AAU Women’s Research Working Group Celebrates March-8

The Addis Ababa University (AAU’s) Women’s Research Working Group celebrated the International Women’s Day (March-8) for the 7th time with the theme of “Conflict and Its Impact on Women and Health” at Skylight Hotel on the 7th of March 2023.

Andualem Demeke (PhD), Chief Executive Director for the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at AAU, said that women working in the health sector at the University have recently organized themselves to work together.  This big opportunity should be a voice for the voiceless women and girls who are living in conflict areas, he added.

Generally, the first victims during war and conflict are women; they face catastrophic situations like rape, unwanted pregnancy, abortion and miscarriage. They also displace from their homes and venerably exposed to various psychological, emotional and socio-physical trauma including prostitution activities,” Dr. Andualem emphasized.

According to Tadesse Fetahi (PhD), Director for Research Office at AAU, the collaborative Women’s Research Working Group of AAU has global reputation as a sign of solidarity bringing equity and justice for women.

The March-8 celebration of the Group in this year also brings an important agenda to commemorate the most venerable women and girls in the country, Dr. Tadesse said. These collaborated women researchers of the Group are working as responsible researchers creating awareness to change the bad practices happening on the ground across the country, he added.

Sewalem Tsega (PhD), Director for Gender and HIV Prevention Office at AAU, reportedly said that, according to International Displacement Monitoring Center, “Armed conflicts lead to total displacement of population”.

The number of the internally displaced people due to conflict and violence are increased from approximately 25 million in 2009/10 to 45.7 million in 2019, of whom 21 million (46%) were women and girls,” Dr. Sewalem confirmed.

Dr. Sewalem finally stressed that women and girls should not only be seen as victims of armed conflict, but they should also be understood that they have been and historically continued to have roles as combatants, as human rights activists in war thorn areas, active agents of peace building and recovery processes.

The event organized by Women and Health Reform Working Group (WHRWG) had honorable guests from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Women Research Working Groups from five colleges of AAU and female NGO leaders; some of them presented research papers that followed by audience discussion.

While Sr. Zemzem Mohamed, from FDRE Ministry of Health, presented, “Conflict and SRH Services Challenges and Lessons Learned”, Wr. Mehretekirstos Tamru, from the FDRE Ministry of Education delivered on “Conflict and education Challenges in Girls: Education Post Conflict What Does the Evidence Show”?

The International Women’s (March-8) was celebrated for the 47th time in Ethiopia and for its 112th occasion worldwide.

Report: Mebrat Melaku

Editor: Abraham Girmay