UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

10/16/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/16/2019 13:48

Coverage: UN Women Executive Director and the President of Finland visit Ethiopia

Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka begins a joint visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 15 to 19 October, together with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö. This will be the Executive Director's first official country visit to Ethiopia, and the first official visit to Africa for President Niinistö.

During their visit, they will participate in a number of high-level events and bilateral meetings, as well as engagements with civil society, female ambassadors and beneficiaries of UN Women programmes in Ethiopia.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks at the 'She for Business' event on 15 October. Photo: UN Women

A high-level event focusing on economic empowerment of women in Ethiopia on 15 October kicked off the joint visit. Co-hosted by UN Women and Finland, 'She for Business,' featured remarks by President Sauli Niinistö, the President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, and Ambassador Mahlet Hailu, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia.

In her remarks, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka discussed the situation of women's economic empowerment in Ethiopia.

At the 'She for Business' event on 15 October, President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö speaks about the economic empowerment of women. Photo: UN Women

The event showcased Ethiopian and international best practices to inspire and drive women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in the country, and featured an Ethio-Finnish panel of successful women in business who discussed their experiences.

In her remarks, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka discussed the situation of women's economic empowerment in Ethiopia.

President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde speaks at the 'She for Business' event on 15 October. Photo: UN Women

On 16 October, President Niinisto and Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka also visited the African Union Commission for a HeForShe Pinning Ceremony and to showcase the African Girls Can Code Initiative. Speakers at the high-level event co-hosted by Finland included the Chairperson of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, President Niinistö, and Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amira ElFadil. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka encouraged men leaders and boys to commit to actively advance gender equality and women's empowerment in all sectors, including ICT, while President Niinistö reflected on his experience as a HeForShe champion.

In the coming days, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will participate in an official ceremony where she will hand over an IT server to the Planning and Development Commission of Ethiopia, to facilitate the set-up of a national dashboard to track and report on the gender equality dimensions of global and national development plans. The dashboard aims to close the existing gender data gaps in the country and will be crucial for monitoring progress on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and its gender-focused targets and indicators.

During the visit, the Executive Director will also garner support around the 25-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action and mobilize partners to join UN Women's Generation Equality campaign. She will also witness the launch of the Ethiopia Chapter of the Africa Women Leaders Network at an event where President Sahle Worke-Zewde will be the guest of honour.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will conclude her visit to Ethiopia with a visit to a cattle-fattening centre owned by a rural women's cooperative. She will meet with beneficiaries of UN Women's economic empowerment programme in Adami TuluJido Kombolcha District, and will be accompanied by the Ethiopian Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Yalem Tsegaye andthe Head of Oromia Bureau of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Muna Ahmed.