In Ethiopia, 80% of the population resides in rural areas and women provide the majority of the agricultural labor in these communities. However, their contributions often go largely unrecognized. Worse, one in three women experience physical, emotional, or sexual violence, 65% of women have experienced female genital mutilation, and only half of girls who enroll in primary schools ever make it to grade 5.
I was born in the 1993 Ethiopian Calendar in one of the rural kebeles of Southwest Shawa. Before I joined Siiqqee’s program I followed my education while staying at my parent's place. I passed through hardship and many difficult situations while I attend school in the countryside. Our house is far from school, it takes one and a half hours to walk, which means, I traveled three hours per day to study. After I joined grad 8, a man tried to rape and abducts me.
SWDA has been working to create women leaders at their locality through leadership training and rotational leadership practices in their small saving groups (SHG) to the level of Cluster level association leadership and Federation. This had enabled women to assume local leadership position as kebele managers and representing women in Oromia Council.
SWDA has engaged itself in Girls' center construction, which was started in November 2020 in Sebeta Town. The progress of the building has reached 85% now, and hopefully, the remaining construction activities will be finalized at the end of August 2021.
Advancing Women’s Engagement, Strengthening Opportunities to Mobilize for Equality (AWESOME) project is a 5 years program that is under implementation, in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia with seven implementing partners, including the lead, which is Woman Kind World Wide based in the United Kingdom. The two organizations Siiqqee Women’s Development Association (SWDA and Ethiopian Women with Disabilities National Association (EWDNA) are implementing the program in Ethiopia as members of the consortium.
SWDA operates this project in five areas of Oromia Region (Sabata, Dukam, Galan, Bushoftu and Modjo towns). The project is launched at the regional level and participated by all concerned government officials and the community representatives at Bushoftu town on 11th June 2021 in collaboration with EWDNA. The project is also been launched at each respected project site involving all concerned government and community representatives.
On July 15th and 16th 2021, some 30 Community Facilitators (CFs) have been trained in Community Conversation (CC) facilitation skills by focusing on Zero tolerance of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).