- The Ethiopian government has secured a US $7.5 million pilot programme agreement today to address gender equality and women empowerment for the next three years.
The programme titled 'Leave No Women Behind' which is expected to combine an integrated and holistic model with full community participation will be implemented in ten wards of Amahara and Tigray regional states.
It will also include among others institutional capacity building, community mobilisation, life skills, literacy, reproductive health and livelihoods, targeting a total of 254,000 people and towards uplifting women.
Ethiopia's Minister of Women's Affairs Hirut Delebo said challenges of women and girls are complex and diverse, saying the only way out for Ethiopia to address their issues was to unite and work hard for betterment of women's lives.
"The programme expected to reach and improve livelihood of women and adolescent girls through institutional and community based capacity building, non-formal education, reproductive health and livelihood interventions," minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, ambassador of Spain to Ethiopia Carmen De La Pena Corcuera said the Spanish government is determined to support the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women in Africa particularly in Ethiopia.
The Ambassador reaffirmed her government's commitment to work jointly with government of Ethiopia and other stakeholders to improve the livelihood of women.
The programme will primarily be implemented through national gender machinery, including ministry of women's affairs, bureaus of women's affairs and district offices.
As part of support and technical assistance, UNFPA and WFP will provide close technical support for effective execution of the programme, with inputs from other relevant UN Agencies and stakeholders at the regional level, Ethiopian officials have said.
According to Ethiopian studies, women traditionally have suffered socio-cultural and economic discrimination and have had fewer opportunities than men for personal growth, education, and employment.
Even the civil code in the country has affirmed the woman's inferior position, and such rights as ownership of property and inheritance varied from one ethnic group to another.
As in most other traditional societies, a woman's worth in Ethiopia is measured in terms of her role as a mother and wife. Over 85 percent of Ethiopian women reside in rural areas, where peasant families are engaged primarily in subsistence agriculture.
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