Focus (59)

If you missed the June 30th seminar in the Dearth of Women in Leadership in Ethiopia Seminar Series, then check out the session video.

Saturday, 01 July 2017 07:30

History of the Women’s Rights Movement


Living the Legacy: The Women’s Rights Movement (1848-1998)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” That was Margaret Mead’s conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person. These beliefs about how life should and must be lived were once considered outlandish by many. But these beliefs were fervently held by visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across U.S. society.

Ethiopia is the 8th largest livestock in the world, and the second largest in Africa. Thus Ethiopia has naturally developed its leather industry in the past decades, mostly through large exports of raw skins. In 2008, the government implemented a 150 percent export tax on semi-processed wet blue in order to encourage the development of its leather industry, and capture a larger part of the added value of the sector. This was the first step of an integrated leather industry largely based on the livestock annuity. The transformation industry grew, providing jobs and rising the margin of the country on the leather. 

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 06:34

AWiB May Forum 2017

AWiB’s annual Professional & Self Development May Forum will be held on May 25th, 2017 at UNCC

This year’s theme is “Strategic Leadership: Getting where you want to Be”

Drop of Water (DoW), previously known as Help for a Drop of Water (HFDW), is a legally registered, nongovernmental, organization established by a group of seven female Mekelle University alumni students engaged in humanitarian-oriented projects. The women were inspired to form a humanitarian organization after seeing the fruitful efforts of REST (Relief Society of Tigray), which had made a lot of changes in supplying water technologies in rural communities of Tigray.

These young, passionate and innovative women achieved what others deemed impossible. With their persistence and relentless hard work, they managed to construct twenty-three water points, which are providing clean water services for more than 20,000 rural Enderta and Hentalo Wajertae provinces’ families.  Constantly motivating and inspiring each other and other youths in the field of development, these female alumni students have proven to be driven, committed and dedicated with ambitions to foster increased engagement of more youth students in the future. 

Currently, DoW has achieved remarkable results on the implementation of the country’s Water Safety Plan (WSP), in the Enderta Woreda of The Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia. WSP is a pilot project aimed at small communities’ water supplies contributing immensely on the sustainability of water schemes in the country. 


According to PwC, only 30% of heads of organizations are confident they will have the talent to grow their organizations (PwC, Trends in Human Capital, 2012). In addition, research shows that good leaders create three times more economic value for their organizations than ‘not-so-good’ leaders, and extraordinary leaders create significantly more economic value than all the rest (Zenge and Fulkmen).

It is the influence of the above facts, and a tangible issue around leadership sustainability to be solved, that at the end of 2015, AWiB embarked on an intentional journey of looking for, and securing dynamic leaders to take on leadership roles for the year 2017 and beyond.

It is with the spirit of learning that some of the details of the rationale, process,outcome and lessons of such leadership scouting and development activities, happening throughout 2016, are shared here, with the hope of eliciting feedback and input from like-minded teams, equally committed to sustainable futures in organizations, through the development of its leaders and contributors.

When Wzo. Tsehai Röschli extended her generous hands to children orphaned by the famine in mid 80s, she never expected to permanently change the lives of tens of thousands of people for the better and impacted even more. Selam Children’s Village, an establishment initially planned to shelter about 20 children, became home for hundreds, school for tens of thousands and support for hundreds of thousands in the community in its 30 years existence.

Selam Children’s Village (SCV) is a not-for-profit and non-governmental faith based organization operates with a vision to enable orphans and destitute community children to improve their lives and holistically develop as self-sufficient citizens by providing food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education and vocational trainings. SCV has also broaden its assistance to underprivileged community members living around its premises through educational, medical, social and economic assistance.

Ever since its establishment in 1986, 804 children have called SCV home, over 60,000 students havelearnt in Selam’s kindergarten, primary and high schools and hundreds of thousands of people benefited from SCV’s sustainable social and economic assistance.  

When doing the research for this article, I encountered the usual problems of not finding adequate materials to provide the background. Moreover, I encountered what I can only described as a thinly veiled disdain for feminism in general. All the articles and books I came across were either a reaction to a specific horrific incident that happened to women in Ethiopia like Hana Lelango's gang rape, the small number of publicized acid attack cases and so forth, or they are criticizing that feminism is destroying the Ethiopian culture. However, I ran into an article that asked the question all of as needed to hear the answer to. This author writes: 

“Feminist leadership is a matter of grave concern in Ethiopia where educated women appear to be obliged to fight individual battles to sustain their own agendas on the emancipation of women. Being manipulated by the government-led ‘woman question’ rhetoric, many fail to come to terms with charting such an independent discourse. What is holding them back? Could it be their ideological make-up that is influenced by state and religious indoctrination? Or perhaps their own shortcomings where many fail to comprehend what feminist leadership is all about?”

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AWiB would like to proudly acknowledge its partners for the year.