Rendezvous with Excellence

Once a year, a great celebration is hosted; a fancy gala dinner is thrown in the name of some very phenomenal women who have dedicated their energy and sacrificed their time, to put all they had in their individual crafts to bring change. Diamonds hidden amongst our people, paving the way for younger women to boldly pursue positions that are prominently male dominated and inspiring eager open-minded females to confidently and courageously follow their dreams. It’s a celebration of a much-needed appreciation of women who deserve to be recognized for their contributions to our communities and who deserve to be glamorized for the true role models they are. Our wonderful “Association of Women in Boldness” has put together five amazing females worthy of being the titleholders of this year’s Women of Excellence. This year though, we not only celebrate these women but we also acknowledge and reward the work of “The Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA)”.

If you haven’t heard of EWLA, well trust me you need to be informed, and especially if you are a female in this country. EWLA was formed to tackle the issues surrounding women rights and constitutional female discrimination at large. They advocated and lobbied for policy change on all legal matters concerning women and girls. They birthed the movement that created the awareness and dialogue of gender equality in Ethiopia. Through various social media and platforms they initiated a movement that vigorously advocated women’s rights, boldly bringing out internal issues and showcasing them publically. It’s no simple journey. Their relentless dedication is beyond the true definition of excellence.

WoE 2017 nominee Anna Getaneh, capitalized on her fame as a fashion model and designer and launched an NGO to build a school in the village of Aletu, in the Oromia/Amhara region. WoE 2017 nominee Ellene Mocria, was one of the first female journalists in Ethiopia, who did most of the work on archiving Ethiopian media. WoE 2017 nominee, Lydia Tafesse, became the first internationally recognized Ethiopian female sports referee. WoE 2017 nominee Dr. Momina Mohammed, was the first Ethiopian female physician that, not only advocated for specialized kidney care, but trained and assisted in initiatives to provide hemodialysis services to the country. WoE 2017 nominee Professor Yalemtsehay Mekonnen, was the first Ethiopian female Bio-Medical scientist, creating and training a number of students in the field.

Take a moment to digest all this information; take a minute to reflect. My fellow AWiBers and readers alike, I ask you to consider what excellence means to you. I ask you to look within yourself to find that wick that, if lit, will shine such brilliant light not only unto yourself, but, more importantly, unto others. We all have that light, though many of us are still searching for it, and many of us are real close. But why not celebrate those that already are shining? Why not celebrate those that are humbly carrying out their duties as pioneers in our communities, silently doing what must be done, for a better future for us all.

AWiB allows the public to think of female influencers worthy of recognition. It allows the public to make an effort to reflect on the women they revere as role models and game changers. It exposes women that need to be known, appreciated and, most of all, thanked for their individual and communal impact. AWiB has provided us with a space to celebrate the achievements of these fantastic females and the perfect platform to recognize the true impact EWLA has had on women’s rights in Ethiopia. I mean, really though, wouldn’t you want to be part of such a celebration? Wouldn’t you want to be privileged enough to be in the same room as such influential females? If anything, wouldn’t you want to be inspired enough to find the fight within you to work with excellence in your personal endeavors? I know I definitely want to, because we all know AWiB aspires to inspire. So I say lets go ahead and have a rendezvous with excellence next weekend!