In Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, week-long celebrations to mark International Women's Day (8 March) were concluded on Sunday (9 March) at a colourful sports event held in the National Stadium.
GV AND LV Ladies playing musical chairs in Addis Ababa National Stadium watched by thousands of people (3 shots)
SV Women performing calisthenics with spectators watching (2 shots)
SV Women from Ethiopians Farmers' Association performing tractional dance with spectators watching (4 shots)
LV AND TV PAN Women running road track with crowd looking on (3 shots)
SV Women on horseback breaking pots full of water with crowd laughing (3 shots)
LV Women holding horse and chasing chicken
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Background: In Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, week-long celebrations to mark International Women's Day (8 March) were concluded on Sunday (9 March) at a colourful sports event held in the National Stadium.
SYNOPSIS: International Women's Day was celebrated throughout the country with pomp, colour and pageantry. The occasion was highlighted by youth the women's parades, cultural dances and sports competitions, as well as by work campaigns and educational discussions.
Thousands of people turned out to watch the concluding celebrations in Addis Ababa. Vice Chairman of the Women's Day Sports Organising Committee, Comrade Tinsae Berhan Belihu, told the crowd that the programme had been prepared to reflect creativity and the family spirit. Comrade Tinsae Berhan went on to explain the important role women could play in the revolutionary process, in particular through their influence on the family. She also called on all women to give active support to the Commission for Organising the Party of the Working People of Ethiopia (C.O.P.W.E.) created in December to bring about the formation of a single people's communist party.
The sports competitions highlighted acrobatics, athletics, horse-riding and various entertaining shows, all of which received warm acclaim from the spectators. Many of the women were more than ready to relax after an active week of work campaigns and fund-raising drives to collect donations to help further the national literacy campaign. Traditional games were particularly popular although many village customs have started to disappear since Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. Village women are now involved in many traditionally male tasks on an equal footing, and are encouraged to learn to read and write.