Norway is supporting efforts to fight FGM in Ethiopia, through projects implemented by Save the Children and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).
NCA Ethiopia is among the development actors represented in the Summit. NCA played an active role in coordinating six Faith Based Organizations, who are also its partners, to share their experience towards ending FGM and Child, Early, and Forced Marriage under the motto “Faith in Action”.
His Excellency Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia said, “To help Ethiopia realize this national commitment and see a country free from harmful practices, the contribution of religious institutions and the society as a whole is evidenced to have significant importance and hence should continue in the future”.
Her Excellency Zenebu Tadesse, Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs on her part stressed the need for further coordination of initiatives with sector ministries to end child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. “I call upon development organizations, the private sector, community based organizations as well as those who are in a position to influence to help shift the perception of these practices and contribute for their abandonment”, she noted.
Deputy Board Chairperson of the Inter Religious Council of Ethiopia, Rev. Haile Gabriel Meleku, who spoke during the event reiterated that religious leaders highly condemn harmful practices and will continue to be active stakeholders in tackling such practices.
Representing faith based organizations in Ethiopia, Inter Religious Council of Ethiopia also highlighted the current collective contribution of faith based organizations to the Government’s national plan, as well as their future commitments during a presentation entitled: “Coordinating religious institutions in response to ending CEFM”.
The summit aims to stimulate a shared vision and support for translating the commitment to action and spearhead its implementation.
Some of the outcomes of the summit include: establishing a national platform which is represented at senior level, establishing new data and research mechanisms to inform and support action, and securing increased funding to tackle the issues.
The summit brought together six sector ministries, UN agencies, religious and community leaders, grassroots organizations, girl representatives, the private sector and media to build on current efforts and rally a national movement to end FGM and CEFM by 2025.