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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 promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment across its portfolio, focusing on increasing women’s social, economic and political status. Activities and capacity building interventions encourage participation of women 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. Our programs promote women’s decision-making power within households, so that they can better influence family nutrition decisions as part of Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiatives.

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.

Other activities target gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, such as early forced marriage or 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 Quality of Primary Education Program (IQPEP): Improve the quality of primary education through the development of teachers’ professional capacity, provision of supplementary reading materials, and strengthening of the planning and management capacity of the primary education system.

  • 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 Program (IFHP): Improve family health by strengthening and promoting increased use of high-impact family planning, maternal, newborn and child health practices, products and services.

  • Maternal Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP): Support efforts to curb maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality by expanding Integrated Family Health Program initiatives that aim to improve health practices at the household and community level

  • 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

  • Teacher Development in Primary Education Strengthened: Provide technical assistance to improve the quality of teacher training through building the capacity of teacher educators in teacher training institutions, the Ministry of Education and universities.

  • Transforming Education for Adults and Children in the Hinterlands (TEACH II): Increase access to education for children and adults in disadvantaged areas and improve the capacity of woreda education offices to manage non-formal education

Related Resources

Last updated: April 16, 2014

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