Shifting Social Norms towards Women’s Leadership Role through Community Dialogue
01 June 2022
Mantegbosh Asamre, 26, lives in Angiko kebele, Fogera woreda of the Amhara Region.
Mantegbosh facilitates a monthly Community Dialogue (CD) that aims to increase community understanding of gender equality and women’s rights to participate in leadership and decision-making.
Before joining the Project as a CD member and community facilitator, Mantegbosh was not comfortable to stand in front of people let alone actively engage in and facilitate community meetings and gatherings. This behavior has changed after she was selected by Care Ethiopia to be part of the CD project and trained on leading and facilitating community dialogue sessions. She also became part of the Social Analysis and Action (SAA) CD Groups in her kebele, the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia.
Speaking about the project, Mantegbosh, said, “the project helped boost my confidence. It empowers me not only to be able to facilitate the community dialogue sessions but also make equal decisions with my husband on our resources at the household level.”
UN Women, in collaboration with Care Ethiopia and Amhara Bureau of Women, Children and Social Affairs, has launched the ‘Community Dialogues on Gender Equality and Women’s Participation in Leadership and Decision-Making in Amhara Regional State’ project to challenge and change the negative perception of the community towards women’s participation in leadership and decision-making positions.
The project uses gender transformative approach known as Social Analysis and Action (SAA) which facilitates critical reflection and dialogue on how social and gender norms as well as power relations shape perceptions and expectations of community members and influences their decisions and behaviors. Testimonies from participants of the Community Dialogue (CD) groups show the project changed perceptions and boosted the confidence of women to participate in public life.
The project has reached round 1920 community members during its first phase (December 2019- March 2021). Currently, 2880 community members are participating the second round launched in December 2021 and running until March 2023.
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women