February 27, 2013
The first assembly of Ethiopian Women's Federation was held in Adama, in Oromia Regional State at the weekend. Speaking as the opening Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Demeke Mekonnen, noted the significant contribution women continue to have in the country's new phase of development and their significant role in the on-going efforts to maintain peace, speed up development and build democracy in Ethiopia.
He also noted the crucial role that women had played during the armed struggle that ousted the dictatorial Derg regime. He said the government had worked hard to increase participation of women in development activities and ensure their benefits in the last two decades. The Deputy Prime Minister also valued the memorable contribution of the late Prime Minister Meles in preparing the 'Women's Package' to help women play a leading role in decision-making and to prevent violence against them.
The Women's Federation President, Azeb Mesfin, said efforts by the government to empower women and enable them to participate in decision making were registering results. She stressed the need to undertake activities in an organized manner to further strengthen the efforts aimed at expanding the empowerment of women and called on all stakeholders to work in collaboration to reduce poverty, the main enemy of the country.
The Deputy President of the Regional State, Abdulaziz Mohammed, noted that a total of 1.5 million women in the Oromo Regional State were organized in associations to help deal with socio-economic problems.