Crown Princess Mary Completes Ethiopian Visit

  February 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm by

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The Crown Princess of Denmark has completed her working visit to Ethiopia, having spent the past two days in the Afar Region and Addis Ababa.

Yesterday, Crown Princess Mary and Danish Minister for Trade and Development Mogens Jensen were in the north-west of the country, where they participated in a dialogue meeting on the topic of female genital mutilation and child marriage with members of the Afambo community.

“You do get shaken up by the knowledge that such a practice [FGM] still exists but we have to think beyond judging it. The government here has a strong political will to eradicate FGM,” Mary said after the meeting. The region has one of the highest rates of FGM in Africa, with an estimated 90% of females having undergone the practise, compared to the rate of 23% of FGM in Ethiopia in 2013.

View the full image at the Sydney Morning Herald

In the afternoon, Mary and Mogens visited the Mille Maternity Hospital that is run by the local partner of the United Nations Population Fund. The pair were given a tour of the facilities, met some of the patients and were given a briefing on what the hospital does: provide health services to girls and women who suffer complications of circumcision, particularly those that occur during labour.

Today, the Crown Princess was in the capital Addis Ababa to visit a number of organisations whose aims are to assist female health and development. The first stop was to a shelter for victims of domestic violence, where Mary spoke with a number of women who have had to leave their homes out of fear for their safety. “Remember that it’s not your fault you ended up here…it can never be your own fault that you are exposed to violence,” she told them.

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After lunch, Mary headed to the Sole Rebels workshop, a sustainable business that makes shoe soles out of recycled tires from the area. The business employs 120 locals, many of whom are from the marginalised sections of the community.

Another hospital was the last visit of the day. At the Hamlin Fistula Hospital the Princess was informed of the services provided to the patients, who have had or are at risk of having an obstetric fistula when they give birth.

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