Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to attend the Africa Union Summit in Ethiopia

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 24 – 28 January to attend the Ninth African Union (AU) Gender Pre-Summit, an annual event to take stock on progress on gender equality in the continent, and to lead the pre-CSW61 Africa Regional consultations.

The Gender Pre-Summit, on 24-25 January, will gather African ministers responsible for gender and women’s affairs, civil society organizations, regional organizations, UN agencies and other AU organs and will deliver concrete commitments to continue promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of the 2017 AU Declaration. Bringing young women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship to the spotlight, the Executive Director will issue the closing statement on the theme of the AU Summit, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in the Youth.”

On 26 and 27 January, the Executive Director will address African Ministers of Gender, civil society and development partners, to support national coordination and align positions prior to the CSW61 Session taking place in New York in March. Building on the positive experience of previous regional pre-CSW consultations, the Executive Director will garner political and strategic commitments from the Ministers on the CSW61 theme, “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work”.

During the visit, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will also hold a dialogue with African young women to share with them UN Women’s vision and seek their ideas on how to best address the specific challenges of young women in Africa. The Executive Director will officially launch a digital platform for the regional project “African Women Changing the Narrative: Our Story!”. The platform, supported by the Austrian Development Agency, showcases the positive and catalytic impact of African women, serves as a critical source of information on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the African continent.

Another highlight of her visit will be the tour of the Ethiopia Innovation Hub at the Ethiopia Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), where she will have discussions with female civil engineering students.

The Executive Director will have bilateral meetings with African Ministers, including with the recently appointed Ethiopia Minister of Gender, Demitu Hambisa Bonsa, and with key donors, in a dialogue co-hosted by the Danish Ministry of Gender.

Highlights of UN Women’s work in Ethiopia

Survivors of violence find hope in shelters in Ethiopia

A survivor at Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD) with her child. Photo: Womankind Worldwide/Maheder Tadese

In 2015, UN Women Ethiopia Country Office partnered with the Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD) to establish the largest shelter in the country in Oromia region, as part of the ‘Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls in Ethiopia’ programme. More»

Community conversations in Ethiopia prevents exploitative migration

Meliya Gumi (front left) contributes ideas on how to prevent irregular migration at one of the Community Conversation sessions in her village. Photo: UN Women/Fikerte Abebe.

Lack of economic resources and opportunities are driving Ethiopia’s young women to migrate, often through illegal brokers, as domestic workers in the Gulf countries. They face risks of exploitation, trafficking, poor working conditions and sexual harassment in the destination countries. A programme by UN Women and ILO has initiated ‘Community Conversations’ to ensure safe migration, and raise awareness about the Domestic Workers Convention. More»

Religious leaders at the forefront of ending gender-based violence in Ethiopia

Religious leaders attending training in Mertolemariam town in February 2016. Photo: EOC

At the end of the training conducted by UN Women, religious leaders developed a 13-point call for action to end harmful traditional practices and gender-based violence in the region, including rejecting violence against women, child marriage and the practice of Female Genital Mutilation. They are now preaching to prevent such violence in their congregations. More»

Loans and energy-saving technology transform lives in rural Ethiopia

Kimiyaa Umar showing her energy-saving cooking stove that her group assembles and sells. Photo: UN Women/Fikerte Abebe

A joint programme in Ethiopia brings together six UN Agencies to help women save and invest in energy-saving cooking stove technology cooperatives. More»