The first ever Ethiopian Girl Summit took place in Addis Ababa in June 2015.The government reiterated commitments to eliminate child marriage by 2025 and a representative from the Inter Religious Council stated that child marriage cannot be justified through religion.
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At the Girl Summit in July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.
The National Alliance to End Child Marriage in Ethiopia by 2025 was spearheaded by the Ministry of Children, Women and Youth Affairs to identify the drivers of child marriage across Ethiopia and to locate examples of best practice.
Ethiopia acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
Ethiopia is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12 countries over four years.
The Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association educates community leaders, law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies on Ethiopia’s revised Family Law, and provides legal aid and shelter to girls who escape child marriage.
The revised Family Code 2000 sets 18 years as the minimum legal age of marriage.Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys.In Ethiopia, child marriage is also driven by: Ethiopia has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.However, the Minister of Justice may grant dispensation for individuals to marry at 16 years upon application by themselves or their parents/guardians.Girls often also marry before 18 years in religious and customary marriages.The UK Department for International Development provides funding to the Finote Hiwot programme, which aims to end child marriage for at least 37,000 adolescent girls in the East and West Gojam Zones of the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.