Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW)
Annual Activities Report
January 2014 – December 2014
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) has accomplished the following activities during the fiscal year, January 2014 to December 2014:
1. CREW obtained its 501©3 status.
2. CREW successfully organized the 3rd Annual International Conference on Ethiopian Women in the Diaspora on March 22, 2014 in Silver Spring MD. The theme of the conference was Migration of Ethiopian Women: Contemporary Issues. Different organizations including Tadias Magazne, Tsehay Publishers, ESAT Television & Radio, Sankofa Café and Gebeta Restaurant sponsored the conference. Scholars and activists presented their paper on the root causes of migration (the push and pull factors), the migration of Ethiopian women and their sufferings in the Middle Eastern countries. The following recommendations, among others, were made during the conference:
- The Ethiopian government needs to recognize the current cross border migration situation from the country as a “Crisis” in order to be able to respond accordingly.
- Outmigration requires reforming the [Ethiopian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor. Like other nations, Ethiopia, on behalf of its citizens, needs to promote cooperation and negotiate minimum labor standards in host countries.
- The government of Ethiopia must push migrant recipient countries to sign the International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (ICRMW), one of the core international human rights treaties.
- Interventions to alleviate the plight of migrant workers should be carefully designed to avoid perpetual framing of Ethiopian migrants as helpless victims.
- The Ethiopian government needs to adopt clear policy and legal framework that responds to the current migration crisis in par with the international laws and principles.
- There is a need to see beyond CREW’s organizational capacity and start to network with other societal groups, such as other civic organizations, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Protestant churches and the Ethiopian Mosques.
- Engaging the US Congress, Congressional Black Caucus and Hilary Clinton at Clinton foundation on the issues with the aim of having congressional hearing on the plight of Ethiopian migrant women in the Middle East.
- Set up a task force entrusted with the responsibility to follow-up with recommended actions. Please click here to read more on the conference.
3. CREW Established Journal/Website Committee and prepared statement on human rights advocacy work. This statement is incorporated in the bylaws of CREW to clarify the organization’s position on human rights issues. It is also posted on CREW’s website as shown under the “What We Do” section of the website.
4. In March 2014, CREW wrote former President Carter about the Ethiopian domestic workers in the Middle Eastern Arab countries, since he wrote a book about violence against women. He recently responded and is willing to help CREW.
5. CREW launched a Mother’s Day Tribute project whereby Ethiopian men and women contributed different poems and literature concerning Ethiopian mothers in May, 2014.
6. CREW held successful fundraising event on August 2, 2014 (Fundraising Committee was responsible for conducting the fundraising event) at Howard University’s Blackburn Hall. Many supporters of CREW donated money.
7. An interview was held with different media outlets such SBS Australia, Voice of America and other local radios in relation to the fund raising event. Taking the opportunity, efforts were made to inform the mission, objectives and activities of CREW, as well as the current situation of Ethiopian women at home and the Middle East countries.
8. An Ethiopian lady donated 10,000 Ethiopian Birr to help CREW’s projects with Integrated Family Services Organization (IFSO). The money was used to pay for the medical expenses of two ladies who were returned from Beirut to Ethiopia. The remainder of the money will be used for similar emergency situation.
9. CREW was represented at the Alternative Civil Society Forum at Howard University during the Africa Summit in August, 2014. President of CREW, Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw has attended representing CREW.
10. CREW hired Website Manger/Administrative Assistant on October, 2014. Since then, the database system for the organization has been created. The website has been made active and updated with the current stories on Ethiopian women.
11. In addition a number of press releases have been issued and published on CREW’s website to inform the international community, humanitarian organizations, etc. on the violation of human right in Ethiopia and the condition of Ethiopian domestic workers in the Middle Eastern countries. The following are press releases made by CREW in 2014:
- Condemning the mass killing of students at Ambo University
- Demanding the release of Zone 9 Bloggers
- Urging the Ethiopian government the fair treatment and release of Andargachew Tsige
- The release of seven Ethiopian women who were detained during the Great Ethiopian Women Run on March 9, 2014
- Concerning the plight of Ethiopian women domestic workers in the Middle East
12. CREW released an editorial on “the Charities and Societies Proclamation and its impact on human rights and women’s rights activism in Ethiopia” in December, 2014.