The She Leads team in Ethiopia participated in the Great Ethiopian Run on 26th March 2023 under the theme ´Women´s First.´Participating in the event presented a great opportunity to showcase She Leads´ work and advocate for critical issues affecting Girls and Young Women.
The She Leads team in Ethiopia has been engaging in different awareness-raising campaigns regarding issues affecting Girls and Young Women. The approaches used in addressing those issues vary depending on the targeted audiences, the available instruments and planned activities.
The She Leads programme established Ethiopian young women's voices and supported school-based gender clubs to bring about issues of their own and advocate for themselves in different areas. The participation of Girls and Young Women (GYW) in the Great Run was one of the interventions created for GYW to raise their issues to the public.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands, in close coordination with the Network of Ethiopian Women's Association (NEWA) and New Millennium Women empowerment Organisation (NMWEO), participated in the Great Ethiopian Run (a 5km run) on 26th March 2023 under the theme ´Women´s First´ in commemoration of International Women’s Day. Participating in the event presented a great opportunity to showcase She Leads´ work and advocate for critical issues affecting Girls and Young Women.
Members of the Ethiopian young girls' voice and school gender club members were part of this event. A total of 20 participants, two of them being Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) run in this race. They portrayed the issues of GYW in between the race and introduced our She Leads programme to the participants in the race.
The girls voiced out their messages echoing one critical message ´My Voice, My Rights, My Space. They jointly walked together holding a She Leads Banner with the ´Amplifying the Voice of Girls and Young Women in Ethiopia´message. They also expressed their views in creative ways singing songs of inspirational women that showed the capability of women and also showed their patriotism like “Taitu, (well known song with strong feminist message )ጣይቱ”, and cultural dance.
The girls who have participated in the run have reflected that the opportunity has exposed them to new experiences, created a space for them to interact with others and also created a chance for them to meet some of the influential and public figures which is a huge motivation for them.
"I was thrilled to be taken into consideration for this race as a person with a disability. This clearly demonstrates that She Leads is a place for GYWs of all talents as well as GYWs with impairments and other intersecting factors. I had a good time and didn't feel excluded; I felt like I belonged. I urge the establishment of more female-only spaces for GYW on a more frequent basis,” said Megabit.
"I'm feeling extremely happy right now since I was able to take part and see so many women fighting for their rights. I was honoured to represent the disability community and to keep demonstrating to PWD that we are capable,” said Mekeremariam.
The event presented a great opportunity for Terre des Hommes Netherlands to amplify the voices of GYW on the issues affecting them and to also raise more awareness about the She Leads Programme mandate, objectives and achievements.