HeForShe Launched in Ethiopia

Date: Thursday, December 31, 2015

Family Photo. Photo credits UN Women/Amanuel Girmay
Family Photo. Photo credit UN Women/Amanuel Girmay

On the evening of 28th December 2015, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia officially launched the HeforShe Movement in Ethiopia at the Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MOWCA) and in close collaboration and partnership with the UN Women Ethiopia Office and the UN Gender Theme Group.

The colorful event was attended by Senior Government Officials, Diplomats, the UN Resident Coordinator, the UN Country Team Heads of Agencies, and Representatives from the Civil Society Organizations, Representatives from the Private Sector, Representatives from Universities and the Academia, Religious and Community Leaders and the Media.
Video messege from Prime Minister, HE Hailemariam Desaleg, at the launch event
Video messege from Prime Minister, HE Hailemariam Desaleg, at the launch event

His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn officially launched the HeforShe in a very passionate and moving video message. In his message, the Prime Minister called all Ethiopian man to stand up for gender equality and “shield and protect (women) from violence”. He further went on to state that “Ethiopian Women’s issue is our issue….” He called for all “to stand up for the respect of Women’s rights and interests… (to) collaborate and work with women to ensure that they have the right to exercise, with all fairness and as anyone else with equal opportunities… to put efforts to safeguard and promote women empowerment.….”.

Video messege from Prime Minister, HE Hailemariam Desaleg, at the launch event. Photo credits : UN Women/Amanuel Girmay
State Minister of the FDR of Ethiopia, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, H.E Mme. Alemitu Oumt welcoming remarks during the launch of the HeForShe Movement in Ethiopia. Photo credit by: Amanuel Girmay

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Women and Children Affairs, H.E Mme Zenebu Tadesse, the State Minister, H.E Mme. Alemitu Oumt opened the ceremony with a clear and strong message that “boys and men involvement is essential for gender equality” and as a country “We can show progress and advancement in many sectors; but unless we end gender-based discrimination and violence, we can never become a great nation.”

The HeforShe launch leaned towards a family gathering ambiance, and the essence of family units resonated through in the Prime Minister’s address and that of the UN Women representative speech. H. E, P.M Mr. Desalegn reminded his fellow men that, as he has a beloved wife and three daughters, they too “have mothers, wives, daughters and sisters. Therefore, with the knowledge and belief that our women are the core body of our society, it is up to us to make sure that women have full support and full involvement of men to respect their equal rights”.