Adina is a 24-year-old recent university graduate. For the past four years she has learned and worked toward achieving her goal of going abroad for a Master’s degree. This past week she received word from two American universities that she had been accepted into their program. For her, watching as thousands marched for women’s rights, she believes she can return to the East African country even stronger in the years to come.

“International Women’s Day and other events are always something special to me because as a woman I get to see all the great people out there trying to make a difference,” she told “Women deserve to be heard and listened to, so these events, while some men will look down upon them, are inspiring and amazing for us young people who want to make change for our country and for our world.”

Ethiopia did not have a large celebration in March to mark International Women’s Day, but women were still out in force, like Adina, to show they would not be silenced and that their voices are important for the future of Ethiopian society.

“I respect so many women who speak out. It is something that takes courage and maybe one day I will be like them,” she added.

In the capital, Addis Ababa, the African Union celebrated the day with the AU Commission (AUC) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma calling for more work towards the empowerment of women in Africa.

“The emancipation of women is a responsibility for all humanity,” she said during the commemoration of the day at the African Union Headquarters attended by AU representatives, the international community, civil society, private sector and AU staff.

Dlamini-Zuma invited guests to exchange views on the theme selected by the AU for the occasion: “Vision of the African Women on Pan Africanism and Renaissance.”

Adina and her group of friends said they gathered together to watch the events throughout the world, saying it was inspiring to see that women can and are mobilizing toward creating greater change for women’s rights and empowerment.

“It is special to see women come together to speak for what is right. I know that I can be that person in the future and to watch the great speeches everywhere, I feel proud to be a woman,” she added.



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