Tibeb Girls: The Issue
In a place such as Ethiopia, where social supports are often inadequate, adolescent girls struggle to find a path into a healthy and secure adult life. Many adolescent girls struggle with limited access to high-quality education while simultaneously facing traditional practices such as child marriage and health risks such as high maternal death rates and HIV infection. According to Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations foundation, only 38% of girls and young women between the ages of 15-24 in Ethiopia are literate, one in five girls is married before the age of 15, and girls ages 15-19 are seven times more likely to be HIV positive than their male peers. Furthermore, 12% of girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen are mothers or pregnant with their first child.
We are excited to introduce a new action-drama radio show about three young girls who use their superpowers to fight against injustice and the many harmful practices Ethiopian girls routinely face. Using their powers to see the past and future, Tibeb Girls draws the audience into the typical lives of Ethiopian girls, building empathy for their hardship and a vision of a brighter future. Tibeb Girls puts girls’ issues at the center and provides examples of girls asserting themselves, problem-solving, and implementing solutions. By broadcasting a program that will examine harmful practices and explore girls’ agency in addressing those challenges, Tibeb Girls will foster a culture of conversation among girls, families, and throughout the broader community. Through our partnerships detailed below, the Tibeb Girls is an Ethiopian-led, innovative, scalable and sustainable approach to measurably improving coordination around girls’ issues in Ethiopia.
Future Plans for the Tibeb Girls
While at this point, we are seeking support for the initial pilot season of the Tibeb Girls, we are looking at how the program can grow in the future. With characters and general storylines established, the second year will yield 13 radio and 13 television episodes. The final year will again build on efficiencies and result in 13 radio and 26 television episodes. Printed comics reinforcing the messages of the Tibeb Girls can be printed and distributed.
 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey, 2011; World Bank data, 2013, 2005; EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2009; UN data, 2012; UNDP Human Development Report 2013