Reducing FGM/C and other HTPs

To improve maternal health among women and girls in Tulla sub-city, Hawassa municipality, Southern Ethiopia

Berhan Lehetsanat, Ethiopia

2015-2018, with the support of UK Aid Direct

This project set out to achieve a shift in behaviour and attitudes in the project area, through a series of interconnected community interventions to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting and other harmful traditional practices (including early/forced marriage, rape, abduction, GBV) among adolescent girls and young women.

As a result, practices which were known to be unlawful as well as harmful, but which had carried on beneath the radar, are now openly discussed and actively opposed by past and potential victims including the girls themselves, their mothers, former practitioners, community and religious leaders, Health Extension Workers, and other government staff and duty-bearers.

This change has been linked to the increasing empowerment of girls and women through opportunities for success in education and economic activity, creating entry points for tackling HTPs, and then for sustaining and extending the impact achieved.

While we are confident of these initial impacts, sustainability and extension within and beyond the target area will depend on the energy and ability of all participants, especially government agencies, to continue its thrust.