Country Representative, Adele Khodr said, “Unless we improve the situation of girls, we will not be able to achieve sustainable development.”
In 2014, Ethiopia made a pledge to end child marriage and FGM by 2025 at the first global girls summit and to do so strong leadership and effective collaboration are critical to achieve the goal, she pointed out.
Khodr added that Ethiopia is among the top 5 countries with the highest burden of child marriages globally, and the country needs to increase pace of progress to end these practices.