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“Before the start of the programme in my locality, women were perceived as property of men with no meaningful involvement in the community,” says forty-three year-old Zewditu Luqas speaking about the changes she witnessed since the start of the Joint Programme on Abandonment of FGM. She indicates that for instance if a man married an underage girl the community accepted it as something normal with the wife with no right to complain as this is a deep-rooted tradition.

“Now I and my husband are equally attending community conversation meetings together,” Zewditu testifies saying they have consequently decided not to get their two daughters cut.

“I am sharing my knowledge to neighbors, families and friends. There is a huge attitudinal changes at individual and community level,” states Zewditu.

But she goes on to say that there is much more to do to sustain the changes and to reach those that are not addressed.