Ethiopian Women's and Girl's Empowerment through Education and Reproductive Health Knowledge and Access to Services

Amelework Godie, a tenth grade student in Ethiopia, has been able to stay in school because of a scholarship she received through the Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment Program. Amelework plans to become a teacher.

Birknesh Abeje shares her knowledge with other students at the Ginbothaya 20 School. When she was three, Birknesh was promised in marriage, but with a help of a teacher, she convinced her parents to allow her to continue school.

In addition to providing scholarships, since 2009, the project has sensitized close to four million people about the benefits of girls’ education, delaying marriage, family planning, and the elimination of harmful traditional practices.

With funding from the Packard Foundation, this project sought to improve girls’ education, increase awareness of reproductive rights, educate girls and women about reproductive health, and improve awareness of and access to appropriate, quality health services. Pathfinder worked with three regional women’s associations to address critical issues such as reducing harmful traditional practices including child marriage and female genital cutting; reducing gender-based violence; promoting peer education related to improved health practices; and providing scholarships to girls with the potential to become leaders in their communities.

This project, now closed, sensitized more than four million people, including education and community leaders, about the benefits of girls’ education, delayed marriage, family planning and RH services, and elimination of harmful traditional practices. The project also developed and implemented a peer mentor and role model program, which created meaningful opportunities for lasting changes in behavior. The project achieved its high level of success as a result of well-coordinated efforts between Pathfinder, local implementing partners, the local communities, and government stakeholders.

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