End Child Marriage
A flagship programme 2020-2025
UNICEF selected ‘End Child Marriage’ as a flagship programme to successfully implement the National Costed Roadmap to End Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (2020-2024) and to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal number 5.3. Despite significant progress in Ethiopia, the prevalence of girls marrying before age 18 remains high. Multiple and interrelated causes can explain the phenomenon: Social and religious norms that restrict females to roles as wives and mothers; gendered stereotypes that oblige females to do all or most of the domestic labour and childcare; lack of opportunities for vocational training or safe secondary schools with water, toilets; lack of opportunities for safe, paid labour; incentives for acquiring dowry and traditions of family honour tied to brides being young virgins.
Emergencies such as conflict and drought, further exacerbate the risk of child marriage, as the practice is used as economic coping mechanism for family survival. In 2022 Ethiopia has seen rising trends of child marriage in conflict and drought-affected regions.