WOMEN OF POWER IN ETHIOPIAN
LEGEND AND HISTORY
"Highly placed Ethiopian women, who combined worldliness, politics and religion are seen again and again in Ethiopian history.
Rita Pankhurst recalls how women have been as important and influential as any man."
Lucy, alias Dinknesh - literally "you are lovely" - is the first woman in Ethiopian history, indeed in the history of the world. She was a dainty little person, an intrepid walker who came down from the trees some three million years ago in the Afar region of eastern Ethiopia. An American - French team of physical anthropologists led by Donald C. Johanson found 40 per cent of her skeleton in 1974, and named her Lucy after the Beatles song - though her Ethiopian descendants prefer to call her Dinknesh. The extent of her influence or power will forever remain a mystery.
Whereas Lucy's Fossilised bones are real nothing is known of her story. But when it comes to the Queen of Sheba there is a great story yet no concrete evidence to support it. Do not deny her existence in Ethiopia, however.
One eminent Ethiopian historian, who referred to her at a public lecture in Addis Ababa as a legendary figure, was soon in trouble with the indignant audience.
According to the Ethiopian national epic, Kabra Negast , compiled in the 14th century, Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, who visited King Solomon in the Old Testament times, came from Tigre in Northern Ethiopia. She made the arduous journey across the desert and the Red Sea with her retinue and rich gifts to learn wisdom from the great king. Later, he beguiled her into sleeping with him and on her return, she gave birth to a son, Menelik the First. According to legend he was the founder of the Ethiopian Solomonic dynasty, which supposedly ended only with the deposition of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.
In Ethiopia it was considered quite natural that a woman should have held supreme power. Here was a woman to whom courage and endurance were attributed, who had intellectual and spiritual interests, and was willing to endure hardship in search of knowledge.
Two thousand years later, probably in the 10th century AD another legendary queen took the stage in Ethiopia. Although something of the Aksumite Empire she overthrew is known, from the inscriptions and monuments left behind, and from observations of foreign traders, there little more authentic information about her than about Makeda. There is evidence only that a rebellious queen led the forces which destroyed the old Christian order. Variously referred to as Gudit, Gwedit, Yodit, Judith, and as "Isat" - Amharic for fire - she was believed to be the founder of the Zagwe dynasty which ruled for several hundred years.
Alleged by some to have followed an indigenous religion, and by others to have been of Jewish faith, she was, all agree, a fearsome warrior who led her troops to victory over the Christian Aksumites. Whether real or legendary, she remains an impressive example of a woman military leader who wielded power.
By Rita Pankhurst
You Have The Power to Change a Women's Life.
Women’s empowerment: Education as a tool for achieving equality
Investing in women’s and girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty.
As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals approaches, a number of processes are under way among UN Member States, the UN system, academia, policymakers and civil society to reflect on the post-2015 development framework.
A growing number of states are reviewing and prioritizing the lessons learned that need to be incorporated into the post-2015 framework. The most recent (2012) Millennium Development Goals Report revealed that while there was notable progress in some gender equality dimensions there remains much to be done in every country, at every level, to achieve equality and women’s empowerment.
Empowerment means moving from enforced powerlessness to a position of power. Education is an essential means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to fully participate in the development process. Sustainable development is only possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunities to reach their potential.
Women and girls experience multiple and intersecting inequalities.
Structural barriers in the economic, social, political and environmental spheres produce and reinforce these inequalities. Obstacles to women’s economic and political empowerment, and violence against women and girls, are barriers to sustainable development and the achievement of human rights, gender equality, justice and peace.
Across much of the world, either by law or custom, women are still denied the right to own land or inherit property, obtain access to credit, attend school, earn income and progress in their profession free from job discrimination.
Women are significantly under-represented in decision-making at all levels.
While the economic benefits of educating girls are similar to those of educating boys, recent findings suggest the social benefits are greater.
Women have the potential to change their own economic status and that of their communities and countries in which they live yet usually women’s economic contributions are unrecognized, their work undervalued and their promise undernourished.
Unequal opportunities between women and men hamper women’s ability to lift themselves from poverty and secure improved options to improve their lives. Education is the most powerful instrument for changing women’s position in society.
Investing in women’s and girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty.
In line with the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives established by the international community, MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, consistently promotes the empowerment of women, considering women’s education a critical component of development policy and planning, and central to sustainable development.
Following important changes in the international development landscape in recent years MASHAV adopted a dual approach to development: We engage in active development policy dialogues and development diplomacy, thus contributing to and shaping policy at a higher, multilateral level.
And, through professional programs, we maintain an active and effective presence at the field level.
One of MASHAV’s earliest affiliate training institutions, The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC), has addressed the connection between gender, poverty reduction and sustainable development for over five decades.
MCTC places education at the core of women’s ability to contribute to all activities, working to enhance knowledge, competency and skills, including in the development process and in their contributions to civil society.
Guided by this mindset, MASHAV, together with MCTC, the UN Development Program and UN Women is organizing the 28th International Conference for Women Leaders on “The Post-2015 and Sustainable Development Goals Agenda: Ensuring the Centrality of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Next Framework.”
This November, senior women and men from the public and associative sectors – ministers, members of parliaments, heads of women’s associations, representatives of international organizations and representatives of the judicial, business and academic sectors – will convene in Haifa to discuss progress achieved and gaps remaining in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals from a gender perspective. We will highlight lessons learned and best practices in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Education is important for everyone, but it is a critical area of empowerment for girls and women. This is not only because education is an entry point to opportunity but also because women’s educational achievements have positive ripple effects within the family and across generations.
Education is much more than reading and writing. It is an essential investment countries make for their futures, a crucial factor in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development.
The author, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Daniel Carmon, is head of MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
My mother Askale Abedi Mamo receiving honorable award from Etege Ege Tebebe School from King Haile Selassie, 1962. My greatest inspiration for empowering women is taken from my mother. She taught all of our house keepers how to read and write.Her Education is critical to eliminate Oppression.
Ethiopian Women's organization wants to promote the economic social and legal rights of women and to that end, to assist them to secure full protection of their rights under Constitution of the federal Democratic Republic of USA and other International human rights Conventions.
We bring Ethiopian Women together in the community. Meetings are held once in a month and provide women an outlet to get to know each other and fellowship together. We also recognize member's birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrate holidays together. The organization is there to help Ethiopian Women in all facets.
The organization has helped many women find jobs, shelter, transportation, food, and emotional assistance. We also put our efforts into helping women who are new to America, and who are not adapted to the new culture. We help them learn English and the proper skills to adjust to a new environment.
Ethiopian Women's Organization 4 All Women
Reputation... “Your reputation is in the hands of others. That's what the reputation is. You can't control that. The only thing you can control is your character.” ― Wayne W. Dyer
The great gift of the human imagination is that it has no limits or ending.
Ethiopian Women's organization is dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination, promoting equality, peace and justice. By empowering women, it assists with access to education, employment and public services. Also committed, to ease the transition and overcome cultural and language barrier challenges.
The History of women and gender in Ethiopia:
Hartford Web Publishing is not the author of the documents in World History Archives and does not presume to validate their accuracy or authenticity nor to release their copyright.
The social history in general of Ethiopia
Bride Price, Female Mutilation Still Common In EthiopiaBy Yemisrach Benalfew, IPS, 13 July 1999.
The tradition bride sales, called 'gurgura,' is widely practiced among Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo. Traditional culture victimizes women. 30.7 percent of Ethiopia's population is against FGM, 74.7 percent oppose early marriage and 85.3 percent against abduction.The Plight of women—A Call for a change!By Tewedj Kebede, The Reporter (Addis Ababa), 8 December 1999.
Women are the major victims of many harmful cultural practices. Abduction, rape and abortion were not considered to be serious problems in our country, but, especially in rural areas, as a must. Although the law forbids them, they are practiced by society.Rural Ethiopian Women Suffer From Traditional PracticesBy Yohannes Ruphael, Panafrican News Agency, 19 December 2000.
Ethiopian rural women are obliged to travel long distances every day to fetch water from wells, and this exposes them to virulent abductors and rapists. Abductors get away with their crimes because of the customary mediations of community elders.Women Rally To Demand Protection Of Their RightsPanafrican News Agency (Dakar), 10 February 2001.
The women marched to parliament building and the nearby council of state to deliver petitions to legislators and the Prime Minister’s office. They chanted slogans and carried placards exhorting the protection of women’s rights.Irin Focus On Trafficking Of WomenUN Integrated Regional Information Network (Nairobi), 28 February 2001. A new study by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has highlighted the widespread human rights abuses suffered by Ethiopian women trafficked to Arab countries.
Most are single females who find work in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, who find a lack of employment opportunities in Ethiopia.Ethiopian women marry later and divorce more, CBS data showEthiopian women in Israel tend to marry later and get divorced more frequently than the average Jewish Israeli, according to data the Central Bureau of Statistics released this week.The median marriage age for Ethiopian Jewish women is 26.6, 0.8 years higher than for Jewish women as a whole. And 15 marriages out of every 1,000 end in divorce for Ethiopians, compared with 9 in 1,000 for all Jewish marriages.Related:MK Cohen: State failed to absorb Ethiopian olimGov’t celebrates ‘end’ of Ethiopian aliya with arrival of 450 immigrantsThe vast array of data, released as the Ethiopian community marks the holiday of Sigd, provides a snapshot of family life, education and economic status for the 131,400 Ethiopians living in the country.
The bureau’s report reflects data collected over the past two years.While the report provides a wide swath of disparate pieces of data — for example, 85 percent of Ethiopian athletes play soccer, as opposed to any other sport — the information about the roles of women and educational achievement were particularly surprising, two experts on immigrant demographics told The Jerusalem Post.In particular, Ethiopian women marrying later represents a “major demographic shift,” according to Steven Kaplan, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an expert on Ethiopian communities.
The average age of marriage for Ethiopian Israeli women, 26.6 years, is especially significant because of marriage trends in Ethiopia.“That’s a decade or more different from what the pattern was historically in Ethiopia,” he told the Post. “In traditional Ethiopian society, there were no young single women.”This shifting trend is closely related to changes in educational attainment for Ethiopian women, said Shalva Weil, a senior researcher at the Hebrew University’s Research Institute for Innovation in Education who specializes in Ethiopian immigration.Indeed, women represent 66.8% of Ethiopian undergraduates, while women represent 56.5% of all undergraduates in the country.Kaplan said a second reason for a later marriage age is that “the parents have much less say over when the young people get married.”Taken together, these trends have large demographic implications, because women who marry older have smaller families, Kaplan said.Separately, the bureau’s data reveal that school dropout rates among Ethiopians are slightly lower than for all Jewish students — 1.6% per year compared to 1.9% — which Kaplan said is a “major achievement” in closing educational disparities.Still, Ethiopian students pass secondary school matriculation exams at a rate almost 20 percentage points below the average.
At home, Ethiopian households spend 33% less the average household and spend a larger proportion of their money on food, housing and furniture than the general population.Geographically, the bureau reported that the most Ethiopians — 10,700 people — live in Netanya, while the city with the largest percentage of Ethiopians is Kiryat Malachi, which had an Ethiopian man run for mayor for the first time this year.
Important Dates in Women’s History
"I shall be honored until my dying breath at being an activist on the playing field of equal opportunity."Billy Jean King, 1999Women have achieved a great deal through hard work and perseverance. We celebrate their achievements with these important dates. As we learn more this list will grow.
1777 - Women lose the right to vote in New York
1780 - Women lose the right to vote in Massachusetts
1784 - Women lose the right to vote in New Hampshire
1807 - Women lose the right to vote in New Jersey
1837 - Mount Holyoke College is founded for women
1847 – Maria Mitchell, first American woman astronomer discovers a new comet
1848 – first Women’s rights convention held in New York
1850 - Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded
1861 – Julia Ward Howe write the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
1864 – Sojourner Truth visits President Lincoln at the White House
1871 - Smith College is founded
1872 - Susan B. Anthony is arrested for attempting to vote
1872 - Victoria Woodhull was selected by the Equal Rights Party to be its candidate in the
1872 Presidential election
1881 – Clara Barton established the American Red Cross
1891 - 1893 Lydia Lilluokalani reigns as Queen of Hawaii
1893 – New Zealand women won the right to vote
1894 - Johns Hopkins Medical School admits women
1904 – Helen Keller graduates from Radcliffe
1910 - Women are allowed to vote in Washington
1911 - Women are allowed to vote in California
1912 - Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona allow women the right to vote
1912 – Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) founded in America
1917 – Jeannette Rankin first woman to be elected to the US Congress
1917 - Women picked the White House demanding the right to vote
1920 – The 19th Amendment is ratified giving United States women the right to vote
1932 - Frances Perkins is appointed Secretary of Labor becoming the first woman to be appointed to the Cabinet
1932 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate
1940 - Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was elected to the Senate in
1948 becoming the first woman to be elected to serve in both houses.
1946 – Eleanor Roosevelt elected Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Commission
1964 - Margaret Chase Smith of Maine became the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for the U.S. Presidency at a major party's convention.
1966 - National Organization for Women is founded
1968 – Shirley Chisholm is first African American woman elected to Congress
1969 - National Women's Hall of Fame is created in Seneca Falls, NY
1972 - Shirley Chisholm became the first woman and the first African-American to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States
1972 - Title IX of the Higher Education Act is approved opening doors for women athletes
1972 – Gloria Steinem founds Ms. Magazine
1973 – Barbara Jordan becomes the first African American woman from a southern state to serve in the Congress
1981- Congress approves a resolution creating Women's History Week
1981 - Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in as the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court
1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first woman to fly in space
1984 - Geraldine Ferraro is nominated as the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major political party
1987 - Women's History Week is expanded when March becomes Women's History Month
1988 - Jackie Joyner Kersee wins two Olympic Gold medals
1990 - Oprah Winfrey becomes first woman to own an produce her own syndicated television show
1993 – Dr. Jocelyn Elders becomes U.S. Surgeon General
1993 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court
1994 - Violence Against Women Act is passed
1996 - Madeline Albright is appointed as the first woman Secretary of State
2000 - Hillary Clinton becomes first former first lady elected Senator
2004 - Sophia Coppola becomes the first American woman to be awarded an Academy Award for Best Director
Information retrieved from The National Women's History Project at www.nwhp.org.
Success... “Success is never on discount. Greatness is never on sale. Greatness is never half off! It's all or nothing! It's all day, every day! Greatness is never on discount!” ― Eric Thomas
International Women’s Day 2016!!
International Women’s day is many things – a cause for celebration, a reason to pause and re-evaluate, a remembrance, an inspiration, a time to honor loved and admired. On this day all over the world we consider both the steps forward that have been taken towards better lives for women and progress still required to be made.
Ethiopian Women Organization is dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination, promoting equality, peace, and justice. By empowering women, it assists with access to education, employment and public services. Also committed, to ease the transition and overcome cultural and language barrier challenges. We believe that women are critical development actors and can be powerful catalysts for social change. They play vital care- giving roles to children, the aged, and the disadvantaged. They are often the keepers of culture and the mediators during conflict.
International Women’s day for Peace and Freedom: Peace is the overflowing of communication, caring, giving, understanding, forgiveness and love. Peace: is no more violence, hate, greed, inhumanity. The ability to accept others who are different from ourselves, we the women across the world come together in unity, and bring peace to the world. International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. On this day all over the world we consider both the steps forward that have been taken towards better lives for women and the progress still required to be made. Issues affecting women’s health such as physical, sexual and psychological violence, low economic status, illiteracy, early marriage of young girls and female genital mutilation are some of the problems occurring daily in our societies. These increase women’s vulnerability and compromise the important role they play in their families, communities and the society at large.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, let us recommit ourselves, as the Ethiopian Women’s Organization for all Women, has been to do our utmost to advance gender equality, free of sexual and psychological violence, illiteracy and poverty. This International Women’s Day we are calling on every Woman (citizen), from Community leaders to volunteers, to make it happen. Together we can change this, because equality for women is progress for all.
The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
Welcome to Ethiopian Women's Organization 4 All Women
Ethiopian Woman's Organization has worked tirelessly to help those that have been abused, neglected and is in need of help and compassion.Please recognize all the women and men who dedicate their time and effort to help those who are less fortunate or in need for their efforts to help bring peace to someone's life.Please join us hand in hand to make a difference.
Attitude... “Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
Physicist, chemist, wife and mother of two, Marie Curie was a true renaissance woman. Her most famous achievement during her research into radioactivity was discovering the elements polonium and radium. In 1903, Curie became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and later on was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes and the first female professor at the University of Paris. Talk about breaking down stereotypes.
BY: ESTHER CARLSTONE
Ethiopian women's Organization For All Women
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