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Ethiopia’s Gada system inscribed in UNESCO list

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Ethiopia's Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political system of the people of Oromo, has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Gada system was inscribed on the third day of the eleventh session of the UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in Addis Ababa from November 28 to December 02.

Gada being a traditional system of governance by the people of Oromo in Ethiopia regulates political, economic, social and religious activities of the community dealing with issues such as conflict resolution, reparation and protecting women's rights in addition to serving as a mechanism for enforcing moral conduct, building social cohesion, and expressing forms of community culture.

Gada system, which serves as a mechanism for enforcing moral conduct, building social cohesion, and expressing forms of community culture, is organized into five classes with one of these functioning as the ruling class consisting of a chairperson, officials and an assembly. Each class progresses through a series of grades before it can function in authority with the leadership changing on a rotational basis every eight years. Class membership is open to men, whose fathers are already members, while women are consulted for decision-making on protecting women's rights.

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