ACORD Ethiopia marks International Women's Day
In Borana, Ethiopia, the 2015 International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated at Yabello High School. The celebration brought together various government and non-government organizations and the community. The Minister of Federal Women and Children’s Affairs and Oromoiya region Head of Women and Children Affairs were in attendance. More than 600 invited guests and women represented from various community groups have participated in the occasion. The celebration has got media coverage through TV Oromiya and ETV.
Also Read: Celebrating International Women’s Day | ACORD Staff
Experts from the Ministry of Women Affairs shared ideas on how to end female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices through involving the Aba Gedda’s and other community leaders who are extremely accepted by the community. The role of the police and justice systems was also addressed. The pastoral women who attended the occasion with the support of ACORD shared their experiences and recommended action points that have to be taken by the government and community leaders.
Also Read: ACORD’s work on women’s rights in Rwanda | IWD 2015
In Dire Dawa, more than 1,000 people attended a panel discussion where three papers were presented. Senior government officials, two Women Empowerment Committees (WEC) established by ACORD and other CBO members participated in the event. The WECs have so far held 61 coffee ceremony programmes attended by 2,798 people where participants are able to discuss issues including drug abuse, HIV and AIDS, child adoption law, female genital mutilation, rape, sexual harassment, environmental pollution.
Also Read: ACORD calls on African governments to hasten implementation of global recommendations for gender equality as world marks International Women’s Day
In the Addis Ababa project area, ACORD and partner Iddir members celebrated the event in Akaki sub-city. The event was celebrated with a motto “Make it happen! Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity. Picture it!” Three women from Maste Bruhe Tesfa Women Co-operative (which is a women wing in Selassie Lematawi Iddir) made speeches showcasing the struggle women around the world have made to bring equality. They also have mentioned the progress made in Ethiopia over the 39 years since Ethiopia started to celebrate IWD. One of the speakers has stressed women and girls are facing as a result of sexual and gender-based violence, highlighting the recent case of Hana Lalonge, a 15-year-old student who lost her life after sexual abuse for days in a hidden place in Addis Ababa.
The gender focal person of ACORD has also made a presentation where she gave an overview of ACORD’s contribution to women’s equality and dignified life in its target areas. She also has emphasised the role ACORD globally is playing in advocating for the rights of women and to bring gender in the forefront during the design and implementation of international and regional policies, including ACORD’s direct intervention in the post-2015 agenda.