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Championing Women’s Empowerment for Equal Opportunities and Benefits! 

PMC-Ethiopia Mar 27, 2024

International Women’s Day, originating from the grassroots movement of women workers in North America and Europe in the early 1900s, has grown into a global celebration of women’s rights and accomplishments. It all began in 1908, when female garment workers in New York City demanded better working conditions and political representation. The following year saw the establishment of National Women’s Day in Europe, setting the stage for an international celebration proposed by German communist activist, and advocator for women’s rights Clara Zetkin in 1910. 

Fast forward to 1945, and the United Nations Charter officially recognized gender equality as a foundational principle. By 1975, the United Nations formally acknowledged Women’s Day, later decreeing March 8 as an annual worldwide holiday to honor women’s contributions and advocate for gender equality.

Despite significant strides, women across the globe continue to encounter various obstacles, from gender-based violence to unequal access to education and leadership roles. Acknowledging these challenges, organizations like the Population Media Center have taken proactive steps to empower women in regions such as Ethiopia, combatting harmful practices like female genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual gender-based violation and the like.

Population Media Center Ethiopia has garnered support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, and other allied institutions, collaborating with relevant government bodies across multiple woredas. PMC is actively engaged in initiatives aimed at raising awareness and addressing issues such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual harassment, and other harmful practices through entertaining and educational radio programs, as well as establishing radio listening groups in various woredas.

Yalaleke Guzo

Yalaleke Guzo (“Unfinished Journey”) is an Ethiopia-based talk show produced by PMC. The talk show started in 2020 and will air through 2022 in the Amharic language. Yalaleke Guzo, along with PMC’s show Nekakat (“Cracked”), is contributing to the goal of the Ethiopian Government to achieve zero tolerance for FGM and child marriage by 2025. Each 30-minute episode addresses issues in a variety of ways including short stories, interviews, poems with music, health tips, short audio plays, and features.

Yenealem

In February 2012, PMC published the book Yenealem (“My World”) with real-life stories about violence against women. The stories were written by veteran and young writers from Ethiopia who were selected to travel to different regions and collect people’s stories. The jury selected the ten stories they felt were the most powerful. This book contributed to the Whole Society Strategy supporting the 2010-2011 project to address violence against women.

Through on-the-ground evaluations, Population Media Center Ethiopia has observed a significant shift in behavior among parents in regions like Afar and Somali, who have refrained from perpetuating harmful practices like female genital mutilation due to increased awareness of their harmful nature. This underscores the importance of education and awareness-raising efforts in combating harmful practices against women.

For over two decades, PMC has been at the forefront of efforts to promote women’s rights and address various social, economic, and health-related issues in Ethiopia’s diverse regions. In addition to radio programs, they distribute informative materials like books, booklets, and magazines to communities, disseminating messages focused on eradicating harmful practices.

PMC-Ethiopia Is Eliminating FGM and Child Marriage In Afar and Somali regions

This year’s theme, “Investing in Women: Accelerating Growth,” underscores the importance of dismantling barriers and fostering inclusive societies. Member countries are urged to take action, from safeguarding women’s human rights to ensuring access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Effectively addressing women’s issues requires collective action and collaboration. By empowering women economically, ensuring their health and well-being, and promoting environmental sustainability, we can pave the way for a brighter, more equitable future for all. Let International Women’s Day serve as a reminder of our ongoing commitment to gender equality and the necessity of unity in effecting meaningful change.