Ethiopian girls face a tough choice. If they stay home, they will likely be married off before they are 15. If they leave, many are forced into labor-intensive domestic work or the sex trade.
But the UN's Bright Future Program in Addis Ababa offer vulnerable girls education and protects them from violence and exploitation.
Violence against women crosses cultural and geographical boundaries. One in three women in the world faces violence, coercion or abuse as part of her every day life. More than 70 percent of women are victims of violence in their lifetimes.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made it a personal priority to end violence against women in 2010. Programs like Bright Future are an essential part of the solution.
Tell Secretary-General Ban to use the Bright Future program as a model to end violence against women.
Dear Secretary General Ban,
Ending violence against women is not only one of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, but you also stated earlier this year that it was one of your personal priorities for 2010.
Such a complex problem requires a broad-based, comprehensive solution. But the Bright Futures Program in Ethiopia has proven to be successful in its mission to empower women and girls.
For many girls, the center in Addis Ababa is a safe haven. In addition to getting education and training to better their circumstances, they get a few hours each day to be with other girls their own age.
Empowering girls is essential to ending the tragic pattern of violence against women around the world. Programs like Bright Future are essential to achieving this goal.
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Please, use this program as a model to fulfill your goal to educate, empower and protect girls and women.