The event was attended by His Holiness Abune Paulos I Patriarch of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum, Echegue of the See of St. Tekle Haimanot, President of WCC and Honorary President of World Religions for Peace as well as State Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, H.E. Frenesh Mekuria, representatives from 49 Synods of the EOTC, various Faith Based Organizations, Government and Non-Governmental Organizations, UN agencies and the media.
Based on the two documents launched, “TAMAR’s campaign on Gender Based Violence’’ and “Theological Reflection In the Teaching of EOTC on Female Genital Mutilation’’, EOTC also made a 6 points declaration states the church’s commitment and position against the practice of FGM and other forms of GBV.
The declaration was officially handed over to State Minster of Women, Children and Youth Affairs to illustrate the contribution of EOTC towards the government’s response for Zero Tolerance to FGM and other forms of GBV. The declaration was also handed over to the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the NCA.
The declaration reads:
1. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church condemns Female Genital mutilation as it contradicts with the religious principles of the Church.
2. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church will exert maximum effort to abandon Female Genital Mutilation as it is unjust to debilitate the female body created by God.
3. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church acknowledges the active participation of religious fathers as crucial to strengthen its campaign against Female Genital Mutilation and Gender Based Violence
4. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church believes males as partners are decisive to stop GBV and protect girls and women from Harmful Traditional Practices
5. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church will educate to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation and other forms of Gender Based Violence as they deprive the human and constitutional rights of women and girls.
6. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church expresses its readiness to collaborate with other stakeholders to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation and other forms of Gender Based Violence.
This is part of the NCA’s activities under the Strategic Partnership between the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Save the Children Norway and NCA for the abandonment of FGM. It is crucial that the Church is brought on board as the declaration is expected to be implemented by all local churches in the country
The funding contract for Phase II of the partnership for a five-year period (2011 – 2015)was signed between the Embassy and the two Norwegian NGOs in June 2011.