INTRODUCTION: A huge crowd turned out in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday (6 March) to celebrate International Women's Day.
GV PAN: Revolution square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
SV: women parading (2 shots)
CU: Ethiopia women in army uniforms.
SV: Chairman of Military government, Col. Atnafu Abate.
SV: crowds cheering
SV: Cuban and Russian women.
SV: crowd ZOOM OUT to parading women.
SV: Col. Atnafu Abate speaking.
SV: women listening and Abate continuing speech.
SV: crowds chanting
SV: woman chanting in parade.
SV: Col. Abate raising arm in salute.
SV PAN: women marching with guns and banners.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A huge crowd turned out in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday (6 March) to celebrate International Women's Day.
SYNOPSIS: About 20,000 men and women attended the special celebration at Revolution Square. The programme began early in the morning when organizers entertained the crowds with songs.
Women from all walks of life participated in the festivities including peasants, urban dwellers, hospital sanitation workers, members of the military factions, and nurses. Ethiopian women's associations also put on special displays and exhibitions to commemorate the occasion.
The motto of the day was "oppressed women will defend the frontiers of the motherland". The Ethiopian second Vice-Chairman of the Military Council, Colonel Atnafu Abate addressed the rally.
Soviet and Cuban women also delivered speeches underlining the need for the new generation of revolutionary women to continue their struggle.
The past few years has seen many advances in the status of women in Ethiopia. Gradually women are learning to adopt their new roles in society and to relinquish their traditional beliefs. Campaigns have been stepped up recently in an attempt to educate women in the more remote areas of the country.
Bands played both traditional and modern music as the crowds danced and chanted. Visiting Cultural troupes also put on open-air music performances.
Women are also being encouraged to join the armed forces. Their presence is being welcomed in the light of recent reports indicating a considerable increase in guerrilla activity. Fighting occurred in the country's vast south eastern region, much of which is claimed by Somalia.