Women are promoted as leaders in gender sensitive political institutions
During the Strategic Note implementation, UN Women significantly contributed to the achievement of this outcome. Currently, women hold 41.49 % seats (181 out of 425 seats) in the Parliament after the 6th General Election held on June 2021. With UN Women support, the capacity of 380 women members and female candidates drawn from political parties running at national and regional level was enhanced on critical skills of political empowerment including public speaking, campaigning, political leadership, voter outreach and fundraising to ensure that women candidates have enhanced capacity to compete on a more equal standing with men. 1,300 women candidates (around 70% of total candidates), drawn from all political parties running for federal parliament and regional council increased their knowledge on gender equality and electoral normative frameworks on women’s participation in public and political life. UN Women tailored training has equipped women leaders with the skills to move into elected positions. This will not only create space for other women to gain much needed experience, but also increase their legitimacy and standing within political structures.
The first ever inter-party debate on gender equality and commitment of political parties ahead of the 6th General Election was transmitted on main TV station called Fana TV with the support of the Embassy of Sweden and in collaboration with Ethiopian Women Rights Advocates (EWRA). The debate brought together four main political parties: Prosperity Party, Ethiopian Citizen's for Social Justice Party (ECSJ), Afar People's party (APP) and National Movement of Amhara Party (NAMA) running at regional and national levels. The debate provided an opportunity for the public to get an insight into the debating political parties party programs and policies regarding commitments on the promotion of gender equality in Ethiopia . A national dialogue forum was also held among women candidates and members of political parties to create a platform for women politicians to come together to discuss challenges and opportunities in promoting gender equality as a political agenda and to discuss on how to strengthen women politicians’ council (initiated in 2020). Scaling up on previous capacity building since 2019, UN Women supported NEBE in launching a Female Political Party Members Joint Council on in Ethiopia. In line with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among the members, the council is expected to promote women’s leadership at all levels, advocate for gender policies, and promote and work towards cross-party collaboration on issues concerning women rights and politicians including strive to eliminate political pressure, violence, and discrimination against women political party members. UN Women will continue to support the council through civil society to promote women political participation in Ethiopia.
UN Women has been providing strategic support to the House of Peoples’ Representative’s (HoPR) (Parliament) and its Secretariat to ensure the institution is gender sensitive in exercising its representative, legislative and oversight function. Support is provided to the HoPR and its Secretariat in undertaking a gender audit facilitating stock taking of the journey that the current Parliament took in terms of its gender focused work and gender mainstreaming efforts in its mechanism and structures. The audit report will be used for further intervention in the Parliament with new parliamentarians following the 6th General Election. Building on teams’ comparative advantage, UN Women National Planning and Women in Leadership and Governance teams, enhanced capacity of 61 staff (24 female and 37 male) of the Secretariat of the HoPR to plan and budget from a gender perspective. UN Women will follow up with the Secretariat and HoPR practices gender responsive budgeting principles while delivering on the mandate of the House.
UN Women contributed to promoting electoral frameworks to be gender responsive in light of the 6th General Election. To this effect, the capacity of key electoral stakeholders including, electoral management body staff, accredited CSOs, medias and media monitoring bodies, national human rights institutions, male and female political party members has been built on how to mainstream gender in their electoral engagement . A media campaign was also conducted through a launch of a well-received collaborative music video, ‘Yehager Kasma’ (roughly translated as Pillar of the Nation), featuring several prominent Ethiopian artists encouraging the participation of women in the elections. In addition, 24 public media outreach programmes were conducted, in collaboration with the EHRC and local NEWA, promoting women participation in politics as votes, candidates, members of political and as members of electoral management bodies (MBs). The public outreach programme was able to reach a wide audience, in four local languages, and a sign language and aired on Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, with nationwide reach.
To advance evidence driven data, UN Women conducted a “Rapid Assessment on Violence Against Women during Elections (VAWE)”, in collaboration with EHRC. Capacitated members of NEBE and CSOs on gender inclusive voter education significantly cascaded the initiative to eight local FM radio stations, 51 community radios and 4 regional TVs, conducted a roadshow on voter education in 197 woredas and two federal cities, 11 women election literacy trainings in six regions and a consultative meeting with 43 religious leaders and community elders in four regions in Ethiopia.
 Please see link for debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DphQ3ZGRTtM