A commission of the Eastern-rite Ethiopian Catholic Church recently held a three-day conference with school leaders and teachers to help them counter the practice of female genital mutilation.
In a news release, the bishops’ conference stated that “fear of stigmatization and being unfit for marriage are the causes that lead parents and even women themselves to the practice.”
In 2013, Ethiopia’s bishops forbade Catholics from taking part in genital mutilation, which continues in some rural areas despite being illegal under civil law.
The East African nation of 102.4 million is 44% Ethiopian Orthodox, 34% Muslim, and 19% Protestant. The Ethiopian Catholic Church has 83,000 members.