UN 2017 Women First Run launched

UN 2017 WOMEN RUN LaunchIconic Ethiopian women at UN 2017 Women First Run launch

The United Nations 2017 Women First 5km Run was launched on 1 February 2017. The race to be held under the theme “Because she can” has been organized to mark the International Women’s Day.

The race will bring together 11,000 women and girls who will be running to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women and make a call for more action to empower women and girls and promote their rights on 12 March 2017.

Iconic Ethiopian women including Olympic Gold Medalist Meseret Defar joined Ms. Letty Chiwara, UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, Africa Union and Economic Commission for Africa, in launching the Race which is organized by the Great Ethiopian Run.

In her statement delivered on behalf of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, Ms. Chiwara said, “Ethiopia has come a long way over the past two decades in empowering women and girls and promoting their rights.  But a multitude of daunting challenges remain including female genital mutilation, child marriage and unmet need for family planning preventing women and girls from fulfilling their potential.” 


UN 2017 WOMEN RUN Launch Lettt ChiwaraMs. Letty Chiwara, UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, Africa Union and Economic Commission for Africa

“The United Nations will continue to provide unwavering support to Ethiopia in the framework of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework to sustain the progresses Ethiopia has made in empowering women and girls and promoting their rights,” added Ms. Chiwara.

“As we mark the International Women’s Day, we should acknowledge a woman’s contribution to her family, society, and country.  We need to duly recognize her resilience and struggle to challenge prejudice and status quo to create a better and fair world.”

Meaza Ashenafi, a leading advocate for justice, human rights, women's rights and gender equality, said, “we should aim to fight negative stereotypes that hinder women’s ability to fulfill their potential.

Meaza, who was also a founder and the first executive director of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association, added that women empowerment should at family and community levels.

The new global development agenda – the Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals – provide an unprecedented opportunity to address the challenges faced by women and girls.

Goal 5 of SDGs speaks specifically to governments’ commitments to end discrimination and gender-based violence; eliminate child marriage and female genital mutilation; ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care; protect women and girls' reproductive rights; eliminate gender disparities in education; expand women's economic opportunities and recognize their rights to resources; and reduce the burdens of unpaid care work on women and girls.