ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — The Ethiopian government on Wednesday launched a national plan to end child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practices within the coming five years period.
Ethiopian Minister of Women, Children and Youth Yalem Tsegaye said during the launching of the national roadmap that aimed to end child marriage and FGM practices across communities in Ethiopia on Wednesday, that the newly launched roadmap will help towards ending the two malpractices by the year 2025.
The new national roadmap, which is expected to be implemented within the coming 5 years period, is said to require in excess of 2.7 billion Ethiopian birr (about 93 million U.S. dollars) towards ending child marriage and FGM, it was noted.
The new initiative, among other things, envisaged to create national public awareness creation campaigns, improved policy platforms, efficient service provision at all concerned levels, as well as enhanced data provision schemes.
The new national roadmap is also said to inject the much-needed imputes to Ethiopia’s aspiration to achieve global and continental commitments on countering the health and socioeconomic impacts of child marriage and female genital mutilation, which often seen as traditional and cultural practices among Ethiopian communities.
The newly launched national roadmap will be implemented by a consortium of national actors, which brings together the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth in coordination with Ministries of Health, Education, Finance, Labour and Social Affairs, as well as various other sector stakeholders, it was noted.
According to figures from the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, in Ethiopia one in every five girls below the age of 18 is married. Across Africa, the percentage of young women who were married as children has dropped from 44 percent in 1990 to 34 percent by 2015.
UNICEF, which recently commended the Ethiopian government’s efforts to end child marriage in particular, also stressed that Ethiopia’s commitment to end child marriage by 2025 through enhanced coordination, budget allocation, accountability mechanism and availability of data.
“The establishment of a National Alliance to End Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is another significant stride in the effort to end child marriage as it has been key in coordinating interventions,” UNICEF had said.
In Africa, if current trends persist, the total number of child brides in Africa will rise from 125 million to 310 million by 2050, according to the UN.