Stopping Female Genital Mutilation in Afar
Ethiopia is signatory to various international conventions on the elimination of discrimination against women and children - one of which being the "Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa", better known as the "Maputo Protocol". Nevertheless, female genital mutilation (FGM) as well as other harmful traditional practices (HTPs), including forced marriages of young girls, are still widespread in Ethiopia. These practices have an enormous negative impact on maternal health as well as on the overall physical and psychological status of the concerned women and girls.
The overall objective of this project is to contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality and improved well being of pastoralist women and girls in the Afar region through stopping the practice of FGM as well as other HTPs. Approximately 115.000 Afar pastoralist women and girls shall benefit directly and indirectly from the project interventions.
The practices of FGM and other HTPs are deeply rooted in the traditions of the pastoralist society of the Afar region, hence a holistic approach involving traditional birth assistants (TBAs), religious and political leaders is needed.
In its interventions, the project partner, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA), will build on the experiences and achievements of the last years. The project will be implemented through women extension workers (WEWs), traditional birth assistants (TBAs) as well as a team of harmful practices awareness raisers. Emphasis will be put on continuous training of WEWs, TBAs as well as religious leaders but also on lobbying activities to adopt and effectively enforce new laws banning harmful practices against women and girls.