Gender, HIV/AIDS and Special Needs Mainstreaming Directorate in collaboration with Vice-president for Academic Affairs conducted a three-day training workshop on personal power enhancement and leadership skill for female staff members of the University from March 21-23, 2019 at Resource Center.

According to Mrs. Emebet Belete, Gender, HIV/AIDS and Special Needs Mainstreaming Directorate Director, the workshop “aims to enhance women’s personal power enhancement, participation in leadership and other aspects, in addition to, initiate discussion among women and create linkage in order to support each other in the university as well as in the country.” She also added that women’s participation in research in the University is 16% while 12% of them are involved in leadership. “This is very insignificant” Mrs. Emebet stressed, “it should be increased through time.”

During the opening ceremony Prof. Jeylan Wolyie, Vice-president for Administration and Students Affairs, said “Traditionally, leadership positions are assumed to be spaces that are occupied by men, because of various stereotypes and socio-cultural thoughts that relegate woman to secondary positions. If women are trained, educated and engaged they can make a transformative contribution to the social, economic and political wellbeing of the country.” He added, “However, to be effective in the leadership position women need strong intellectual, psychological, moral and emotional preparation. They need to develop greatest sense of personal, moral and professional accomplishment, and if educated, women can transform the country in all directions, as they are more than half power of the society.”

At the workshop, Professor Fetien Abay, the Vice-president for Research Affairs and Social Engagement of Mekele University, shared her long journey to the position she is holding currently and advised the trainees of the benefits of developing a strategy so that that can be used to achieve set targets through hard work and commitment.

Dr. Mulugeta Deme also delivered a training on project development and proposal writing. In addition to this, Mrs. Hiwot Emshaw, an author of two books: Baricho and Fikfaki and an acclaimed social critic with her posts on Facebook, gave an action-oriented training on self-esteem and self-empowerment.

Listening to such successful women’s life experiences created the sense of ‘I can too’ said the workshop participants. There were more than 150 trainees. The training workshop was concluded with an agreement to establish a women’s union as members of Haramaya University.

In the closing session, Prof. Nigussie Dechassa vice president for academic affairs, addressed the trainees and said, “This training workshop is a learning platform and a valuable forum to learn from each other and uncover your potential and share issues that are closest to your heart.” He also added, “You should increase your participation in all directions in the University, and the University will encourage you. You should free yourself from low self-esteem, low confidence and actively participate to transform the lives of female staff as well as female students in the University.”