Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Initiative in Amhara
Despite laws and policies protecting women’s rights and banning Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs), Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and Early Marriage (EM) undermine the health and rights of women and girls in Amhara, Ethiopia. Several converging factors drive the continuation of these HTPs, including harmful social norms, negative economic coping strategies, stigma around sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and low capacity/accountability of government service providers. In the region, FGC affects an estimated 62% of women and girls. FGC has adverse effects on women and girls’ health including severe pain, excessive bleeding, risk of infections (including HIV), urination problems and psychological trauma. In Este and Fogera Woredas, EM is common, with marriage occurring between 10-16 years old. Girls from poor households, diverse families, and widowed families are most vulnerable to EM, as the marriage is seen as means of increasing resources and strengthening family ties.
Theory of change
IF communities transform harmful social norms AND economically vulnerable groups can sustainably generate income and save money AND government stakeholders/service providers become more sensitive, responsive and accountable to the SRH needs of women and girls;
THEN the rejection of and response to Female Genital Cutting and Early Marriage will increase and improve respectively in Amhara, THUS enabling women and girls to exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights and improve their wellbeing.
The project aims to
1) increase the agency of girls and women through participation in Girl Groups, income generation activities and Village Savings and Loan Associations;
2) change relations between communities and government stakeholders/service providers through training in Gender, Equity and Diversity, Gender-based Violence mitigation, SRH-friendly service delivery, and Community Score Card; and
3) transform structures, specifically harmful social norms, via CARE’s Social Analysis and Action model and Behavioral Change Communications efforts.
Fogera and Este Woredas of South Gondar Zone in Amhara regional state, Ethiopia
The project will target 31,396 people directly (70% female) and 156,980 people indirectly.
09.12.2019 – 31.12.2023
Austrian Development Agency (with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation)
Women and girls in Amhara exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights leading to improved wellbeing.
Increased rejection of and improved response to FGC and EM by community members, service providers and Government authorities in Amhara.