A brighter future for young girls in Ethiopia

Aklile Solomon Abate | Jul 23, 2019
With so many young girls at the safe house, AWSAD provide a teacher and learning materials, with many going on to graduate

The Setaweet team is excited to embark on a new journey. They're delivering groundbreaking training to girls and boys in secondary schools in Addis Ababa to encourage and promote gender equality. We are deeply grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for making this happen.

Challenging gender-based violence 

Through the feminist trainings, known as GenderShops, Setaweet aims to create a critical shift in understanding of what are considered ‘normal gender relationships’ between boys and girls, in order to reduce the school community’s tolerance of gender-based violence. As a result of the trainings young people will begin to actively question accepted gender norms and differentiate between gender and sex, challenge behaviours that have been accepted as “normal” and be conscious enough to notice everyday sexism and stereotypes. Setaweet drives young people towards the ‘Aha!’ moment, where young people challenge their own sense of ‘normal’ to understand the way gender relationships are constructed in society.

Setaweet has already begun project inception with secondary schools and is designing an impactful training manual tailored to the realities of the chosen school environments. The manuals will engage young people through a set of cartoon characters that have been especially created for the programme. The characters themselves display the diversity of people found in Ethiopian society, including portraying people from different economic backgrounds, physical appearances and abilities. These characters will appear throughout the manual displaying the activities and scenarios.

The workshops will question and challenge current gender relations in the schools. Young people will start to discuss and understand societal expectations of what it means to be a man (masculinities) and what it means to be a woman (femininities), challenge gender-based stereotypes, sexist narratives and equip the participants with an ability to identify how they are limited by accepted gender norms.   

Promoting gender equality 

The project is expected to have both short term and long-term impacts on the lives of women and girls, boys and men. In the short term, teenage boys and girls will have the opportunity to understand how gender in society is structured to work against them, challenge this with solidarity from others and build their own individual identities. In the long term, these young people will become adults who will promote equal, healthy relationships between men and women and their children.

Womankind Worldwide, our UK based partner, will support Setaweet to effectively manage the project in conjunction with local allies and technical advisors.

Setaweet looks forward to providing regular updates to players of People’s Postcode Lottery over the coming two years and showing how young lives are changing in favour of gender equality.

Aklile Solomon Abate, Project Manager, Setaweet

Postcode Equality Trust

[This article was originally published on 01/02/18]

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