Forced mutilation and marriage

She's too young to say no. But you can.

Our aim. To teach about the dangers of female genital mutilation and child marriage in Ethiopia and put an end to these traditions for good. 

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The challenge today

From the moment they are born, girls across rural Ethiopia face traditions that put their lives and their health in danger. One in two girls undergo female genital mutilation or FGM in Ethiopia before their 1st birthday. The biggest risk? Bleeding to death. For those who survive, two in five will be subjected to child marriage before the age of 18 where they will forfeit most of their rights in a traditional marriage.

Female genital mutilation and child marriage are violations of the most basic human rights. It’s time to say no more. 

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The solution you can be part of

For such long-held and deeply ingrained traditions, change must come from the ground up – from local women and local communities. That’s why we’ve teamed up with on-the-ground project partners to end FGM and child marriage in Ethiopia woman by woman, family by family. Here’s how:

  • Educating women, families and whole communities on the dangers of these traditions and their lack of religious significance, particularly for FGM 

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  • Training local women who have experienced and/or practiced FGM themselves as Extension Workers to provide personal advice, health support and counselling for others affected

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  • Working with clan and religious leaders to defend the rights of women and form committees to stop their community from slipping back into dangerous traditions

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  • Creating opportunities for youth to voice their own opinions through community events and by opening up discussion with local leaders


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See the solution in action

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The impact you can have

“Before we learned all these things I used to circumcise my daughters and marry them early but now I stopped. I advise my community also to stop it.” 
Aisha believed FGM in Ethiopia was a normal part of life

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Ever since she was a child, Aisha believed female circumcision and early marriage were a necessary part of life. One day, Extension Workers from our project partner (APDA) came to her village.

“Through trainings and awareness, we become more aware of harm these practices bring; why women get difficulties during delivery, bleedings, passing urine and other difficulties that ruin their lives. We all woke up to the fact how we all suffered.”

Through education, you're helping women like Aisha step away from these long-held traditions and put an end to FGM and child marriage in their generation and the ones that follow.

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Meet your project partners

> Afar Pastoralist Development Association

Co-founded by Australian nurse Valerie Browning and local Afar leaders in 1993, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) was created to meet the unique needs and hardships faced by the isolated, nomadic and often forgotten people of Afar.

Today, in addition to life-changing work in water provision, mobile health and education, APDA is dedicated to ending dangerous traditions, including female genital mutilation, child marriage and the lack of rights for women in marriage.

Afar Pastoralist Development Association

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Make your impact

Donate today to help teach a community like Aisha's and stop female genital mutilation and child marriage in Ethiopia for good.

Donate now