U.S. Peace Corps Hosts Action for Gender Equality Summit in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 4, 2016 – The U.S. Peace Corps in Ethiopia is hosting the third annual Action for Gender Equality (AGE) Summit from March 3-6, 2016 in Addis Ababa.  The AGE Summit is a leadership capacity building event that marks the culmination of a 3-month project of youth-centered gender and development programming by volunteers throughout Ethiopia. The Summit coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8 and the Great Ethiopia Run’s Women First 5K race on March 6, in which all female Summit attendees participate.

The AGE project targets youth between the ages of 14 and 18 who live in rural areas and are vulnerable to early marriage, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases.  The Summit and overall project aim to shape participating youth who will apply the skills developed in their communities and become young leaders throughout Ethiopia.

This year, 10 Volunteers came to Addis Ababa for the Summit along with 40 Ethiopian students from Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, and Tigray.  During the four-day program, Ethiopian youth participate in activities, discussions, and presentations about gender equality, health, HIV/AIDS, and youth empowerment.

The youth graduate after the Summit with a level of knowledge and skill that they can use and transfer to other youth in their communities, including training in facilitation, presentation and implementation skills, and with an in-depth understanding of gender norms, their many effects, and how they are related to and can perpetuate HIV/AIDS.  By the end of the Summit, youth are trained to educate and empower members in their respective communities to join the effort to end gender inequality and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia.

The AGE Summit was developed by Peace Corps Volunteers and is funded by a grant from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.  Additional support was provided by the Center for Community Leadership.

About Peace Corps Ethiopia: Peace Corps Volunteers live and work in communities in the Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, and Southern Nations regions of Ethiopia. Each Volunteer collaborates with local counterparts to support the Ethiopia government’s strategy to create and strengthen their communities’ capacity in the areas of public health, food security and environmental awareness, and English language education. To best serve the needs of the Ethiopian government, Volunteers are placed in community health centers, HIV/AIDS resource centers, community-based organizations (CBOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), district-level government offices, public schools, and teacher colleges.  There are currently around 230 Volunteers serving in Ethiopia and over 3,000 have served here since Peace Corps opened the post in Ethiopia in 1962.  For more information, visit www.pcethiopia.org and follow us on Facebook.com/PeaceCorpsEthiopia