151512 Improved community governance after building competence in different sectors can improve girls' and women's status and health: Case studies collected in CARE Ethiopia

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 9:10 AM

Sara Buchanan, MA, BA , Program Design and Quality Support, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Asmare Ayele, MSc , Program Design and Quality Support, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Seifu Tadesse, BSc , GBV Project Manager, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Joseph Alemu, BSc , SRH Program, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Barbara Pose, MD, MPH, DTM&PH , SRH Programm, CARE Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Culturally embedded harmful sexual practices are endangering the sexual health of traditional communities although the burden bears heavier on girls and women. To avoid abduction and rape, or as a consequence of these practices, girls are deprived from accomplishing their education. Development projects implemented by CARE Ethiopia are addressing several different sectors - case studies from the field will document the wide scope of interventions which increased females' health and livelihood directly and indirectly.

Advocacy was targeting religious leaders to promote Family Planning and and traditional courts to abolish practices like female circumcision, wife inheritance and polygamy. Institutional strengthening empowered Parents Teacher Associations (PTAs) and School Girl Clubs to retain and bring girls back into school by negotiating with parents, supporting girls to go to court and withstand forced marriage. Hostels protecting girls from abduction and rape, allow them to follow secondary education.

Lessons learned ~ Using community structures and leaders helps to market project ideas addressing harmful traditional practices. ~ Traditional practices affecting negatively the health of females, can't be addressed by health interventions alone. ~ By building community competence in different sectors, good governance will increase and people take action to mitigate the effect of harmful cultural practices in their communities. ~ Attribution of outcomes to specific interventions is difficult in a society challenging its traditions.

Skills building in projects should not only focus on increasing knowledge in some areas to achieve specific outcomes, but additionally build community competence towards good governance to help societies in their change.

Learning Objectives:
recognize the value of improved Community competence in different sectors for health outcomes analyze the difficulties of attributing outcomes to single interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.