Educate and Empower 800 Ethiopian Girls

by Pathfinder International
Feb 7, 2011

Continued Scholarships Update!





A number of international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, have emphasized the importance of education. The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, recognized that female literacy is essential to empowering women to participate in decision making in society and to improving the well-being of families. In addition, the United Nations has articulated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include goals for improved education, gender equality, and women's empowerment. The MDGs emphasize the essential role of education in building democratic societies and creating a foundation for sustained economic growth.

Education contributes directly to the growth of national income by improving the productive capacities of the labor force. Offering girls basic education is a proven way to increasing their power and confidence and enabling them to make choices over the lives they lead.  

Educated women have the chance to live more healthy and successful lives. There are also important benefits for society as a whole. An educated woman has the skills, information, and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker, and citizen. An educated woman is likely to marry at a later age and have fewer children. Research shows that an additional year of schooling for girls reduces fertility rates and that the children of educated mothers are more likely to survive. In addition, the benefits of education on women's empowerment and gender equality are broadly recognized. In Ethiopia and in much of the developing world, female education has the following advantages:

  • As female education rises, fertility, population growth, and infant and child mortality fall and family health improves.
  • Increases in girls' secondary school enrollment are associated with increases in women's participation in the labor force and their contributions to household and national income.
  • Women's increased capacity to earn money has a positive effect on child nutrition.
  • Children — especially daughters — of educated mothers are more likely to be enrolled in school and to have higher levels of educational attainment.
  • Educated women are more politically active and better informed about their legal rights and how to exercise them.

Although Ethiopia's education and training policy stresses the need to sensitize society about the importance of female education, it still has a long way to go in making this a reality. In Ethiopia, many families struggle economically, thus most female students leave school to stay home to assume household chores or to work at the family business. Poverty and a lack of female education have always been acute in Ethiopia. Some key factors contributing to these problems are: gender-based discrimination; educating males over females, early and forced marriage of females, and young peoples’ limited knowledge of life skills and sexual and reproductive health.

In Ethiopia, the enrollment of female students at the elementary level is more than 55%. For the reasons mentioned above, this number decreases sharply in preparatory, undergraduate, and graduate schools. It is quite evident that gender equality is unattainable and unimaginable without empowering women through education. As such, Pathfinder, in partnership with Addis Ababa Women’s Association, is providing scholarship support for economically vulnerable but academically strong girls in order to increase the retention of female students at a higher level of education. In the last three months, with support from Global Giving funds, Pathfinder has been able to enroll three new students in school and continue educational support for four young women whose scholarships were going to expire before they completed secondary school.


Scholarship beneficiaries are selected from the school’s Gender club in collaboration with school management. The Addis Ababa Women’s Association closely monitors the girls’ lifestyle, progress in school, and provides the students with services to help them thrive. Most scholarship beneficiaries are orphans living with foster families. To ensure the well-being and capacity of the girls to succeed in school, the Association approaches and consults the foster families, and also reaches out to the beneficiary to discuss any problems she may be facing at home. In the school setting, the grades and performance of the scholarship recipients are monitored closely through exams and reports. Additionally, beneficiaries are offered life skills and trainings on issues of gender, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health. To enhance leadership skills and self-confidence, the beneficiaries are given leadership positions in the school gender clubs. The above efforts have proven effective as the beneficiaries have demonstrated a strong work ethic in school and have set a dream and vision of becoming a professional woman.



Three new students have been admitted to the scholarship program since September 2010.

Name: Mastewal Abebe

Grade: 9

Age: 16

Period of assistance: 24 months from Oct  2010

Status: Comes from a very poor family, she was planning to dropout.


Name: A/work Mamush

Grade: 9

Age: 16

Period of assistance: 24 months from Oct  2010

Status: She is living with an HIV+ and sick mother.


Name: Nigist Endale

Grade: 10

Age: 18

Period of assistance: 24 months from Oct  2010

Status: Is an orphan, living with a poor foster family. She was planning to dropout.



Extension of assistance was made to the following girls who were already supported by the scholarship and who required additional fund to complete their high school studies.

 Name: Hilina Kebede


Grade: 11

Initial deposit: As of May 08


Duration:30 months

Finished: Oct 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010


Name: Mariamawit Az


Grade: 11

Initial deposit: As of March 09

Duration: 23 months

Finished: Jan 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010


Name: Rut Shume

Grade: 11

Initial Deposit: As of Mar 09

Duration: 23 months

Finished: Jan 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010


Name: Yamatu Kassa

Grade: 11

Initial Deposit: As of Mar 09

Duration: 23 months

Finished: Jan 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Pathfinder International

Location: Watertown, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Caitlin Corneliess
Institutional Giving Officer
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Funded Project!

Thanks to 324 donors like you, a total of $40,330 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Find another project in Ethiopia or in Women and Girls that needs your help.
Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.