Is it her brother or her child?
10-11-12 in British date notation above this article. Girls of this age in the highlands of Ethiopia may be given away in marriage to much older men, sometimes even after abduction.
Today I spend almost entirely on the last bits and pieces of a proposal for a programme that needs to bring age appropriate knowledge on sexual and reproductive rights to these girls and boys. It should help bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education to scale in contexts like these. I just realize this could have been the fate of my adoptive daughter from Ethiopia should she have stayed in the cultural setting where she was born. Currently she challenges (sometimes successfully) remnants of my patriarchal upbringing in a calvinistic home in the Netherlands.
Trying to make sense of a context that still feels alien though having lived in Ethiopia for over six years, I had to support the write-up of an application for funding of a substantial programme for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, together with my colleagues here in the Netherlands and abroad. It was not easy to fill out the forms that were crafted by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs that had issued the call, answering all the questions that were asked on behalf of the Dutch tax payer. I frequently wondered whether those tax payers would really care to know. Should they have known the details, would they still plea for budget cuts in development cooperation? Faced with dramatic numbers, with 63% of women experiencing sexual abuse during their lifetime in Ethiopia, I realized how important this day of the girl child is. How come I did not even have time to say good night to my own girl childs, spending my evening on this proposal?
My name is Reinier van Hoffen.
Click here for a summary.
Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.