united nations advised ethiopia to invest in fighting child marriage and female gentile mutilation
East Africa – Two United Nations agencies advised the Government of Ethiopia to invest more in fighting child marriage and Female Gentile Mutilation (FGM).
The UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) called for an increased investment of resources by the Government of Ethiopia and development partners to increase the implementation of the National Costed Roadmap to end Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation from the country. The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation of child marriage in Ethiopia.
The country has made remarkable progress in the last decade in the reduction of FGM prevalence among girls and women from 74 per cent in 2005 to 65 per cent in 2016. However, the country is still home to 25 million circumcised women and girls. The FGM prevalence among girls aged 15 to 19 has dropped from 62 per cent in 2005 to 47 per cent in 2016.
International Day of Zero Tolerance against FGM
The call to end child marriage and FGM were made on International Day of Zero Tolerance against FGM, Sunday, 6 February, under the theme, “Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation.”
Reportedly, the National Costed Roadmap is an evidence-based costed plan, which aims to end FGM by 2025. The plan has an objective of sparing an estimated 3.6 million girls who are at the risk of undergoing FGM in Ethiopia. The plan applies across all contexts in Ethiopia, including in humanitarian and emergency situations.
Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Ethiopia Representative, said, “We must renew our commitment to end this harmful practice and work.” Esperance Fundira, UNFPA Officer-in-Charge, said, “FGM is a vicious practice rooted in gender inequality. It also inhibits girls and women from unleashing their potential.”
UNFPA and UNICEF called for a strong stand to ensure the implementation of the National Costed Roadmap to protect women and girls across Ethiopia from all harmful practices.