This paper critically reviewed the gender equality and women’s empowerment endeavors in least developed countries (LDCs) and proposed policy and strategy measures for achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) in Ethiopia. Ethiopian women are economically, socially, culturally and politically disadvantaged in the enjoyment of equal rights, in accessing opportunities, decision-making processes, and basic resources. In other words, although a number of policies are emerging that support and encourage women’s participation in development, women’s access to and control of productive resources, information, training and education, employment and in decision-making are limited. The general objective of this paper is to assess the quest for gender equality and women’s empowerment in least developed countries to achieve MDGs and identify policy and strategy implications for Ethiopia. This paper adapts a human ecological approach and a comprehensive review and analysis of the existing literature was made in order to obtain both theoretical insights and secondary data on the review themes. The collected secondary data and information were qualitatively analyzed through narration and description and presented under relevant themes. The findings of the study reveal that promising efforts are being made by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to address gender equality and women’s empowerment issues in the process of achieving millennium development goals. Nevertheless, a lot has to be done for more effective gender equality and women’s empowerment thereby the millennium development goals (MDGs) and sustainable development objectives will be achieved in Ethiopia. Adaptation of the good practices of gender equality and women’s empowerment from different successful countries, proper implementation of the ratified international conventions on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and development and implementation of appropriate national gender policy will improve the condition of Ethiopian women in the years to come.
Key words: Development, empowerment, equality, ethiopia, gender, women.