Empowering Ethiopian women: Key to successful National Dialogue

It is clear that holding successful national dialogue is of critical importance for any country to address major fault lines, arrest differences, find amicable solutions and achieve national consensus.

With this same intention, the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission has been carrying out a number of important activities that are fundamental to hold successful negotiation and discussion forums among various segments of the society and key actors creating national consensus by identifying and addressing the longstanding inconveniences and disagreements.

Accordingly, the Commission is currently holding wide-ranging forums with various stakeholders and the general public to let participants elect their representatives who are engaged in agenda gathering and identification processes then after moving to the negotiation and discussion forums.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Women’s Federation has announced that several efforts are being made to increase the participation of women in the national dialogue process.

According to Acting President of the Federation, Askale Lemma, a number of activities, including raising the awareness of women about the issue, are being made so that women’s participation in the national dialogue process increases meaningfully.

As the Acting President told ENA, women empowerment works are being carried out to enhance the involvement of women not only as participants in the national dialogue processes; but also to enable them play key roles so that issues related to women can get due attention.

To this end, awareness raising activities are ongoing to sensitize women’s organizations at all levels, from the federal to woreda levels by doing so to advocate for change.

In this regard, Ethiopian women’s organizations that are operating in various parts of the country, especially in Dire Dawa, Oromia, Harari, Sidama, Southwest Ethiopia Peoples’ and Somali states as well as other areas, are working in cooperation with the Federation, Askale added.

Stating that women from all levels of the federation have been selected to partake at the dialogue as moderators in the dialogue process and notifying the Commission, Askale said: “we are working hard to amplify women’s agenda.”

According to the Acting President, it is women who will benefit the most from the National Dialogue; thus, the works that have started to make the national dialogue a success will be further strengthened.

Oromia Women’s Federation Vice President Etsgenet Haile on her part said that they are actively working to make women’s agenda be better heard and put women’s agenda a priority in the national dialogue. To this effect, sufficient awareness raising works have been carried out in the State through organizing women’s organizations into seven clusters. What is more, they are working closely with the National Dialogue Commission in the process of identifying partners and participants.

Dire Dawa City Administration Women’s Association President Iftu Abbas also stated that women are the most prone to conflicts and disputes. They are the ones who are affected ruthlessly during wars. “Thus, we, women, should actively participate in the National Dialogue process to ensure lasting peace,” she said.

She said that various activities are being done by the administration so that women can understand the purpose and goal of the national consultation properly and become active participants.

According to her, women should have an active role in peace building activities and should be active participant of the process. She also noted that several activities are being carried out to ensure women`s awareness about the National Dialogue.

Ethiopia has witnessed the active participation of women in the National Dialogue process, as they strive to contribute to peace building and the development of their country.

Various sources are indicating that women activists in Ethiopia have been advocating for their meaningful inclusion in the dialogue processes, recognizing the importance of their perspectives and experiences in shaping a more inclusive and sustainable future.

One significant initiative that supports Ethiopian women in their efforts to foster meaningful participation in the country’s dialogue processes is the project aimed at promoting the inclusion of women. This project recognizes the need to address the political, security, economic, and socio-cultural barriers that women face in Ethiopia.

It is important to acknowledge that Ethiopian women face various challenges in their pursuit of active participation in the national dialogue process. However, despite these obstacles, women in Ethiopia have shown resilience and determination in advocating for their rights and contributing to the dialogue process.

By empowering women and providing them with the necessary resources and platforms, this project aims to amplify their voices and ensure their active involvement in decision-making processes.

In 2022, Ethiopia held its first-ever national dialogue, which aimed to address historical and present issues faced by the country. This dialogue provided a critical platform for exploring the opportunities and challenges of inclusive dialogue processes. Ethiopian women actively participated in this dialogue, sharing their perspectives, concerns, and recommendations for a more inclusive and peaceful society.

The role of Ethiopian women in the national dialogue process is crucial for achieving sustainable peace and development. Their participation brings diverse perspectives, experiences, and solutions to the table, enriching the dialogue and ensuring that the voices of all segments of society are heard. By recognizing and addressing the barriers faced by women, Ethiopia can create an environment that promotes gender equality, inclusivity, and social progress.

Indeed, the National Dialogue process in Ethiopia holds immense significance in addressing the country’s complex challenges and fostering sustainable peace and development. Within this critical process, the participation of Ethiopian women is essential to ensure that the dialogue achieves the expected outcomes and leads to lasting positive change.

To ensure the meaningful participation of Ethiopian women in the national dialogue process, it is essential to address the barriers that hinder their engagement. These barriers may include social norms, cultural practices, lack of access to resources, and limited representation in decision-making bodies. By creating an enabling environment that empowers women to participate actively and meaningfully, Ethiopia can unlock the full potential of its female population in shaping a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Without the active involvement of women, the national dialogue may fall short of its potential to address the diverse needs and perspectives of the Ethiopian population. Ethiopian women bring unique insights, experiences, and priorities to the national dialogue table, enriching the discussions and shaping policies that are inclusive and responsive to the needs of all citizens.

Ethiopian women play a significant role in the National Dialogue process. Their active participation and advocacy for meaningful inclusion contribute to the development of inclusive policies, strategies, and solutions. By empowering women and addressing the challenges they face, Ethiopia can harness the full potential of its female population and build a more peaceful and prosperous future for all its citizens.



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