Her Excellency Professor Hirut W/Mariam, Minister of Science and Higher Education, attended Women and Leadership round table discussion which was held on 25 October 2019 at the University of Oslo, Norway.
The Minister presented a paper entitled “Ethiopian women in Higher Education Leadership: Challenges and bias”.
In her reflection, Her Excellency addressed the bold move to ensure gender equality in the government system. She also brought to the discussion about the absence of women in the higher education sector, contributing factors and measures to be taken.
Prof. Hirut said “The issue is not about women’s capacity to lead but is more about the perception of their ability to lead. They have to exert more efforts to showcase and establish their leadership capacities and authority in a male-dominated institutional set-up. They have to challenge the status quo to eliminate gender disparities, to strengthen their advocacy role within their respective institutions, within Government and the society to contribute to women empowerment and advancement.”
According to the Information from the University of Oslo website, the aim of the discussion is to assist and encourage the next generation of women to take the lead and learn about what leadership means and entails in different professions.
In the event 5 women who are working in the area of higher education, the corporate world and the political sphere have participated.
Currently in our country Ethiopia, from 45 public universities, there are only 24 female vice presidents. The ministry is providing different leadership training to empower and make them more successful in their leadership activities also to motivate and attract others in higher education leadership positions.
She also held a discussion with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). In their discussion she pinpointed possible future partnerships and cooperation in Ethiopian Higher Education.