Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Overview of Adolesence in Ethiopia

Via: Unicef
Adolescence is a critical stage of development, a transition from childhood to adult, a period marked by physical, emotional and social changes. Ethiopian face the challenges of adolescence.

• An estimated 2.3 million Ethiopians are infected with HIV and close to 1.2 million are HIV/AIDS orphans

• Poverty, about 82 per cent of the population survives on less than 1dollar a day.

• Harmful traditional practices (HTPs). Abduction and early marriage are widely practiced in most parts of rural Ethiopia. Female genital mutilation (FGM) contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

• Nearly 4.9 million adolescents aged 15-18, of which 2.4 million are girls, are not enrolled in school due to various economic and social reasons

• For the entire working population, unemployment rates are highest in the 15-19 age groups. For all age groups, females constitute the majority of the unemployed. The high level of unemployment has serious implications for the types of lifestyle choices made by adolescence, increasing the risk of alcohol and drug abuse, unwanted pregnancy, multiple sexual partners, and HIV infections.

• There are between 150,000–200,000 street children nationally, with a further one million vulnerable or at risk of ending up on the streets. Girls who work and live in the streets face sexual abuse by adults, rape, unwanted pregnancy and early motherhood – sometimes as young as 12. These girls are likely to join the rank of child prostitutes or street mothers and continue the vicious circle of street life. Inevitably they are highly at risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that there are 10,000 street mothers in Addis Ababa.

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