Addis Ababa February 21/2019 President Sahlework Zewdie has urged Ethiopian women to seize all opportunities alongside the government’s empowerment programs in order to realize their dreams.
Addressing a workshop entitled the “Role of Higher Education Institutions for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” today, the president said women can accomplish many things for themselves and the country if opportunities are made available to them.
“We have recently shown good progress in terms of women’s representation and empowerment at higher levels”, she noted. Ethiopia’s new cabinet is now a record 50 percent female, including the country’s first woman defense minister and the president herself.
“Now, the bottle is half-filled, but there is still a risk of going back,” Sahlework said, adding that “we have to discuss the challenges and utilize opportunities together”.
Now, maximum efforts have to be exerted on the root causes that push women and leave them still behind. Otherwise, it is difficult to achieve long-term goals in a sustainable manner, according to the president.
Science and Higher Education Minister, Professor Hirut Woldemariam said there is huge gap between men and women representation at higher learning institutions, particularly at PhD and leadership levels.
“There is no woman president in all the public universities. Women scholars are just represented below the Vice President level at universities,” she revealed.
There is now a new directive that allows at least two women to be assigned at the top management level in every university, Hirut added.
“There is a huge task ahead to make higher education institutions fair for women. This is not only an issue of fairness it is an issue of contributing parts to achieve inclusive goals of the country,” the minister stated.
Hirut urged all stakeholders to collaborate for the sustainable empowerment of women at the national level.
When 10 of the 20 posts of the cabinet was taken by women recently, PM Abiy Ahmed said the decision came after considering women’s immense contribution in the country’s reform and ensuring peace and stability.