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Greg Dorey


Part of UK in Ethiopia

18th July 2014

The Girl Summit

Child, Early and Forced Marriage (#CEFM) affects millions of girls every year. One in three girls in developing countries is married by the age of 18. Some are as young as eight. Girls who marry young will have babies while still children, putting them at risk of death or suffering for the rest of their lives. They are more likely to be poor and stay poor. Forced marriage victims can suffer physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual abuse.

Girl summit

Female Genital Mutilation (#FGM) removes a girl’s right to have control over her own body. Traditionally considered essential for marriage and inclusion in the community, it is an extreme and violent way in which girls are controlled and disempowered. It can result in a lifetime of pain and difficulty in childbirth. Trends suggest at least 30 million girls will be at risk over the next decade – with more than 20,000 at risk in the #UK every year.

The Girl Summit in London on 22 July will rally a global movement to end child, early and forced marriage and FGM for all girls within a generation. Doing this will help preserve girls’ childhoods; promote their education; reduce their exposure to violence and abuse; and allow them to fulfil their potential in life. The Summit will aim to secure new commitments from the private sector, faith leaders, other civil society organisations and governments.

Ethiopia is committed to end this dreadful practice. It was widely prevalent in the past but is decreasing rapidly. The Government should be commended on its forthright approach to this issue. Ethiopia will be represented at the Summit by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen and Wro Zenebu Tadesse, Minister of Children, Youth, and Women Affairs. Dr. Musapha Kaloko, Africa Union (#AU)’s Commissioner for Social Affairs is also attending.

Everyone has a part to play in achieving rights for girls and women around the world. I urge you to take a stand against FGM and child marriage today by pledging your support through Twitter and Facebook. Your voices will be heard at the #GirlSummit.