The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) sucessfuly conducted its fourth international conference on Ethiopian women in the Diaspora on March 7, 2015 at Sheraton Hotel in Silver Spring, MD. The theme of the conference was "the Role of Civil Society in the Upcoming Elections in Ethiopia". Scholars and activists based in the US and internationally have presented at the conference. 

CREW Successfully Conducted its 4th International Conference on Ethiopian Women in the Diaspora!

Conference pictureThe Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) successfully conducted its fourth international conference on Ethiopian women in the Diaspora on March 7, 2015 at Sheraton Hotel in Silver Spring, MD. The theme of the conference was “the Role of Civil Society in the Upcoming Elections in Ethiopia”. Scholars and activists based in the US and internationally have presented at the conference. CREW would like to thank distinguished speakers, participants, media and conference organizers for making this event a successful one!


Vital Collaboration in Lebanon, Part One: An Interview With Farah Salka of the Anti-Racism Movement (ARM)

By Kumera Genet.

The attack and subsequent suicide in 2012 of Alem Dechasa-Desisa, an Ethiopian migrant domestic worker in Lebanon, was a turning point in the consciousness of the Ethiopian and African Diaspora. The video of Ali Mafuz — Alem’s employer — beating her in front of the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut was one of the first widely shared visual examples of the exploitation that faces many African migrants in the Middle East. Due to a lack of resources and political organization, there have been few coordinated efforts by the African Diaspora to directly support migrant workers in the Middle East in three years since Alem’s death. 

Often lost in the discourse around migrant rights is that there are local efforts in Lebanon and other countries — led by activists and the migrant worker themselves — to support the migrant worker community. I feel this is important context to better understand how individuals living outside of the Middle East can assist in improving the lives of migrants. The news that reaches the Diaspora is normally about the tragedies. This is an unsustainable way of engaging in the issue and in the interim between public abuses, there must be more real relationship building with potential allies. Read more


CREW’s Editorial: The Charities and Societies Proclamation and its impact on human rights and women’s rights activism in Ethiopia

crewLogoEthiopia passed the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP), (No.621/2009), in February 2009 to regulate the work of civil society organizations in the country. This Law classified Ethiopian organizations into Charities or Societies, Resident Societies and Foreign Charities, and required all non-governmental organizations to register under one of these. Regardless of calls by different international commissions on human rights for its amendment, the CSP law is still untouched. It is still obstructing human right activism, including the monitoring of information on human rights.

As an Ethiopian women’s rights organization, the Center for the rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) opposes the Charities and Societies Proclamation. CREW advocates against women’s and human right abuses perpetrated from any position of power, familial, governmental or other. CREW, therefore, strongly calls for the amendment of the Charities and Societies Proclamation. Read more


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


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


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


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