Gender Equality

In spite of the overwhelmingly negative impacts of gender based violence and Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) against women on individuals and societies, they are often sanctified by customs and reinforced by institutions limiting women‘s rights, their decision-making power and their recourse to protection.

As such, GBV and HTPs are perpetuating women‘s subordinate status in relation to men in Ethiopia preventing them from unleashing their potential and contributing to the country’s socioeconomic development despite their numerical significance.

The Growth and Transformation Plan of Ethiopia stipulates to pursue an objective of ensuring women's active participation in and benefit from the country's economic development and political affairs. It also calls for increasing women's participation and their empowerment by abolishing HTPs. The legal framework provides amply for the respect of the right of women and provides a good level of protection against gender based violence and HTPs. In terms of institutional framework, specialized structures have been established within law enforcement bodies dedicated to addressing GBV.

UNFPA is supporting interventions on gender equality and women’s empowerment by implementing human rights-based, gender-responsive and culturally sensitive approach through partnerships with Government, other UN agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations and others. The support takes the form of strengthening community response to promote and protect the rights of women and girls and strengthening institutional response to address harmful traditional practices and gender based violence.

UNFPA is employing a three pronged approach to address GBV and HTP issues in the country. The first one is prevention. UNFPA strongly believes that there is still a huge gap in mobilizing the wider community regarding HTPs and GBV since the issue has been accepted as a norm both by men and women, hence the need for both attitudinal and behavioral changes through advocacy and public awareness creation. The second prong is to address the gap in service delivery to survivors of GBV in the country through care and support and referral linkages. The third prong is protection with the effort of securing justice to survivors of violence.

Integrated interventions are being supported at federal and local levels. At federal level, strong support has been provided in the establishment of a National Alliance to End Child Marriage which brings together all actors working on issues related to child marriage and also smooth functioning of the National Female Genital Mutilation Network. Establishment of the National Alliance and the various advocacy initiatives have strongly contributed to the commitment made by the Government to end child marriage and FGM by 2025. Technical support has also been provided to establish a national coordination mechanism to engage men and boys in addressing violence against women and gender inequality manifesting in different forms and at different levels.