Conference – Gender Studies (IES/CFEE)
Locations of Women’s Voices and Power in Ethiopia
Friday, 3 June 2022, 9 am to 5 PM
IES, Ras Mekonnen Hall, Addis Ababa University
Tirsit Sahledengil (IES, AAU)
Dr Pierre Guidi (CFEE, IRD, University of Paris)
The Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University (IES-AAU) and the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE) organize a workshop on “Locations of Women’s Voices and Power in Ethiopia”, to be held on Friday 3 June at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. The aim of the workshop is to strengthen networks of researchers working on gender in the Ethiopian academy. It will focus on women’s voices and power in the Ethiopian contexts and situations and seeks to new conceptualization to participate in the theoretical work on gender produced today in the Global South.
9 am – Keynote. Dr Takele Merid, director of the Institute of Ethiopia Studies
9.20-10.20 am – First session. Moderator: Dr Desalegn Amsalu (IES)
– Yitaktu Tibebu (Center for Human Rights, AAU), Untold Accounts: Agency of Adolescent Girls and Women as in Combating Child Marriage
– Sisay Kinfe (Center for Federalism and Governance Studies, AAU), Transition to Democracy and Gaps in the Institutionalization of Women’s Political Representation in Ethiopia Federalism
10.20-11 am. Tea Break
11-12 am. Discussion
2-3 pm. Second session. Moderator: Dr Abeba Amare ( Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures, AAU)
– Muluken Kassahun (School of Law, AAU), Gadaa System and Women’s Rights: The Role of Oromoo Women’s Customary Institutions in Ensuring the Protection of Rights of Women
– Netsebrak Tamene, Women the Producer: the Role of Gurage Women in the Production Systems
– Anchinesh Shiferaw (Center for Human Rights, AAU) & Fana Gebresenbet (IPSS, AAU), Rethinking Gender Studies in Ethiopia: Universities as ‘gate keepers’ of knowledge.
3-3.20 pm. Tea Break
3.20-4.30 pm. Discussion
4.30 pm. Closing
While being very attentive to relations of power, contributors would move beyond the analysis of women as victims, to focus on their agency in order to understand how they negotiate or contest patriarchal structures to advance their autonomy, recognition, and power (Belete, 2001). Studies would be drawn from various settings: rural and urban, within different social classes and cultural groups, with women engaged in different kinds of labour and activities in the private and the public sphere.
In addition to this thematic approach based on agency, the ambition is to enrich the theory of women and gender in Ethiopia by drawing directly on women’s experiences. Therefore, in relying on the rich literature already produced in Ethiopia and through new field works, full attention will be given to the ways in which Ethiopian women interpret their own experiences. How do they name, classify and explain the gender relations they live in? How do they eventually try to change them and what are their expectations for the future? In trying to find a new conceptualization based on Ethiopian women’s realities and interpretations, the workshop « Locating Women Voices and Power in Ethiopia » advocates an inclusive approach which gives a better place to women’s voices. So doing, the workshop aims to contribute to the research agenda elaborated since the 1990s by social scientists working on gender in Africa (Lewis, 2002), Asia and Latin America, who address the challenge “to create spaces of theoretical discussion with many more voices and wider and deeper agenda” (Connel, 2014).
Belete Bizuneh, 2001, “Women in Ethiopian History: Bibliographic Review”, Northeast African Studies, 8 (3), 7-32.
Connel, Raewyn, 2014, “Rethinking Gender from the South”, Feminist Studies, 3 (40).
Lewis, Desiree, 2002, “African Gender Research and Postcoloniality: Legacies and Challenges”, paper presented to CODESRIA Gender Institute.
Mama, Amina A., 1997, “Heroes and Villains: Conceptualising Colonial and Contemporary Violence against Women in Africa”, in: Alexander, M. Jacqui and Mohanty, Chandra T. (eds.). Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures. New York/London: Routledge: 42-62.
Meron Zeleke Eresso, 2021, “Women in Ethiopia”, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, 2021.
Mohanty Chandra, 1984, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses”, Boundary 2, 12 (3): 333-358.
Tsehai Berhane Selassie, 1984, In Search of Ethiopian Women,Londres, CHANGE International Reports.
Tsehai Berhane Sellasie (eds.), 1991, Gender Issues in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University, Institute of Ethiopian Studies.