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Ethiopia has made tremendous strides in advancing girls’ and women’s rights in the last decade — tripling the number of children in primary school and electing its first female president.

Still, Ethiopian girls struggle to access free, safe, quality education. Only 25% of girls attend secondary school, an even larger issue in rural areas where there are not many schools. Even when in school, girls face abuse and sexual violence within the school environment. Inadequate bathrooms and lessons that reinforce gender discrimination make it harder to succeed. Child marriage, economic hardship and lack of sanitary pads further compound girls’ ability to remain in school.

Our work in Ethiopia

In March 2020, Malala Fund expanded its Education Champion Network to Ethiopia. Education Champions Martha Nemera Woyessa, Amsale Mulugeta and Getaalem Kassa work across the Amhara region, where more than 600,000 girls are out of school. They are building on deep networks in area communities to improve conditions in Ethiopia’s schools, advocate for the implementation and accountability of policy that prevents child marriage and work in communities to end gender-based violence. Malala Fund will expand its work to additional regions in Ethiopia in 2021.

"I am the person I am because of education. I have to give back what I was privileged to have, to give back to the community. That's why I'm still working."

— Amsale Mulugeta, Executive Director, Education for Sustainable Development

Today, Malala Fund supports 8 Education Champions in Ethiopia.


A spotlight report on the progress and challenges of SDG 4 and 5 in Ethiopia
Girls and Education Champions in Ethiopia call on leaders to ensure a safe return to school following COVID-19 closures
Girls' education and COVID-19 in Ethiopia

Where we Work

Malala Fund works in regions where the most girls miss out on secondary education.