Gender equality


UNDP recognizes that gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Gender equality is therefore central to UNDP’s interventions to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as other commitments agreed by UN Member States.

The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women are central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. To fulfil its commitment at the national level, UNDP Ethiopia developed Gender Equality Strategy (GES) for the period of 2018-2021.

In line with the Gender Equality Strategy and to convene the premises of this strategy, UNDP Ethiopia CO is enrolled in the 2018/19 round UNDP corporate Gender Equality Seal Certification to deliver on transformational gender equality results in the country program. Accordingly, the CO has developed a Gender Equality Seal Action Plan (GESAP) to be implemented in 2018-2019. The Country Office has established a multi-disciplinary Gender Focal Team (GFT) led by senior management (Resident Representative) to ensure that effective gender mainstreaming is in place as well as to implement and monitor the commitments of the Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan including the Gender Seal Action Plan.

Ethiopia achieved significant gains in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in various fronts. Significant achievement has also been made in promoting women’s political participation - women occupy 50% of the cabinet of ministers and 38.8% of seats of the House of Peoples’ Representatives. However, significant gender inequalities persist in Ethiopia depriving women of rights and opportunities and hampering their participation in development endeavors. Ethiopia achieved six out of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while the goal on promoting gender equality and women empowerment was not met. The 2018 global human development report shows that Ethiopia is among countries with low Gender Development Index (ratio of female to male HDI values) scoring 0.846. The same report indicates that Ethiopia’s Gender Inequality Index (GNI)[1] score is one of the lowest. Ethiopia ranked 121st out of 160 countries on GNI scoring 0.502. Substantial achievements are recorded in enrolling girls in schools with high gross and net enrollment ratios. However, the participation of girls is still lower than that of boys with the national Gender Parity Index (GPI) for grades 1-8 being 0.90 in 2016/17.

Advancing gender equality through the power of music 

The United Nations in Ethiopia partnered with Helen Berhe, a rising Ethiopian recording artist to produce her latest music video that advocates gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goal 5 with engaging and powerful lyrics. 

The partnership on music for social good is financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of its partnership with the Government of Kazakhstan aimed at promoting South-South cooperation. The video was filmed by Pappa Film Studio and directed by Yidnekachew Shumete.

The engagement on the new single is couched within the UN’s efforts to roll out the promotion of the 17 goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country. The new single specifically highlighting Goal 5, which focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.

Ethiopia is one of the 193 countries that adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) implemented from 2000 to 2015 where Ethiopia made commendable progress to meet six out of the eight Millennium Development Goals.  One of the goals where the country was lagging behind was the MDG on gender equality.

UNDP estimates that gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa   on average $US95 billion a year. 


Women in Ethiopia play a major role as food producers and processors. When communities are faced with resource scarcity it is predominantly women smallholders that bear the brunt.**Click on above image to read full blog

SDG 5 music video on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment


Gender Development Index of Ethiopia

The 2018 Global Human Dvelopment report shows that Ethiopia is among countries with low Gender Development Index ranking 121 out of 160 countries.

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