In Ethiopia, 80 percent of the population resides in rural areas and women provide the majority of the agricultural labor in these communities. However, their contributions often go largely unrecognized and their fathers or husbands often restrict access to resources and community participation. Worse, one in three women experience physical, emotional or sexual violence, 65 percent of women have experienced female genital mutilation, and only half of girls who enroll in primary schools ever make it to grade 5.
USAID invests in empowering women and girls in Ethiopia across all of our programs by promoting equal access to education, health, and economic opportunities. In doing so, we help create opportunities for more equitable participation in society for females across the country. We also address the root causes of gender-based violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation.
The term “Christian Ethiopian art” therefore refers to a body of material evidence produced over a long period of time. It is a broad definition of spaces and artworks with an Orthodox Christian character that encompasses churches and their decorations as well as illuminated manuscripts and a range of objects (crosses, chalices, patens, icons, etc.)
Although the primary school enrollment rate of girls in Ethiopia has climbed from 21 to 91 percent in the last three decades, the majority are unable to transition to secondary and tertiary school due to distance, personal security and economic challenges. As girls grow older, academic participation becomes increasingly difficult as it takes time away from essential income generating activities. Only 35 percent of undergraduate university students are female and five percent drop out in the first year. At the same time, female-led instruction at the university level is extremely low at only 11 percent. To tackle these challenges and better support the continued education of the next generation of female Ethiopian leaders, our Reading for Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed activity focuses on improving reading skills in primary schools. We provide supplementary reading materials and purposefully support girls’ participation in reading clubs to enhance learning performance and increase retention.