International Women’s Day 2017
Posted by naomi on Tuesday 7th March 2017
Today, the 8th of March, marks International Women’s Day, a very important day on our calendar and hopefully on yours too! This is a day to recognise the integral role women play in all aspects of society, and the importance of breaking down social and cultural barriers which inhibit women from fully participating in all areas of life.
Today we celebrate the women who have achieved great feats, who have worked tirelessly to eliminate the obstacles faced not only by themselves but by women and girls around the world.
We celebrate the women who have shown perseverance and resilience in the face of opposition, discrimination and oppression.
We celebrate the women who have created change and paved the way for women and girls after them, and who have made sacrifices so future generations may face greater opportunities and qualities of life than they did.
Here at Ethiopiaid Australia we are also celebrating our incredible partners who work every day to ensure the women and girls of Ethiopia live a life of dignity and opportunity, free from the harms of traditional practices and cultural constraints.
Valerie Browning founded APDA (Afar Pastoralist Development Association) in 2012 after living and working in the Afar in rural north-eastern Ethiopia for over 40 years. Originally from Australia, Valerie has worked tirelessly promoting the end of female genital mutilation (FGM), and is determined to see the practice stopped in the Afar through education and communication. Valerie’s commitment to the advancement of the health of women and girls is truly inspiring, and today we celebrate her.
Dr Mulu Muleta of WAHA (Women and Health Alliance), has been instrumental in the progression of women’s health in Ethiopia, performing countless surgeries on women who have spent years, even decades, suffering the debilitating effects of obstetric fistula. Located in Gondar in north-western Ethiopia, Dr Mulu has spent almost 20 years as an obstetric surgeon treating women with obstetric fistula, and today we celebrate her.
AWSAD (Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development) is an organisation which addresses violence against women and girls through prevention, rehabilitation and economic empowerment. The organisation runs three safe houses across Addis Ababa for women and girls providing shelter, food, counselling, medical services and legal assistance. AWSAD supports women and young girls who have been victims of rape, domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence and provides them with greater opportunities than they ever would have faced, and today we celebrate them.
Dr Catherine Hamlin has been a pioneer of women’s maternal health in Ethiopia for over 40 years since her and her late husband Reg Hamlin founded the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia organisation in 1974. Since then Catherine has also gone on to found the Hamlin College of Midwives and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. Dr Catherine’s organisation treats over 3000 obstetric fistula patients each year between the main hospital in Addis Ababa and five other regional hospitals. The life’s work of Dr Catherine Hamlin has made an insurmountable difference to countless thousands of women in Ethiopia, and today we celebrate her.
And lastly, today we celebrate the sisterhood. The women in our lives who have taught, nurtured and inspired us and who we stand side-by-side with in the pursuit of gender equality around the world.
If you would like to help us continue our support of these incredible organisations please donate here.