Maximizing a comprehensive participation of women


Former South African president Nelson Mandela emphasized that, “Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression". But, to the contrary, it was so hard for women to come to stage and participate in the country's political, economic and social affairs in the previous regimes. Women were coerced to face both impositions.

Now, they are actively involved in all aspects of their society’s life, although their share of labor division differs from place to place and from culture to culture, their participation is increasing from time to time.

Ethiopia is a patriarchal society that keeps women at a subordinate position, using religion and culture as an excuse. These excuses have for many years, supported by laws and legislation that uphold patriarchy and their subordination. This has brought about and maintained disparities between men and women, in division of labor, share of benefits, in law and state, in how households are organized.

Efforts are underway to mitigate the problems that women suffer from work stereotypes and gender distribution of labor, more are occupy in economically invisible work and to alter the fact that women experience lower socioeconomic status in general and hence is marginalized from making decisions at all levels.

Despite the subordinate status they have in the society, and their exclusion from most of the privileges and opportunities availed to their male counterparts, women’s contribution for the survival of the household and economic and social development of the society as producers and reproducers is indispensable.

The Ethiopian government formulated several laws and policies to promote gender equality. Particularly Article 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia clearly stipulates the rights of women. The government has also been promoting the mainstreaming of gender in all of its development policies and strategies to address gender inequality.

Ethiopia’s constitution and national policies are consistent with international legal instruments on gender equality, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the most comprehensive treaty on women’s rights, which came into force in 1981, has been ratified or acceded to by 165 states worldwide.

Available resources indicate that, Ethiopia is therefore making several efforts to strengthen national structures for achieving gender parity.  Equality between men and women, boys and girls, is one of the central pillars of the Growth and Transformation Plan: the Growth and Transformation Plan  the five year national development plan for Ethiopia and the Development Plan for Women and Children  have included specific commitments to increasing their participation in political life and decision making, promoting their economic empowerment and reducing violence against women.

In our country women and children, who were underplayed in the previous regimes, form a higher segment of the society. Knowing full well the sad episode, the incumbent has made a point stepping up the country's endeavor and preferential treatment to render the two more beneficiaries of growth. To answer the question of this generation, ward off challenges, fill gaps, citizens too must tighten their belt and reaffirm commitment. The two must show chemistry to take the hassle out of the march towards a rosy future.

Bringing into play Federal Women's, Children's Affair Ministry, the incumbent is trying to create women's equal participation and benefits in the socioeconomic, political and cultural fronts. In present day Ethiopia, women parliamentarians, at the federal level, comprise 40 percent.

Three ministers and 15 state ministers grace the executive organs. Up turning the wrong mindset “Women may not do it!” members of the fair sex are emerging successful in their engagements. Higher learning institutions too are absorbing a great number of competent female students and churning out women experts that reinforce the country's push towards socioeconomic pickup and democratic order. Such a standout can serve exemplary to other developing countries, where the trend ought to be replicated.

Also Ethiopia today, on top of catalyzing gender equality, lavishes playing a midwifery role towards the birth of children's rights and security ensured system. To this effect, there is a call for creating awareness, facilitating things, getting the ball for a multifaceted move rolling and ensuring women's and children's affairs are included in laws, policy frameworks and development programs. Seeing to their entailment in laws, policies and development programs and implementation must also be included in the task.

Facilitating things, following up works and rendering support are also crucial tasks. Checking the implementation of special incentives and the placement of talented women leaders in leadership and/or decision making positions are imperative. In the unflagging process of change, Ethiopia will keep on creating a development army. Placing added focus on children and youths it will strive to come up with a generation having an all-rounded personality. It will nurture the trend of placing the opportunities of children first. Espousing gender equality, it will follow procedures that open a room for their participation and benefits.