Source: The Ethiopian Herald Nowadays, the lives of women and girls around the world have been improving dramatically in many respects. In developed and underdeveloped economies the rights of girls such as school enrolment have been growing. But, there is an urgency to narrow down the existing gender gaps. For instance, almost everywhere across the world, a large number of women earn less than men. Moreover, they have less opportunities to shape their lives and make decisions than men.
Taking into account the historical legacy of inequality and discrimination against women, the Ethiopian government introduced legislative and institutional measures to redress that legacy. Legal frameworks such as the FDRDE Constitution clearly state that in the enjoyment of rights and protections provided for women, women shall have equal rights with men. Plus, women have equal rights with men in marriage as prescribed by the Constitution. The purpose of such measures is to provide special attention to women so as to enable them to compete and participate on the basis of equality with men in political, social and economic life as well as in public and private institutions.
Indeed, the nation has recorded various victories in terms of ensuring gender equality. It is clear that one of the reasons for the establishment of the Ministry of Women,Youth and Children Affairs and other institutions is to ensure the respect of the rights and benefits of these section of societies realized. The participation of women in leadership and decision-making has increased to 38.8 per cent.
Nation has met the MDGs in primary school enrolment while improvement has been registered in secondary and higher education in terms of increasing the number of model girls. All these are commendable achievements and reflect the political commitment of the government in actual implementation of gender and social development programmes in all sectors to ensure the empowerment of women.
It is true that despite many successes in women empowerment, there are still issues to be addressed in all areas of life, ranging from the cultural, political to the economic ones. For example, women often work more than men, yet are paid less; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and women and girls are often are the ones that suffer the brunt of acute poverty.
Yes, gender equality could be realized but the gaps that surfaced in participation, payment must be narrowed down, parried and addressed in both public and private realms. Infringement of rights of women should be corrected in time. The justice system should be accelerated, the ownership of land, any kind of property possession approved by constitution should be well applied. All stakeholders should work earnestly to the jurisprudence of rights because it is the base for the development of the nation.
Women embraced in the task forces should get some kind of treatment during pregnancy and nursing. The focal experts of genders should set mechanisms how the nursing mothers could get a proper facility to care of children.
Adolescent girls and young women, married or unmarried, need special help in the pregnancy period. No single mother should die of giving birth. That is why the nation has distributed ambulances to each woredas of the nation which has so far helped to drop the unsafe delivery as well beef up clinical delivery. These should be sustained and further enhanced.
Learning institutions should work focusing on increasing school enrolment rate of women and girls with a view to meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) in this regard.
The leadership and the women themselves should further strengthen their efforts to meet the goals in line with the nation vision. Civil societies and stakeholders across the board are also duty-bound to ensure women's rights are respected and exercised.
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