Save the Children marks International Day of the Girl in Shashemene
On October 11, 2017, Save the Children celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child by organizing a community mobilization workshop in Shashemene. The workshop aimed to build community alliances to end child-marriage and other forms of harmful traditional practices.
Save the Children, in collaboration with West Arsi Zone Women and Children Affairs Office, organized the event to discuss ways of responding to the challenge of harmful traditional practices in the region.
Save the Children’s Director of Advocacy, Campaigns and CRG, Dr Eshetu Bekele gave a background presentation on the situation of child marriage and other forms of harmful traditional practices globally, in Ethiopia and the region, elaborating on the social, cultural and economic costs of these harmful traditional practices in Ethiopia. The presentation showed that 19% of the adolescent girls in Ethiopia (aged 15-19) are currently married and this significantly contributes to early pregnancy, which is currently around (56.6% per 1000), exclusion from school (34.8% /2011-2016), maternal mortality rate, and under-five mortality rate (59.2% per 1000 live births).
“The workshop objective is to create an engaging platform where community leaders and government officials confer to ban the harmful traditional practices and norms”, says Dr Eshetu Bekele, Director of Advocacy, Campaigns and CRG at Save the Children in Ethiopia.
Survivors of harmful traditional practices shared their stories on the event, giving a face to the challenges still faced by many girls in Ethiopia. Participants concluded the event by expressing their solidarity to ending child marriage, abduction and other harmful traditional practices in the region.
Over 175 people attended the event, including government officials, community leaders, Abagadas, religious leaders, children, teachers, parents and journalists.