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The Early Marriage Fund

Early marriage is prevalent across the globe due long standing traditions and social norms and as well as socio-economic hardships of girls’ families. The impact of early marriage can be dangerous and devastating on young girls, who are often compelled to tie the knot with older men. Ethiopia is not an exception. The country is endowed with a variety of traditional practices that, despite their detrimental effects on the wellbeing of many individuals, are believed to be expressions of social cohesion and cultural identity, serving as means of asserting one’s position in society. Early marriage is a deep rooted tradition in many Ethiopian communities, perpetuated by social customs, poverty, and the lack of education and economic opportunities among women and girls. The consequences of early marriage are physically, emotionally, and socially devastating despite differences in prevalence rate from region to region.

The Early Marriage Fund was set up by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in June 2015 and focuses on accelerating efforts to eliminate early marriage in Ethiopia and assisting the Government of Ethiopia in achieving its goal by 2025. Plan International Ethiopia was selected by the Embassy to manage this fund and has been tasked to award sub-grants to any actors legally working on ending early marriage in Ethiopia. The Fund will support strategic interventions that aim at the linking, learning from and acceleration of existing initiatives; the fund will be of a flexible nature, allowing best practice to be recognized and replicated while also highlighting innovative efforts for further learning. To ensure proper governance of the fund, a management secretariat and a steering group have been established to lead the selection and management of all sub-grantees.

The Fund has three strategic objectives:

Objective 1: Linking of existing initiatives on Early Marriage to stimulate collaboration among various actors and to increase the impact of interventions.
Objective 2: Learning what works and what does not work to end Early Marriage in Ethiopia.
Objective 3: Accelerating the work of strategic initiatives that aim to end Early Marriage in Ethiopia. 


Call for proposals: We are no longer accepting submissions for proposals. The deadline was on February 15. For more opportunities please regularly visit our Facebook site.