With the generous funding of Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) under the Project entitled “Strengthening Women and Girl’s political Engagement and Mobilization” and in collaboration with Women, Youth and Children office of Barek district, Center for Development and Capacity Building (CDCB) had trained (TOT) thirty selected women from ten kebeles and five schools in Barek District of oromia Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne who had been labeled as a ‘Leading Women’. The intention was that these Leading Women would facilitate and lead the community dialogue among the women and students in their respective Kebeles and Schools.
Pursuant to the plan, the leading women have organized a one-day community discussion on the aforementioned topic as a starting point of the dialogue among the women in their respective community. According to the leading women, the issues listed below have also been raised besides to basics of Women, Human and Democratic Rights:
· Harmful Traditional Practices and how to mitigate
· Gender Based Violence and how to halt
· Gender Equality
· How to care for teenagers, especially girls, was also covered.
Women had also discussed thoroughly on family, community, and district’s political, social and economic affairs, and asked questions related to their day-to-day life. The issue of gender-based violence, its cases and some of the settlement mechanisms were an addition to the above stated issues
The dialogues are underway in all ten kebeles listed below:
1. Girar Berek
2. Dirre Sokorru
3. Yeka Sadan
5. Laga Bollo
6. Dirree badiyya
9. Bura Dibdibbee
Feedback from interviews made with the randomly selected participants from the kebeles have shown that the discussion was so helpful for they could raise their real problems with their peers without fear. They have also expressed that they had grasped insights from the brief lecture made by the leading women and shared experiences among each other during their hot and participatory discussion as well. Finally, the participants have vowed to continue the discussion among themselves.