Economic empowerment of women
Tesfaye Lemma 01-06-17
The struggle to empower women should make its base on attitudinal changes. In changing the entire situation of the position of woman in a society, it is of paramount importance to watch out carefully backward practices that could retard women health and psychology. Such practices were rife in the previous regimes.
A lot of favorable conditions that benefited women have created. Women were suffering of miserable life. They faced both gender and class impositions. The situation has absolutely changed with in the aftermath of the fall of the dictatorial military rule in 1991. The Ethiopian Constitution has already guaranteed equal opportunity to women with the men.
The Ethiopian Constitution underlined that women have equal right with men in marriage. It also stated, “The historical legacy of inequality and discrimination suffered by women in Ethiopia taken into account, women, in order to remedy this legacy, are entitled to affirmative measures”.
The major objective 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.
The constitution also emphasized that women have the right to acquire, administer, control, use and transfer property.
The past twenty five years witnessed that women have got opportunities that would set them on an equal footing with men.
It was public secret that in the previous regimes, inequality between women and men was widely apparent in university classrooms, workplace, at homes and everywhere.
Since then, the lives of women and girls around the world have improved dramatically in many respects throughout the country. Now females are going to school more, living longer, getting better jobs, and acquiring legal rights and protections.
Every aspect of gender equality access to education, health, economic opportunities, voice within households and society has experienced a mixed pattern of change over the past twenty five years.
The rights and voice of all women has now ratified. However, do to the backward attitude in the society yet, in women have less say than men when it comes to decisions and resources in their households. Women are also much more likely to suffer domestic violence. The number of women participate in formal politics, especially at higher levels has increasing from time to time.
The government has been working hard to eliminate all kinds of barriers against women in all sectors or occupations in the country.
Recognizant of the significance of empowering women in all aspects: economically, politically and socially contributing to the development of the country and to create healthy society, the Ethiopian government has been working to empower women.
The efforts exerted so far to diminish gender differences in household and societal voice, policies need to address the combined influence of social norms and beliefs, women’s access to economic opportunities, the legal framework, and women’s education has registered an encouraging result.
As women’s economic empowerment is a prerequisite for sustainable development and pro- poor growth, the Ethiopian government has exerted efforts to enhance their economic empowerment. In agriculture, gender differences in productivity almost disappear as the government created equal access to land and productive inputs
Researches indicate that productivity differences between female-owned and male-owned businesses are almost narrowed the differences.
According to recent reports women are actively involved in all aspects of their society's life. They are both producers and procreators and they are also active participants in the social, political, and cultural activities of their communities.
In fact, economic development is unthinkable without the participation of women. In some economic sectors women even constitute a proportionally larger group of the labor force than men.
During the civil war Ethiopian women made a unique contribution, both as freedom fighters and as civilian supporters, to challenging and ousting the brutal and incompetent regime of the Derg, as well as during the famine, displacements, and drought conditions which accompanied it.
The Ethiopian constitution and the actions taken to enhance women’s beneficiary in the country brought a period of relief to them. They have been experiencing the benefits of their labor on an equal basis with men.
Past twenty five years witnessed that the government of Ethiopia, both the Transitional Government and the first elected Government in 1995, has given priority to the speeding up of equality between men and women.
Women’s demand to participate actively in national development and to exercise their right to enjoy its fruits is now receiving support in government and local communities.
The first priorities are to improve the level of income of women by facilitating opportunities and woman-friendly conditions in the workplace, to improve the health and nutrition of mothers and their children and to upgrade and improve their education.
The government also encourage favorable conditions for the formation of new women's associations, as well as to strengthen existing associations, so that women can have a hand in the resolution of their problems.
This Policy has formulated to focus on what the government ought to do for women, and what women must do for themselves through their own free associations, as well as to show the relationships between the two.
The Ethiopian government has also facilitated conditions conducive to the speeding up of equality between men and women so that women can participate in the political, social, and economic life of their country on equal terms with men, ensuring that their right to own property as well as their other human rights are respected and that they are not excluded from the enjoyment of the fruits of their labor.
The efforts include facilitating the necessary condition whereby rural women can have access to basic social services and to ways and means of lightening their workload.
The policy formulated by the Ethiopian government aimed to create appropriate structures within government offices and institutions to establish equitable and gender-sensitive public policies.
In fact, there are still various challenges to avoid hundred percent of the problems that women faced. Despite all those positive and encouraging activities, there are also more challenges in implementing the policy properly.
These could include lack of political commitment, legal support and institutional arrangement the bureaucratic resistance to accept the gender experts as equal partners and to the gender equitable integration of woman as subject of public policy.
However, recent reports indicated that the overall efforts to empower women in the past twenty five years have become so successful despite all these challenges. Therefore, May 28 witnessed a large number of empowered women.