Education and its contribution to science, technology, and innovation are the key points for combating poverty in the long term. Education is also a key point for empowering girls and women, which is fundamental for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Astronomy is a powerful tool to promote education and science but, in addition to that, it is also one of the leading sciences for bringing strong technological developments and innovation. The status of astronomy and space science in Africa changed significantly over the past years, becoming emerging fields across the continent, and never before it was more possible to use astronomy for development as it is nowadays. This talk will summarise different activities carried out for empowering girls and women through astronomy in Ethiopia and across the continent, including the creation of the African Network of Women in Astronomy, and show how through them we can combat poverty in the long term, and increase in future our possibilities of attaining the United Nations SDGs, including SDG5, for the benefit of our all society. The last part of the talk will cover a list of recommendations for improving the strong gender gap that we still have in science across the world.