Celebrating International Women’s day 2021


Celebrating International Women’s day 2021


International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March every year around the world. LWF head office staff celebrated this day by discussing topics on what International Women’s Day is, why it is celebrated, challenges women face, and doing activities that support equality.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first International Women’s Day (IWD) gathering in 1911. The day is not a country, group, or organization-specific and belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. International Women's Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action.

The global celebration of international women’s day is a time for reflection of how far women have come, advocacy for what is still needed, and action to continue breaking down barriers.

The theme for this year International Women’s Day was #We Choose to Challenge. "We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women's achievements.”  Will inspire individuals to challenge biases, question stereotypes, and celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

There was an activity where participants were asked to divide into two groups. One would write the privileges men have that women don’t, and the other group would write the reverse. A representative from each group presented the lists of privileges they wrote, and it turned out the group writing men’s privilege had more points to write. On contrary, the group writing women's privilege had less to write thus focusing on their capacities instead. The activity has helped show why advocacy is needed and how much more we as a society, nation, and world have to do to bring gender equality. 

We had a book launching by Christel Ahrens. She said “from West Africa men says listen to the stories people tell each other. Stories are important and change the stories people tell each other and it will change the nation” that’s why she wrote a book together with Ebise Ashana which are stories of successful women in Ethiopia. The title of the book she wrote is “In Memory of them” which is a story of women who were Christians, educated, very strong, very equal, and who their lives were witnessing to Jesus because they experience Jesus as their liberator and faith. There was also a short book that was a biography of three women who were slaves. They were educated by people in Sweden. In the end, one of them become a Bible translator among the men. Another book is written in Amharic and it was a story of nine women in Addis Ababa who have done amazing jobs in church context but benefiting the whole society. The book includes different case stories one of which is about the first female economist in Ethiopia, a story of musicians, and many others. Last but not least was a book in Afan Oromo which is a story of sixteen women from different areas who have contributed enormous ways to their society. Christel then concluded that there are many strong women in Ethiopia that we can look up to.

We celebrated International Women’s Day together with Nesebrak Worldwide. They work on social awareness for the advancement in the safety and well-being of women in the Habesha community. Their main objective is focused on encouraging, protecting, and uplifting Black Women in the Habesha community to achieve the futures they deserve. LWF recognize and support new upcoming organization working towards empowering women. LWF supported by buying their displayed T-shirt for all participants of the event since they were donating the money to Tigray women who have faced different challenges following the war.

LWF also believes in empowering the young generation and thus included outstanding students (one male and 3 female students which one is visually impaired) from Addis Ababa University to the March 8 Event.  The students presented and discussed Gender-Based Violence around campus. It was stated that the perpetrators were male students and staff members. They even share a true case story based on Gender-Based Violence that happened between a lecture and a female student. The student chose to stay silent because of the fear that no one would listen. This marked the need to work more on Gender-Based Violence in schools, universities, Institutions, etc…. by providing training, creating awareness, advocacy, and empowering women as much as possible. 

Based on a short documentary film (ስራ የላትም) Mrs. Yordanos Asnake opened a free discussion. Participants reacted to the documentary film and shared their opinions on what they saw. In the end, it was concluded that being a housewife is as much as important as office work if not even harder. The presentation was a wake-up call to appreciate all women who are housewives.

At last, a closing speech was given by Hermela Getachew (Junior Program Officer at LWF) “we should all appreciate how far women came, identify what is still needed, and plan towards achieving gender equality. Stand against gender Based Violence regardless of victim’s identity, background, ethnicity, religion and political preferences.” We Choose to Challenge.