Why are Women Missing from Orchestras?

Despite the undeniable progress towards gender parity in the broader world, the concert stage remains an echo chamber of a bygone era. Orchestras and bands that grace the pinnacle of musical achievement continue to be overwhelmingly dominated by men, a persistent disparity that transcends geographic borders and exposes a deeper cultural reality. In exploring this enduring imbalance, EBR’s adjunct writer Meseret Mamo delves into the intricate web of factors that impede women’s representation as instrumentalists, fostering a critical discourse that seeks to illuminate a path towards a more equitable future for music performance. She explains why fewer women are involved in orchestral performance than men, even after increased enrollment in music programmes globally and why a similar trend in Ethiopia exists with less women pursuing musical careers despite graduating from music schools.


Despite the fact that women have achieved greater equality in recent decades with regard to increased employment opportunities, the realm of music performance still remains overwhelmingly dominated by men. This trend isn’t exclusive to Ethiopia: countries in the West also feature predominately male orchestras and bands that perform at prestigious musical venues. EBR’s adjunct writer Meseret Mamo spoke with musicians and explored the issue further to parse through the different explanations behind why women are underrepresented as instrumentalists. This article is a rerun from EBR 38.


The victory at Adwa is an important achievement that represents Ethiopian unity. However, the virtues that historic battle — unity, freedom, equality and justice — seem to be eroding. Guzo Adwa is trying to reinvigorate the Ethiopian public through an annual journey to the battle site. EBR’s adjunct writer, Meseret Mamo explores how the annual trip inspires Ethiopian youth to learn from the heroes of Adwa.


Lemma Guya Gemeda is noted for his realistic portrayal of Ethiopian figures through portraits. Despite this notoriety, he began his career in an unlikely manner. EBR’s adjunct writer Meseret Mamo visited his gallery, African Arts and Training Museum, in his hometown of Bishouftu and spoke with the illustrious painter to learn about his artistic trajectory.


Divorce is on the rise in Ethiopia. According to data from the Lideta Federal First Instance Court, within a three-year span, more than 16,000 divorces were recorded, a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. A number of reasons may lead to the dissolution of marriage, but some are concerned about the potential effects of divorce on individuals and the society in general. EBR adjunct staff writer Meseret Mamo spoke with lawyers, counsellors and divorcees to learn more about this trend and its potentially harmful effects.


Drug usage among teenagers is a growing trend in Ethiopia. By some estimates, as many as 64Pct of secondary school students have experimented with cannabis or khat, two of the most popular drugs used in the country. This trend is concerning, in part because of its long-term health effects but also because of the economic implications of drug usage for teens and the country as a whole. EBR’s Meseret Mamo explores the issue further and offers this report.


Adolescent pregnancies are often unplanned and may have long-term health and economic consequences for young mothers. This is particularly true in developing countries, where teenage fertility rates tend to be higher and social infrastructure is generally weaker. Studies note that women who give birth during adolescence are less likely to complete formal education, hindering their ability to earn stable income. The health effects are also dangerous, as young mothers often face higher rates of maternal and foetal mortality. EBR’s adjunct writer Meseret Mamo spoke to those involved with the issue as well as consulted research to learn more about the intricacies of this issue and what’s being done to mitigate its potentially problematic consequences in Ethiopia.


Shows How Long-Running Plays Benefit Local Theatre

Babylon BeSalon recently celebrated its tenure as the longest-running play in the National Theatre’s history. The milestone highlights the potential of theatre to bring together audiences – and as an important cultural experience and revenue-generating enterprise. EBR adjunct writer Meseret Mamo spoke with theatregoers and the playwright, among others, to learn more about Babylon’s influence and how it may help expand Ethiopia’s theatre industry.


Ethiopia is in the midst of an infectious disease outbreak. Known locally as acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), it’s now spreading throughout the capital and some regional states. While there are no official figures that document the extent of the epidemic, some organisations estimate that more than 2,000 people have been infected, resulting in nearly 20 deaths. Central to the problem of infectious disease epidemics is public health infrastructure and proper sanitation. EBR adjunct staff writer Meseret Mamo spoke with government officials and public health specialists to learn more about the extent of the outbreak and the nation’s response mechanics to halt the epidemic.

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