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Girl child

UNFPA

Damboya, ETHIOPIA/New York, UNITED NATIONS - Tadelech Ermias remembers the ridicule she faced when she refused to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), which was considered a requirement for brides in her community. "It was inconceivable then for a girl to get married without being cut," she said.

Salia, now 18, tends to animals to provide for herself and her family. Just two years ago, Salia thought she would be a child bride.
UNFPA

Two years ago, 16-year-old Salia Shemsu waited to be married off. Like many young girls in Ethiopia, it was only a matter of time before she would need to leave her family for a husband. Then an opportunity she never expected arrived. A local announcement called for young people to join an entrepreneurship programme. Salia responded immediately. Salia’s district is among 30 in Ethiopia where a joint UNFPA-UNICEF programme is now empowering vulnerable adolescent girls and boys to support themselves and make healthy decisions – by providing them with the knowledge and skills to do so.