Ethiopia has extremely high rates of child marriage and an HIV epidemic that disproportionately affects females. In the rural Amhara region, 50 percent of girls are married by age 15 and 80 percent are married by age 18. Researchers conducted a survey of more than 1,800 adolescents in the Amhara Region. Based on the findings, in 2004 the Amhara Regional Bureau of Youth and Sports and the Population Council created the Berhane Hewan (“Light for Eve”) project. Berhane Hewan’s goal is to establish effective mechanisms to protect girls at risk of early marriage and to support adolescent girls who are already married. Between 2004 and 2006, a quasi-experimental intervention was conducted by the Council in the rural Amhara region to compare outcomes between girls living in the program and control areas. As described in Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief No. 20, an evaluation of the intervention provided evidence that early marriage can be prevented through a program that simultaneously addresses the economic and social factors that promote early marriage and increases girls’ access to schooling.
Muthengi, Eunice N. and Annabel Erulkar. 2011. "Delaying early marriage among disadvantaged rural girls in Amhara, Ethiopia, through social support, education, and community awareness," Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief no. 20. New York: Population Council.
Building an Evidence Base to Delay Marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa; Berhane Hewan