Menna AsratApril 23, 2019
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2min16600

Bineta Diop is the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security to the African Union (AU). The first woman to hold the position of special envoy, Diop is also the founder of Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS), a non-governmental organisation that promotes women’s rights and interests in Africa. As the daughter of a feminist mother, she managed to complete school in her home country of Senegal, at a time and place where not many women were able to. She studied business in Paris, where she accompanied her husband, a career diplomat, over various countries and events, including to Ethiopia for three years during Emperor Haile Selassie. Having joined the International Commission of Jurists, human rights NGO in Geneva in 1981, she then started FAS in 1996. Diop was also involved in in the development of the African Charter on Human and People’s rights (also known as the Banjul Charter), as well as the Protocol to African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa (the Maputo Protocol), alongside a group of African lawyers. In her position as Special Envoy, she was instrumental in the development of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda for the AU, and the subsequent Continental Results Framework. She sat down with EBR’s Menna Asrat on the sidelines of the recent African Union Summit, to discuss the developments in the position of women on the continent in light of International Women’s Day 2019. Diop stressed that the AU will continue working on the grassroots level by putting federations of women’s groups, which she calls them ‘the army without guns’ together all over Africa to amplify women voices.


Ashenafi EndaleApril 23, 2019
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1min105020
The Predicament women face in Prison

The number of women and girls caught in the criminal justice system has skyrocketed in recent years. Out of the total 200,000 prisoners found in Ethiopia, currently, 3.7Pct are women. Women prisoners face multi layer challenges such as discrimination and treatment with cruelty and violence in detention centres and police stations. On top of these, problems including gross overcrowding and inadequate food, water, sanitation, as well as medical care, put female prisoners in danger. To make matter worse, many of women are imprisoned with their children, whom they have to raise within the prison compound. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale who visited Kaliti Prison recently reports the difficulty faced by women prisoners.


Kiya AliApril 23, 2019
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1min45090

While feminism as a movement has been around for a long time in most of the world, in Ethiopia, the term itself carries negative connotations for many people. Seen by some as a movement that only benefits a few elite women, or as something that encourages women to hate men, the basic definition of feminism as the fight against gender inequality seems not to have landed. Now, many young gender issues activists and experts are trying to reclaim feminism, and at the same time, take away the pejorative implications of the word in the eyes of the general public. EBR’s Kiya Ali reports.


Kiya AliApril 23, 2019
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1min12170

Derartu Tulu (Chief Superintendent) is a legendary Ethiopian long-distance runner. She was the first black African women to win a gold medal, after she became the victor in the women’s 10,000 meters in Barcelona in 1992. Since then, she has racked up an impressive list of achievements, including coming back from injury, and starting a family, to win the gold in the 2000 Olympics. She also took up marathon running, finishing second in the Madrid marathon, and becoming the first Ethiopian women to win the New York marathon in 2009. Currently, she serves as the president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, taking over the post from Haile Gebreselassie in late 2018. EBR’s Kiya Ali spoke with Derartu about her views on gender equality and leadership.


Ashenafi EndaleApril 23, 2019
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1min42280
Providing A Glimpse of Hope for women Entrepreneurs

For many female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, starting and running a business is a very challenging prospect. One of the biggest issues facing women in Ethiopia is access to finance. Traditional loan models rely on collateral and credit histories, which many women do not have. However, some new investment models have arisen, including angel investing, which involves investors, sometimes in foreign countries, investing in small and medium enterprises in developing countries, sometimes for a small cut of the company. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explored this new avenue for women to start their businesses.


Samson BerhaneApril 23, 2019
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1min24780
Architect of A Successful Woman-Led Tech Startup

Samrawit Fikru is the creator of Hybrid Design, a company behind the most popular taxi hailing app in Ethiopia, Ride. Samrawit is always trying to identify problems and respond accordingly. It was likely this quality that was the key to her success. Transformed from an SMS-based on demand service to a mobile app, Ride is now used by more than 1,300 drivers and has been downloaded over 50,000 times. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with the 29 year old entrepreneur to learn about her journey to success and the challenges she has faced so far.


Kiya AliApril 23, 2019
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1min39010
The Incredible Journey of the Unfortunate women with Obstetric Fistula

The Fistula Hospital is an Ethiopian landmark. Located in Addis Ababa, the hospital and the Hamlin Fistula Centers were founded by Catherine Hamlin (MD) and her husband Reginald Hamlin (MD) in 1974. In the time since then, Hamlin and her work have become well known throughout the world. The hospital provides service for women suffering from obstetric fistulas, often caused by extended labour without access to medical care. Women with this condition often find themselves isolated from their communities and families, with no way to support themselves. The treatment they get at the hospital often gives them a new lease on life, as EBR’s Kiya Ali observed.


Abiy WendifrawAbiy WendifrawApril 23, 2019
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1min66320

Even though women’s football has become more and more respected around the world, female football players face challenges to which many people turn a blind eye. Besides the normally publicized troubles of lower wages, fewer sponsors and less support, women in Ethiopia who play football have to contend with another challenge: questions from the greater society about their gender. To be taken seriously, many are finding that they have to suppress their femininity, something which can leave lasting scars, as EBR Adjuct Writer Abiy Wendifraw found out.


Menna AsratApril 23, 2019
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1min64950
Women with Disabilities Facing Indescribable Danger

In Ethiopia, the plight of people with disabilities has long been ignored or pushed aside. Various myths and misconceptions face people with disabilities in their quest for recognition and inclusion. But for women living with disabilities, this is not the only hurdle they have to face. As in many developing countries, women in Ethiopia who live with disabilities face the added challenge of sexual and gender based violence. Although there is no clear consensus on the number of victims, many women with disabilities in developing countries face the same problem. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.


Menna AsratApril 23, 2019
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1min67020

The #MeToo campaign has increased the confidence of women, mainly Western women, to report sexual and gender-based violence. A year after the Harvey Weinstein story broke; the conversation has extended well into Hollywood and beyond. Countless other powerful and famous men have been felled by accusations, victims and advocates have bonded together in hopes of evolution and healing, and the entertainment industry has attempted to keep up with seismic change. But in developing countries like Ethiopia, the shame and blame on the victims has largely kept them silent. In fiercely patriarchal societies, where religion and tradition define the role of women, simply reporting abuse against women in the entertainment industry is so difficult that it is not even considered to bring down men of power, as #MeToo has allowed. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.



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