ETHIOPIA: FGM Virtually Eradicated In Two Zones
According to local non-governmental organisation, Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma-Tope (KMG), the virtual elimination of this harmful traditional practice suggests that well over 100,000 girls have been spared in this region, reversing in a single decade a practice so old some Christians and Muslims here mistakenly believed it was mandated by their religions.
“We called it ‘getting the dirt out,’ but we never said it out loud, because it was taboo,” said Bogaletch Gebre, founder chief executive officer of KMG, who returned to Kembatta, her birth place, in 1997, to start the NGO that would fight for the human rights of women and improve the environment for all people in the region.
KMG conducted a baseline survey in 1999 that showed that almost all female teenagers were cut before marriage. Today, according to a UNICEF study released this year, FGM has been reduced by 97 percent in Kembatta and Tembaro Zones. Only two to three percent of the elders say they want their daughters to be cut and their sons to marry cut girls, according to the study.
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