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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in  Afambo Woreda, Afar region  saved  10,000 girls from early child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The Program that has been running in seven kebles in the Afambo Woreda for the past three years used local leaders, girls in school to educate their community about harmful practices.

“I am glad to see such a fantastic progression in my community. Previously when more girls were circumcised there was a higher degree of fatalities and many girls did not have the opportunity to go to school and make a better future for themselves as they were condemned to early marriage,” he said. ‘’ We are sharing our knowledge with the community and its making a difference as girls are fleeing from FGM and early marriage,” Kadiga Ali a young girl living in Afambo Werada said. Faustin Yao, country representative for UNFPA said that the practice of child marriage and FGM are highly linked and reinforced by social norms.

“The key to the success of the programme is its use of a culturally sensitive and human rights- based approach. It addresses the issues of child marriage and FGM not only because of their harmful impact on the reproductive and sexual health of women, but also because they violate women’s and girl’s fundamental human rights,’’ he said.