Updated: Tuesday 10 March 2015

COWASH sponsored International Women’s Day Marked

Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) celebrated the International Women’s Day here in Addis Ababa on 5 March 2015. The event which was attended by more than 500 participants who were led by H.E. Wondimu Takile and H.E. Kebede Gerba, state ministers.) Women’s and Youth Affairs Directorate at the MoWIE and Community-led Accelerated WASH (COWASH) were responsible for the organization of the event.

H.E. Wondimu who officially opened the celebration underscored the importance of active involvement of women in all walks of life. “Any political, economic and social development efforts would not come to fruition without the active participation of women,” says Wondimu. Ms. Lakech Haile, Director of the Women’s and Youth Affairs Directorate, stated that Government of Ethiopia has made a huge stride in addressing the challenges that undermined the women’s role in socio-political sector. However, she believes there is a long way ahead in ensuring women empowerment; particularly as violence against women is still rampant in Ethiopia.

An eventful ceremony which was celebrated for 39th time nationally with a theme- ‘empowering women: Empowering the community, was also packed with experience sharing session for which Genete Tadesse was selected. Mrs. Genete, a mother of four, was used to struggle to make ends meet with that meagre salary of her husband before she decided to engage in a small business.  In 2005, Genet started a fuel saving stove business with only 2000 Birr- of borrowed money.  The business that was started with 2000 Birr has now grew to become a 3.5 Million Birr company. Genet who owes her creditor a lot of respect attributes her success to 'determination and perseverance.'  

The women’s day which the ministry marked three days earlier than the International Women’s Day, traditionally observed on March 8, was also full of award giving ceremonies. Best performing women from the ministry and subsequent directorates were given rewards ranging from certificates to trophies. A drama that aims to raise the awareness of the participants about rural water supply using CMP approach and its implications in empowering women was also part of the celebration.

It is to be recalled that this year's International Women's Day is marked for 104th times globally with the theme 'Empowering Women, empowering Humanity: Picture it!". "When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all," says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for International Women's Day 2015.