TIMRAN hosted a Zoom meeting on July 7, 2023, to discuss the strategic takeaways to engage women in peacebuilding. The meeting was organized by NEWA, the Network of Ethiopian Women Association, as part of their weekly Gender in Focus (GIF) webinar series.
Betelhem Alem, TIMRAN’s program officer, welcomed the webinar participants and shared a summary of TIMRAN’s work to promote women’s political empowerment in Ethiopia. She explained TIMRAN’s vision of Ethiopia where women have equal access and influence in public decision-making and the nation’s political affairs, and its mission to enhance the political and public participation of Ethiopian women.
The meeting featured a presentation by Banchiamlak Eshetu, TIMRAN’s program coordinator, who shared the findings of the women’s peace forums that TIMRAN held in eight regions of Ethiopia. The peace forums were part of the ‘She Leads Peace’ program, which aims to amplify the roles and voices of Ethiopian women in the national peacebuilding process.
Banchiamlak highlighted the challenges and opportunities that women face in participating in the peace-building process, such as lack of awareness, cultural and religious practices, stereotypes, unfair division of labor, lower number of women associations working on peace-related issues, insignificant participation of women in the peace negotiations, women’s underestimation of their abilities, non-recognition of women’s contribution, the failure of the media to create awareness on the role of women in the peacebuilding process, absence of laws that make the participation of women mandatory, and lack of enforcement.
The meeting also included a Q&A session where participants shared their views and experiences on how to overcome these challenges and enhance women’s role in peacebuilding. The meeting concluded with a call for action to increase women’s representation and influence in the peacebuilding process at all levels.