News: Addis Abeba hosts the first annual all-women in Ethiopia academia conference

Elisabeth W/Giorgs , Associate Professor in Addis Abeba University Art College and African Study Center

Etenesh Abera

Addis Abeba, November 25/2019 – Setaweet Movement, a movement established to “create a space for dialogue, research and activism by Ethiopian women and men,” organized its first Annual All-Women Academia Conference on Saturday, November 23, 2019 under the theme ‘’Writing our rights.’’

Loza Tsegaye the project coordinator for this annual conference from Setaweet movement told Addis Standard that the conference was “held to give room for women researchers to present their research related to gender issues for the public.” She added, “at first we didn’t have enough researchers to do the research so our movement prepared a project with training, in life coaching and skill development programs.”

Speaking about the goals of the conference Loza said Setaweet Movement organized the event to include women researchers from all walks of life, to encourage women researchers and promote their roles in Ethiopia and to create a platform in which they will help each other and create sisterhoods in different aspects.’ Most of the papers presented at the conference were those supported by the Setaweet project with the help from SOAS university of London

Participants of the first annual all-women in Ethiopia academia conference included Meaza Ashenafi, the first female President of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia (center)

Accordingly three thematic areas of the research papers were presented at the conference. The first was related to Ethiopian women’s contribution in art and culture; the second dealt with the relationship of women parliamentarian and government officials with the society; and the third was on the topic of marginalization of women in Ethiopia from the current political point of view. 

According to the organizers, researches were done in different parts of the country to include rural women. Gondar, Semera, Adigerat and Addis Abeba universities have participated in the researches.

Elisabeth W/Giorgs , Associate Professor, College of Performing and Visual Arts & the Center for African and Oriental Studies at Addis Abeba University (AAU), who was one of the presenters of the research on the marginalization of women from politics told Addis Standard  that “like ethnic marginalization, the marginalization of women in Ethiopian history is not studied yet. We have a lot of research about domestic abuse and gender based violence but, as women, we have to dig out our history. We have to study the [political] marginalization of women in Ethiopian history.”

According to Elisabeth, Ethiopia has to have women research and study centers. “We have gender studies centers in some universities but they are not enough,” Elisabeth said, and suggested that more studies should be conducted to bring solutions for the current status. More importantly, “we have to examine the education system in which we are failing right now.” AS

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