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 Organization for the Development of Women and Children Ethiopia [ODWaCE]

In the year 2004 NCTPE was renamed as Ye Ethiopia Goji limadawi Dirgitoch Aswogaj Mahiber (EGLDAM) and it was re-registered on October, 2005 under registration number 0098 in accordance with the new Charities and Societies proclamation No. 621/2009. Like its procedure, EGLDAM was guided by a decision of general assembly, executive board and the secretariat. EGLDAM was also a member of the Inter African Committee (IAC) whose members are drawn from 28 African countries.

EGLDAM‘s membership is composed of individuals committed for the total abandonment of harmful Traditional Practices.  Carrying forward, it had the following mission, vision and goal.

Mission

Total abandonment of harmful traditional practices and the encouragement of beneficial traditional practices in Ethiopia.

Vision

To see an Ethiopian society free of harmful traditional practices.

Goal

To contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of Ethiopian women and children by reducing the prevalence of major harmful traditional practices (HTPs) and sustaining beneficial ones.

Core Achievements of EGLDAM

EGLDAM has gone a long way to fight HTPs and the first organization to raise the issue of HTPs in the country. Hence through the decade of hard work, EGLDAM has gained many experiences and used different approaches some of which are as follows;

1) Facts based intervention (Research)

The base line survey on HTPs conducted in 1997 has have clearly identified  top five practices namely FGM, Early Marriage, Marriage by Abduction, Milk teeth extraction and Uvulectomy/ Tonsillectomy. In 2007 follow up survey have been conducted that showed a decrease of all HTPs. compared to the base line. The surveys continue to be used as a reference by governmental, non-governmental, international organizations, researchers, and institutions of higher learning.

2) IEC/BCC material Production and Distribution

Preparation of different materials on the mentioned HTPs in different languages for different target groups E.g. in Afan Oromo, Somali, Afargna, Tigrenga, Amharic etc.  It also involved national arts competition in the area. In addition, the reference materials were prepared based on the interest and focus of the target groups. E.g. for media personnel’s, curriculum developers, community leaders, religious leaders, health personnel’s, policy makers etc…

It also took the liberty of preparing documentary films which show the real life and practices of the issue which have proved to be a powerful means of convincing the audience to abandon  HTPs.

3) Conducted different trainings and capacity building sessions:

As part of the consecutive trainings and capacity building sessions, EGLDAM was able to present the issue of HTPs to the parliament to draw the attention and support of the parliamentarians. Currently the issue of HTPs is included in the revised criminal/penal code of Ethiopia outlawing and penalizing the various HTPs that are practiced in the country. In relation to this, EGLDAM has done numerous advocacy works on different policies which have included the issue of HTPs as one of their policy issue. E.g. education and training, HIV/AIDS, women, population, cultural polices and the like.

4) Employed team or integrated approach

The board members are of different professional discipline, from different NGOs, UN agencies, government and faith based organizations

By steaming up efforts started by NCTPE, EGLDAM has adopted networking as one of the key strategies to fight harmful traditional practices and it is in the premises of this that the organization assumes the role of coordinating this network. Currently there are more than 46 Governmental and Non-Governmental member organizations of the network. It has a seven member Executive Committee and is chaired by the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs. In addition, three regional networks are established in SNNPR, Somali and Tigray Regional States by having the same objective as the national FGM network.

In order to maintain a proper communication tool among member organizations, a quarterly newsletter and a website are created. Through this means, members share best practices along with challenges encountered. In relation to this, a resource center is also established to serve as a center of excellence. Authors, researchers from higher education institutions and interested individuals refer materials made available for their consumption. 


Organization for Development of Women and Children Ethiopia © 2015

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