Aden is a 19-year-old girl who lives in the Akaki/Kaliti region of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with her mother and two brothers. Her mother has been the primary breadwinner for the family since the death of her father. But because Aden’s mother left school in the eighth grade, it left her with limited job opportunities. She now works as a janitor for the government office on a temporary basis, which provides a small monthly salary for the family.
While Aden’s brothers continue their studies, she assists her mother with house work and helps her brothers to further their goals. Aden is currently attending the Fitawrari Abayneh secondary school, which is about a 35-minute walk from her home.
Aden says that education is important to her because it inspires hope for the future. Her dream is to become skillful in different areas but specialize either in mathematics or medical science, so as to be able to fight yellow fever, the disease which took away her father, and stop it from preying on others. Aden also has a strong desire to further gender equality. She wishes to participate in activities in which she usually observes no or minimal female participation, such as swimming, cycling and shoe-shining. She strongly believes that “if given equal opportunity women can demonstrate they have the capacity to manage the world in a much better manner.”
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