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Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Ethiopia gender
USAID focuses on increasing women’s social, economic, and political status
Mercy Corps

USAID's Ethiopia missioin promotes gender equality and females’ empowerment across its portfolio, focusing on increasing females’ social, economic and political status. Service provisions and capacity building interventions encourage equal participation of males and females as beneficiaries, agents of change and project partners. For instance, women are more likely to spend income on the betterment of their families and successfully participate in village savings, loans and trade schemes—however, their access to resources and participation is mediated through men. USAID programs promote women’s decision-making power within households, especially so that they can better influence family nutrition decisions as part of Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiatives.

USAID’s education activities increase girls’ access to and retention in school, and provide support to improve their academic performance. In the health sector, USAID activities increase access to financial and health services, including nutrition, family planning and reproductive health services. USAID economic activities in Ethiopia seek to foster increased incomes for farmers, an enhanced role for private sector participation in the economy, and improvements in marketing, trade and investment. Gender is well-integrated into these activities, and women comprise a substantial proportion of beneficiaries. Other activities target gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, such as early forced marriage and female genital mutilation that undermine the health and status of women and girls in Ethiopia.

Other activities target gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, such as early forced marriage and female genital mutilation that undermine the health and status of women and girls in Ethiopia.

Activities Include

  • Fre-Addis Girls’ ScholarshipsHelp 1,022 female high school students in 196 woredas who demonstrate strong academic performance and successfully complete grade eight, but are in need of assistance to complete secondary education by granting them scholarships.

  • HIV Prevention for Vulnerable Adolescent Girls: Address social norms that contribute to the transmission of HIV by averting HIV transmission in girls who are married to older men, divorced, or girls who migrate to Addis Ababa.

  • Improving the Teaching of English Language in Ethiopia (ITELE): Enhance the proficiency of English language reading and writing and training in the colleges of teacher education and primary schools in Ethiopia.

  • Integrated Family Health Project (IFHP): Strengthen and promote increased use of high-impact family planning, maternal, newborn and child health practices, products and services. IFHP provides an integrated package of family planning and reproductive health, maternal, newborn and child health interventions. Investments directly support the Health Sector Development Plan and the Health Extension Program with a focus on delivery of key services and products through a continuum of quality care from the health center to the health post and community level in rural, peri-urban and hard-to-reach parts of the country. IFHP supports 302 districts in the Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regions and the emerging regions of Benishangul-Gumuz and Somali. The activity benefits approximately 35.2 million people—roughly 40 percent of the entire population of Ethiopia.

  • Strengthening Civic Education in Primary Schools (SCEPS): Foster children who are socially active and responsible youngsters, promote civic education and develop self-esteem and engage in community service activities.

  • Transforming Education for Adults and Children in the Hinterlands (TEACH II): Increase access to non-formal education for children and adults in disadvantaged, remote areas and improve the capacity of district education offices to manage alternative basic education centers. In 2013, to align with evolving USAID education priorities, the focus of this activity narrowed to emphasize training teachers to support evidence-based reading pedagogy, developing reading materials consistent with the Ministry of Education's new national reading curriculum, and assessing the reading performance of children.

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Last updated: September 17, 2014

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