ETHIOPIA: Church Calls on Catholic Schools to Help in Eradicating FGM

ADDIS ABABA, DECEMBER 16, 2016(CISA) – Ethiopian Catholic Church Social and Development Commission (ECC SDCO) in collaboration with Women and Family Affairs has requested the Ethiopian Catholic Schools to integrate the issue of fighting FGM to their system.

Speaking at the end of a three-day workshop held between December 12 -14, 2016, for school directors and teachers in Addis Ababa on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other harmful practices Solomon Abebe, ECC SDCO Education Team Leader said that teachers were best placed to eradicate harmful activities in the society.

“Teachers and education workers have direct contact with student everyday and they meet parents a minimum of three times a year. They know the challenges in the everyday life of student thus if they are committed they can influence change in attitude towards traditional stereotypes,” he said.

He urged Catholic Schools to consider integrating the issue of reproductive health into their systems as schools are closer to the society through students and parents.

Solomon further said that despite the girls and women at a high risk of FGM because of various social pressures such as fear of stigmatization and being unfit for marriage it was important to address the issue with the urgency it deserves.

“People who are even aware of the danger are practising it because of social pressure and it is important to address the issue in every sector especially education,” he said.

The participants were asked to be well familiar with the 2013’s Catholic Bishops’ of Ethiopia declaration issue,  where the church stood against the act of FGM strictly forbidding all members of the Church from practicing it affirming that it has no religious base.

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