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News: Half day seminar at Swedish embassy highlights topics in women and media in Ethiopia


Participants during coffee break

Etenesh Abera

Addis Abeba, June 01/2018 – The Swedish embassy in Addis Abeba held a half day seminar on “Women and Media in Ethiopia ‘’ in the presence of participants invited  from media, advertisement, entertainment, as well as representatives from Ethiopian broadcast authority and other government institutions.

Speaking at the opening of the half day seminar, Torbjorn Pettersson, ambassador of Sweden in Ethiopia, said as Sweden was one of the leading countries in the world in promoting women empowerment in media and other sectors it was important to share that experience with Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s state minster of woman and children affairs, Aster Dawit, on her part said the ministry was working towards promoting gender issues in collaboration with other institutions.

A research paper presented by Enguday Alemayehu, researcher on gender studies at the Addis Abeba University (AAU), entitled “women and media in Ethiopia” covered a wide-range issues including women’s participation in media and media production, women’s portrayal in TV commercials, television and radio series dramas, in entertainment and Sunday television programs as well as women’s portrayal in Ethiopian songs. Her research was one of the focal discussion points during the seminar. Participants have also debated the overall gaps in gender and the media in Ethiopian context.

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Another presentation presented by Meron Aregaw, executive director of Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), revealed the gap in Ethiopian constitution and different proclamations regarding gender and women’s right. Meron highlighted that the gap between the rhetoric in gender equality and the actual implementation remains wide. Meron also outlined her recommendations to help to minimize this gap and help implement what is written on paper. According to her, making women’s agenda the national agenda and closely monitoring its progress were essential task that need to be undertaken by relevant stakeholders.

The other presenter was from Ethiopian Media Women Association (EMWA)Bethlehem Negash, a media professional. Her presentation focused on women in media practice in Ethiopia and the challenges.  Among the barriers hindering women’s participation in media, Bethlehem raised the 2008 mass media and the 2009 anti-terrorism proclamations as the main ones.

Participants have all agreed on continuing similar discussions in the future. AS

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