Ethiopian girl wins $150,000 for rape, abduction and marriage at 13

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The Ethiopian government has been ordered to pay $150,000 to a girl who said she was raped, abducted and forced to agree to marriage at the age of 13, in a landmark ruling activists hope will deter an outlawed, traditional form of child marriage.

Woineshet Zebene Negash, who said she was raped in 2001, filed a complaint with the Gambia-based African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2007 after Ethiopia’s court overturned the conviction of her perpetrator.

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“It is a practice that draws stark parallels with a proverbial ancient past when a man would hunt down the female of his choice, slug her over the head with a club, drag her by the hair to his dwelling, rape her and emerge triumphantly beating his chest,” the court said in a ruling this week.

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Ethiopia must pay reparations to Woineshet, the court said, because it failed to protect her.

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