Gendershops: training young people to challenge traditional gender roles in Ethiopia

Hannah Little | Aug 01, 2019
Selam Goshu- Setaweet - Gendershops

Discrimination can begin at a young age all around the world. From teachers and classmates, to parents and siblings, girls can be discriminated against by a range of people in their lives. This discrimination takes on many forms, from verbal and sexual abuse to more subtle forms of discrimination such as ongoing stereotypes and biases against women.

In Ethiopia, Womankind partner Setaweet has developed ‘Gendershops’, bespoke training for girls and boys of secondary school age. Workshops have already been delivered in schools across Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa.

The extensive curriculum covers everyday sexism, healthy relationships, masculinity and the power of sisterhood. It aims to empower young Ethiopian women and men with the skills to recognise sexist behaviour, challenge biases against women and ultimately reduce incidences of violence.

Selam (18) and Abraham (15) told us about their experience participating in the Gendershops:

Abreham - Gendershops - Setaweet

I believe that the training has helped me in regards to the way I look at 
women, that they have rights and that they can do what men can. My thoughts have changed about gender roles. We don’t talk about gender equality, and we should talk about it more. When I see a man insulting woman I will try and teach them what I have learnt from the training. I will try and do my part by telling and sharing what I have learned.” – Abraham (pictured left)

Selam - Setaweet - Gendershops

“I have learned a lot from the workshop, it has taught me that I can make decisions on my own without being pressured from anybody. When there is a relationship between a boyfriend and a girlfriend and the boy is pressuring me for sex, I now know I can say no. It is important.– Selam (pictured right)

For more on this inspirational project, read a blog post by Akile, the Setaweet Programme Director, here

Postcode equality trust - people's postcode lottery

[This project was supported by the Postcode Equality Trust. Visit their website here.]

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