Next week, Crown Princess Mary will travel to Ethiopia to continue furthering Denmark's agenda to improve women's and girls' health and rights issues around the world. Accompanying her will be the trade and development minister, Mogens Jensen.
The pair are set to meet with civil society organisations and individuals championing women's and girls' issues to discuss the specific challenges they face in humanitarian crises, as well as possible solutions. They will also be meeting Ethiopian female entrepreneurs.
”Girls and women have the right to decide over their own bodies, as well as to seek education and contribute to society,” Jensen said. ”If the poorest communities really want to lift themselves up, women must be included.”
Among other topics, the Crown Princess and Jensen will be discussing gender-based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM).
The issue of women's and girls' health and rights is at the forefront of Danish priorities and the country provides support to two UN agencies – UNFPA and UNICEF – that fight for the elimination of FGM in Ethiopia and 16 other countries.
Ethiopia is one of the countries with the highest incidences of the practice though it is officially illegal. The country wants to eradicate the practice by 2025.
The visit to Ethiopia will take place from February 16-18.