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A High Level advocacy event co-organized by the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, took place on the Human Rights Day on December 10. The event was held under the theme “Celebrating the Role of Women in Protecting and Advancing the Rights of Women and Girls,” bringing together all relevant stakeholders to dwell on the critical contribution of women in the protection and advancement of the rights of women and girls. The event was organized in connection with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

The High Level event formed part of a series of advocacy events aimed at stepping-up efforts at influencing public policy and eliminating discrimination and biases with the purpose of contributing to efforts at enabling women and girls to realize their full potential. The event highlighted the need to redouble efforts on realizing gender equality and human rights for women and girls, underlining the urgency to place issues of gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights high on the public and policy agendas as well as programming.

It was indicated that advancing gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, and the elimination of all kinds of violence against women, and broadening the choices of women to control their fertility thereby empowering them, are the cornerstones of development-related programmes.

The high level advocacy event was organized as part of the programme entitled “Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, including HTPs, and Rehabilitations of survivors” which UNFPA is currently supporting with generous funding from the Government of Canada. The five-year programme which commenced in 2018 is being implemented with Government, Civil Society Organizations and other implementing partners in selected districts in all Regions of Ethiopia.

The High Level event brought together more than 100 participants featuring a panel discussion on the selected theme and launching and screening of a video showing the works of 5 extraordinary women who played a critical role in the protection and advancement of the rights of women and girls in Ethiopia.