Fundraising Message

We have a fundraising campaign to raise sufficient fund to strengthen The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW). A fundraising kickoff event was held on August 2, 2014 at Howard University, Washington, DC. CREW, therefore, requests your generous monetary assistance to achieve its objectives and goals. If you would like to help, please make your tax deductible donation payable to CREW and send it to CREW, P.O. Box 10412. Silver Spring, MD. 20914. You may also donate online at this website using pay pal.

We thank you in advance for all your support.

Call For Papers: Fourth International Conference of Ethiopian Women in the Diaspora March 7, 2015 Washington DC, USA

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The Role of Civil Society Organization (CSOs) in the

Upcoming Elections in Ethiopia 

Call for papers 

Civil society organizations (CSOs) flourished in Ethiopia from early 1990s to 2005 better than ever before. Some of these civil society organizations focused on service delivery, others on civil rights, gender equality and good governance, and still others on consciousness raising and the environment.

In 2009, the Government of Ethiopian enacted a new law, the Societies and Charities Proclamation. The law drastically restricted the activities of many nongovernmental organizations, prohibiting them to work on human rights and good governance. Currently, CSOs have no role in raising awareness of democracy, human rights, rule of law, and citizenship in the country. Meaningful participation of CSOs in activities related to the upcoming election is highly unlikely.

Individual initiatives through CSOs are based on the inalienable right to participate in vital political, social, economic or other issues, without belonging to political parties (in or outside government). Civil society organizations are autonomous means of participating in public life. They are systems of taking initiatives for ensuring that people follow their preferred directions to their political, economic or social lives. Without the active role of CSOs therefore, creating awareness of the rights and responsibilities of citizens and having fair and free elections is going to be impossible. That is, the 2015 elections could simply result in a one-party dominated election similar to that in 2010. Citizens will not participate freely to build a democratic society that will reflect their needs.

At its 4th annual international conference, therefore, the Center for Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) plans to consider the role of civil society organizations in the upcoming elections in Ethiopia. The main objective is to create an understanding of the magnitude of the negative impacts of the Societies and Charities Law on the activities of nongovernmental organizations. As a women’s civil society organization, CREW will also pay special attention to Ethiopian women’s participation in the political process. Thus, one of the major questions that the conference will address will be the role of women’s organizations in mobilizing women to use their rights towards fair and free elections.

With that in view, the conference is intended to cover the following themes

1. Assessment of the Societies and Charities Law and its impact on the activities of civil society organizations in the upcoming elections:

    • Lessons learned from previous elections; and
    • Challenges and opportunities for the upcoming elections

2.   Women’s participation in the political process:

    • Women’s advocacy for free and fair elections
    • Plan of action and advocacy on women’s participation in the political process
    • Strategies for encouraging women to seek political leadership positions.

3.   Encouraging the international community to promote free and peaceful elections in Ethiopia.

If you are interested in presenting papers on any of these areas, please send us a one-page proposal by January 30, 2015. The proposal should state the topic and show the pertinence of your presentation to our theme. If you have any questions, please write to us via our e-mail:  ethiowomen@gmail.com.

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Gang rape spurs calls for reform in Ethiopia

Women’s rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.

By Jacey Fortin, Aljazeerahanaa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Inside a gated home on the western outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, a picture of Hanna Lalango is framed in a wreath of flowers just beginning to wilt around the edges. The 16-year-old girl died on November 1, about a month after she entered a public mini-bus and was gang-raped by the strangers on board.

Hanna’s story is strikingly similar to a tragedy that took place in India two years ago, when another young woman boarded a bus, was raped by the passengers, and died from her injuries. That incident spawned a mass movement calling for an end to violence against women and impunity for perpetrators, making international headlines and sparking protests across the world’s most populous democracy. But in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, the reaction to Hanna’s death has so far been subdued. Read more

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Kidnapped, Raped and Left for Dead: Who Will Protect Ethiopia’s Girls?

justice for hanna

By Rediet Wegayehu, The Guardian

One day in early October, Hanna Lalango, 16, did not return from school to her home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, at the usual time. Her father Lalongo Hayesso was worried about his youngest daughter.

“We waited for her at her usual time … but we had to wait for 11 days to hear that she had been abandoned on the street. She was incapacitated and couldn’t even get up,” said Hayesso. His daughter had been abducted, gang-raped and left for dead. Hanna was not able to get to hospital until 12 days after her attack, where she was treated for traumatic gynaecological fistula and other injuries. She died on 1 November.

Sexual violence against women in Ethiopia is relatively common. Research from 2012 found that “rape is undoubtedly one of the rampant crimes in Ethiopia”, and linked its prevalence to male chauvinist culture, legal loopholes, the inefficiency of different agencies in the criminal justice system, and “a deep-seated culture of silence”. In October 2011, an Ethiopian Airlines flight attendant named Aberash Hailay lost her eyesight after her ex-husband, Fisseha, stabbed her in both eyes with a sharp knife. Read more

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Teen’s gang rape in Addis Ababa sounds alarm

Gang rape in addisBy Tigist Geme, Aljazeera

Hanna Lalango, 16, died on Nov. 1, from a brutal gang rape after five men kidnapped and held her captive for several days in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Hanna attended a private high school in the city’s Ayer Tena neighborhood.

On Oct. 1, the day of her kidnapping, Hanna, the youngest of six siblings, “complained about not feeling well” before she left for school. “She was a typical young girl … a timid and respectful child,” Hanna’s brother told Blen Sahilu, who first posted the story on Facebook, as part of the online #JusticeForHanna campaign. “She was really nice.”

Hanna reportedly left school around 4 p.m. local time and got on a taxi that already had a couple of passengers. It is unclear at what point Hanna knew she was being kidnapped. But the culprits allegedly threatened the teen with knife and took her to one of the suspect’s house. Reports vary but Hanna’s father told the local media she was raped for at least five days. Read more

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The Yellow Movement at A.A. University Update on Abduction of Hanna Lalango

By Tadias Magazine

The Yellow Movement at Addis Ababa University — an initiative co-founded by law school lecturer Blen Sahilu and a group of students organized to advocate for the protection of women from gender based violence — is bringing international attention via social media to the recent broad daylight

Untitledkidnapping and gang rape of a 16-year-old student, Hanna Lalango. The latest social media update regarding the case indicates that the suspects have all been apprehended and expected to appear before court today at Addis Ababa First Instance Court. Below is an excerpt of what Blen Sahilu of the Yellow Movement AAU wrote on Facebook on Monday:

“A few hours ago I had an emotional conversation with Hanna’s older brother. Hanna is the young victim of a gruesome kidnapping and gang rape that in the end took her life”  Read more

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The Dominican Government Is Cementing the Foundations of Apartheid

By: Kumera Genet

It is over a year since the highest court in the Dominican Republic issued Resolution TC 0168/13, a ruling that stripped the citizenship of up to 250,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent. Since this ruling, the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the Dominican government of have used numerous methods to avoid legal responsibility for their actions, which violate the very Constitution of the Dominican Republic and international human rights treaties to which the country is party. The depressing reality is that the Dominican state is 10 years into a process of constructing a system of legal apartheid for Dominicans born to Haitian parents. This group of second- and third-generation Dominicans has always faced opposition to being fully recognized as Dominican citizens, but their government appears intent on legally cementing this discrimination — and is increasingly close to this goal. Read more

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‘Nightmare’ for Ethiopian Pastoralists as foreign investors buy up land

By: David Smith, The Guardian

Pastoralists 2Thinktank accuses Ethiopian government of stirring ethnic tensions as Suri displaced to make way for large plantations. Ethiopia’s policy of leasing millions of hectares of land to foreign investors is encouraging human rights violations, ruining livelihoods and disturbing a delicate political balance between ethnic groups, a thinktank report has found.

The US-based Oakland Institute says that while the east African country is now lauded as an economic success story, the report, Engineering Ethnic Conflict, “highlights the unreported nightmare experienced by Ethiopia’s traditionally pastoralist communities”.

A controversial “villagisation” programme has seen tens of thousands of people forcibly moved to purpose-built communes that have inadequate food and lack health and education facilities, according to human rights watchdogs, to make way for commercial agriculture. Ethiopia is one of the biggest recipients of UK development aid, receiving around £300m a year. Read more

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