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December  15,1999

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Gov't, Advocacy Groups Promote Women's Participation in May Election

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 15 (ENA) The Ethiopian Government and women advocacy groups are undertaking various measures to promote women's participation in the up-coming elections slated for May next year, panelists said.

Speaking at a panel discussion held here yesterday in connection with the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW), the panelists said women in the parliament and advocacy groups are doing their level best in encouraging political parities to field women candidates.

They said the government has also issued policies to offer special assistance to women candidates while collecting endorsement signatures.

Many of the provisions of the CEDAW are included in the Ethiopian Constitution, they said, adding the government has translated the provisions into three local languages to introduce it to the grassroots.

The panelists called on the government, NGOs and the mass media to further strengthen the information with a view to raising women's involvement in the decision making process.

Some 50 participants drawn from the Federal Government and NGOs as well as the UN agencies attended the panel discussion organized by the UN Inter Agency Working Group on Gender and Development (IAWG-GD).