Presidential Leadership Program that Empowers Women Leaders Launched

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February 1 /2022/ENA/ The Government of Ethiopia is committed to empowering women to capacitate them for leadership and decision-making positions and to achieve the 50 percent participation of women at all levels in the coming ten years, President SahleWork Zewde said.

The Presidential Leadership Program for Women Leaders in Ethiopia, organized by Ministry of Women and Social Affairs and UN Women Ethiopia, was officially launched at the Africa Leadership Excellence Academy today.

Some 60 middle-level women political leaders will take 10 days training aimed at empowering them for better leadership and decision-making positions in government institutions.

Speaking at the opening of the program, President Sahlework Zewde said the government is committed to empowering women for equal participation and benefit in leadership and decision-making thereby contributing for the overall development of the country.

The president, who underscored the significance of empowering women in decision-making positions at all levels, stated that the government has set a goal to achieve 50 percent female participation in leadership and decision-making positions at all levels of government institutions  in ten years.

She stressed that the reform has to be led with equal participation and benefit of women and men to eradicate poverty and conflict.

“Women can play unique role in peace and democracy building as well as overall development of the country. The contribution of women is critical for building strong and sustainable democracy.”

The government’s commitment to ensure gender parity should be institutionalized and supported by all stakeholders, President Sahlework noted.

UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, Letty Chiwara on her part lauded the timely and critical training program for women in leadership and acknowledged the government’s efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership and decision-making positions.  

“We are in a faith for Ethiopia where women’s leadership is front and center for all the leadership of your government and we celebrate and appreciate the fact that we are beginning to see more women in senior leadership positions and particularly to have a female president,” she said.

Ethiopia has achieved 42 percent women participation in parliament and more than 30 percent each for women’s leadership at ministerial and state minister levels after the general election.

However, the representative stated that “there are still lots of work to be done because at the regional level, the statistics are very low. But also even at the federal, once you move from state minister level to senior leadership positions within the civil service. And even within the civil society and private sector, the statistics are very worrisome. We still need many more women in leadership positions.”

Chiwara acknowledged the continued effort of the Government of Ethiopia to increase women’s participation in leadership and decision-making, adding that the training is timely and critical to empower women in leadership.

According to the UN Women representative, such initiatives that expand the pool of able and inspired women leaders will not only significantly contribute to increase the numbers, but it also is looking at the effective role that women as leaders play.

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