Action for Social Development and Environmental Protection Organization (ASDEPO) is an Ethiopian indigenous,
non-governmental and non-profit making humanitarian organization established in 2013/14. ASDEPO is mandated to operate in all regional states of the country. ASDEPO aspires
to see mothers and children in Ethiopia living in respectable circumstances as well as a secure and healthy environment.
ASDEPO Works to improve the lives of needy mothers, children, and youths from first to last, escalating their access
to health and education services, supporting income generation, and improving the natural environment, using a holistic and participatory loom.
Women’s political participation has been recognized internationally as an important measure of the status of women in any particular country. Hence, in recent years, women’s participation in politics and decision-making has received significant attention across the world. However, women remain seriously underrepresented in decision-making positions.
World Women’s political participation has long been acknowledged as an important indicator of women’s position and condition in any society. As a result, women’s engagemen in politics and decision-making has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. Women, on the other hand, continue to be underrepresented in decision-making roles. This article aims to look at the problems and opportunities for women’s political engagement in Ethiopia for comprehensive socio-economic
development and gender equality by analyzing the factors that prevent women from participating in politics Understanding the gender divides, it is also important to recognize that women’s position in global gender discourse is not static but dynamic. In examining women’s relative position, it is also important to consider the ever-changing unstable temporal and spatial global conditions, especially in terms of culture, politics, and economics. These changes are functions of different variables such as culture, social context, technological advancements, state-market relations, education and framing.
In several countries, special regulations are placed to maximize women’s political roles and participation. Affirmative actions are among these initiatives. In these societies (such as Afghanistan, Argentina, Egypt, South Korea, or France) a quota system is introduced to ensure a certain minimum degree of participation of women in political decision-making processes such as in occupying parliamentary or ministerial seats. Some political parties in countries such as Sweden, Israel, Australia, or Germany have also assigned a certain number of positions reserved for women to ensure a more gender-balanced representation.
Women’s participation in different levels of political activities is generally low throughout the world. Based on the 2019 statistics published by the UN Woman (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), only 24.3% of the national parliament seats throughout the world are occupied by women.
Data from 133 countries shows that women constitute 2.18 million (36 per cent) of elected members in local deliberative bodies. Only two countries have reached 50 per cent, and an additional 18 countries have more than 40 per cent women in local government.
• Balanced political participation
and power-sharing between women
and men in decision-making is the
internationally agreed target set in the
Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action. Most countries in the world The apparent invisibility of women in
politics is a worldwide phenomenon. A
recent trend in Ethiopia, women make
up about 50% of the population. Despite
these statistics, women’s participation
has been minimal at the public policy
and decision-making levels. Lack of
commitment for increased women
participation and absence of sufficient
political knowledge about women
representation have been some of the
problems of poor involvement of women
1- United Nations Statistics Division.
United Nations Global SDG Database. Data as of 1 January 2020, retrieved 1 August
2- United Nations (1995). Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action,
Critical Area G, “Women, Power and
3- Inter-Parliamentary Union (2008).
Equality in politics: A survey of men and
women in parliaments.
The FDRE Constitution recognizes
women’s equal rights with men in
the political, social, economic, and
cultural spheres to enhance women’s
participation. Accordingly, women
have the right to take part in the
conduct of public affairs, directly and
through freely elected representatives,
the right to vote and to be elected to any
level of government offices and to be a have not achieved gender balance, and
few have set or met ambitious targets
for gender parity (50–50).
• Women demonstrate political
leadership by working across party
lines through parliamentary women’s
caucuses—even in the most politically member of any political organization, labor union, trade organization or employers or professional association of their choice.
As a result, the number of women
in decision-making and leadership
roles has increased considerably. At the
same time now efforts were undertaken
practically to increase the representation
of women in political processes in
Ethiopia. In this respect, the number of
seats held by women in the Ethiopian
parliament has significantly improved
and reached 38.5% in 2015 as compared
to 2% in 1995. It is expected more than
45% in the 6th Ethiopia national
election, which launched at the end of
With regard to leadership and
decision making, in 2020, women’s
representation reached 48.5% But,
still, Ethiopia is one of the countries
where women representatives in the
parliament are unsatisfactory. Thus
a lot of efforts are needed to enhance
women’s participation in politics and
leadership. some of the recommended
• Encouraging women to take on
different types of decision-making and
leadership roles at all level
• Enhance the awareness of the
community about the importance of
women political participation through
media, public dialogues, and different
awareness-raising program combative environments—and by championing issues of gender equality, such as the elimination of gender-based violence, parental leave and childcare, pensions, gender-equality laws, and electoral reform.
• Enhancing the leadership capacity of women at the political position to
make them influence and real decision-
• Advocating and lobbying the
government to create an environment
that allows women to participate in
politics and make decisions.
• Collaborating with community-
based organizations (CBOs) to inspire
and empower women in local leadership
positions and national political
• Boost the media’s role in promoting
women’s political participation.
• Coordinating multisectoral efforts
to build the capacity of women and
girls through caching assertiveness,
confidence, and good governance.
Particularly, the role of civil society
organizations in empowering women
is crucial. One of these organizations
working on women’s engagement is
the Action for Social Development and
Environmental Protection Organization
ASDPO, with the financial support of
the International Republican Institute
(IRI), has worked to enhance women’s
political participation by raising
awareness through public dialogue,
radio/ television programs. As ASDEPO,
other like-minded organizations and
other actors should take their part in
enhancing the political participation of
women for overall national development.