Atakilte Beyane. Photo: Mattias Sköld.

Crucial to understand gender roles

Almedalsveckan 2015

Atakilte Beyene, NAI researcher, will take part in the seminar “Women’s rights. Are we on the right track?” Organized by Hungerprojektet. Friday 3 July.

How would you describe the status of girls and women in rural Ethiopia?
“The role of gender in developing countries, especially in rural areas, is critical to promote sustainable social, economic and environmental systems. Women do half of the farm work and most of the household work, they are the main providers of food, water and fuel. Still, Ethiopia is a very male-dominated society.  While important steps have been taken in the last two, three decades to ensure women’s rights to education and access to land, a lot remains to be done. It takes time to change social structures and values, they are very difficult to change actually.“

What perspective and experience will you bring to the panel discussion at Almedalsveckan?
“I would like share some good examples from Ethiopia. Much of the focus in development cooperation has been on improving equitable access to resources and services, which is important in order to improve economic empowerment of women. But, progress in gender relations, improving the standing of women in value and power systems, requires broader engagement. It is necessary to work with and engage the social actors, religious leaders and, of course, the women themselves in order to change attitudes.“

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