The launch of the second phase five-year strategic partnership to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Ethiopia took place at Awash Sebat town on the 18 of August 2011in the presence of more than twenty-five governmental, civil society and multilateral institutions taking part in the implementation individual projects in six regions.
W/o Zahara Hummed Head of the Women, Children and Youth Affairs Bureau and Ato Haisma Woldu head of zone 3 administration of the Afar National Regional State reaffirmed the commitment of the Regional Government in the fight against FGM. Representatives of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Save the Children Norway Ethiopia (SCNE-Ethiopia) and Norwegian Church Aid – Ethiopia (NCA-E) also reiterated their commitment to the cause.
Each implementing partner expressed their readiness for the achievement of the programme goal i.e. for the reduction of the prevalence of the practice by at least 31% in all programme sites. It was disclosed that more than 3000 girls in the Afar National Regional State were rescued form FGM recently of whom seven were present on the occasion and performed songs and read out anti-FGM messages.
Below is the joint press release issued by SCN-
E and NCA-E.
Photo: Ashenafi Gizaw
The Royal Norwegian Embassy, Save the Children Norway-Ethiopia and Norwegian Church Aid-Ethiopia launch the second phase Five Year Strategic Partnership Programme for the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM)
Awash- Sebat kilo, Afar Regional State, 18 August 2011. Save the Children Norway-Ethiopia (SCN-E) and the Norwegian Church Aid-Ethiopia (NCA-E), in close collaboration and partnership with implementing Governmental and Non-governmental partner organizations, launch a 50,000,000 NOK (more than 9 million USD) worth strategic partnership programme for the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM) in six intervention regions; namely, Afar, Amhara, Harari, Oromia, Somali, and the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Regions.
The launching ceremony, which took place in Awash-Sebat Kilo town of the Afar Regional State, was attended by representatives of the Afar Regional Government; the Royal Norwegian Embassy; Afar Regional Women, Children and Youth Bureau; Save the Children Norway-Ethiopia; Norwegian Church Aid-Ethiopia; Clan and Religious leaders; implementing partner organizations in the six Regional States, local media and invited guests.
Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia, the programme, which is an extension of the first phrase, is designed to reach more than 700,000 children (64% girls) and 1,400,000 adults (55% women) over a five years period in the six Regional States as well as Federal levels.
Country Director of SCN-E, Mrs. Lois Mushonga, and Country Representative of NCA-E, Mr. Hans Birkeland, noted that the second phase of the project is aimed at building on the encouraging results achieved in the above mentioned intervention areas during the first phase and accelerating the momentum of change towards the complete abandonment of FGM from the intervention areas. These encouraging achievements to which the first phase of the strategic partnership has contributed could be justified in terms of the increasing number of uncut girls, increasing number of FGM practitioners who gave-up cutting, and the increasing number of community leaders committed to educating their communities to take action on those who are not in conformity with the community consensus. Following the mobilization of all the actors, the government at all levels is also increasing its commitment and taking practical actions to abandon FGM from the intervention areas.
On the basis of key lessons learned, best practices and gaps identified from the first phase, multiple strategic approaches have been designed, with the aim of scaling up interventions and thereby making FGM a national agenda. Using traditional and modern communication means to expanding and disseminating information, intensifying and scaling up community capacity enhancement through community dialogue, building capacity of law enforcement bodies, engaging religious institutions and involving men/boys, and establishing stronger referral systems to support victims of the practice are among the major strategies for this second phase of the programme.
Following the 2003 publication of the Norwegian Government’s International Action Plan for Combating FGM, SCN-E and NCA-E have been implementing anti FGM/HTPs programmes in the same intervention areas since 2006 in partnership with Governmental and Non-governmental organizations.