Ethiopia: a comparative analysis of the social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices in four locations

Published: 2009
Author: Haile Gabriel Dagne for UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

This paper provides a comparative analysis of the social dynamics of change in four geographic locations with different ethnic populations in Ethiopia, where interventions were undertaken to support the abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful practices. Each experience used community dialogue as a tool to promote the abandonment process, although their overall strategies and impact differed. The four experiences together provide a greater the understanding of the process of change within communities and the role played by key actors within and outside the community. The study demonstrates that by addressing FGM/C within a human rights context, community members are able to consider not cutting as a possible alternative to the existing convention of cutting.