Focus country: Ethiopia

Bekelu from a self help group run by our partner Siiqqee in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in Africa. More than 80% of the population live in rural areas and rely on small farm plots for their livelihood. Disasters including droughts, floods, disease, and conflict mean that many live in extreme poverty, especially women and children.

Most girls in Ethiopia never have the chance to go to secondary school and almost three quarters have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Early and forced marriage and domestic violence are also common.

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 girls enrol in secondary education (The Worlds Women 2010: Trends and Statistics)
  • 74% of women have undergone female genital mutilation (UNICEF 2013)
  • 41% of girls are married before they are 18 (UNICEF 2013)
  • 49% of women in Ethiopia have experienced physical violence from a partner while 59% have experienced sexual violence from a partner (UN Women 2011-12)

A snapshot of our work in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of Womankind's focus countries where we work in solidarity with women-led organisations to support initiatives to end violence against women, promote women's leadership and participation in decision making, and help women to become economically empowered.

For example, we are working with Association for Women's Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD) to strengthen services and responses for women and girls who experience violence through their shelters.

We are also supporting feminist network Setaweet to continue to be a key resource for gender equality in Ethiopia and we will support the introduction of a feminist curriculum into two state schools in Addis Abba.
Capitalising on Ethiopia’s focus on economic empowerment, we will support our new partner Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) to support women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ethiopia, building capacity and connectivity within the sector. 

Our partners

“Through my involvement in the community discussion groups held by Siiqqee, I realised that FGM has to stop. I have succeeded in convincing my daughter and her husband not to cut their children. My two grand-daughters are safe.” Kebebush

Siiqqee Women’s Development Association (Siiqqee)

  • Ethiopia
  • Africa
Siiqqee brings together marginalised women to train them in practical work skills and provide them with information on their rights. ...
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Helping women escape domestic violence

Many women in Ethiopia are trapped in violent relationships because they depend on their husband for survival. When women have no independent income their views are not valued by their husband or their community. Their experiences of violence often go unspoken.

With our support our local partner Siiqqee works in rural communities to:

  • Raise awareness about violence against women and girls through community meetings, and help the community develop solutions
  • Help women organise local women’s groups to support each other, learn new skills, and speak with a stronger voice
  • Support women to become financially independent by setting up savings and loan associations.
“It has been five months since I left the safe house and my life has improved. I am a stronger person and I am confident. I have started helping other women in my neighbourhood. One woman who lives close to me told me that her husband is assaulting her. I told her to report it to the police.” Heowit

Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD)

  • Ethiopia
  • Africa
AWSAD supports women to rebuild their lives after experiencing violence. They have a safe house with counselling, training, legal aid ...
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Supporting survivors of violence

Our partner, the Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD), runs a safe house in Addis Ababa for women and girls affected by violence. The safe house enables women and girls to overcome the trauma of violence, increase their self-confidence and rebuild their lives. AWSAD also works with the local communities of Addis Ababa and the police to raise awareness about the issue of violence.

With our help, AWSAD:

  • Provides women with shelter, legal support, counselling services, early learning classes for their children and training to find work
  • Informs women survivors about their legal rights and supports them through the court process
  • Raises awareness about violence against women and persuades community members and local leaders to take action
  • Works with the local police and officials in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to improve services.
“We would like to teach our society about the problems which we face. People should understand about girls’ rights and they should treat boys and girls equally.” Musina
Integrated Community Education and Development Association (ICEDA)

Integrated Community Education and Development Association (ICEDA)

  • Africa
  • Ethiopia
ICEDA's major project focuses on ensuring that girls who are at risk of female genital mutilation, rape and child marriages ...
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Supporting girls to stay in school

With our support our local partner, the Integrated Community Education and Development Association (ICEDA), works in schools and:

  • Raises awareness about the value of girls’ education
  • Educates girls and community members about harmful cultural traditions including FGM and early or forced marriage
  • Works with community leaders and teachers to support girls to stay in school and report violence to the police
  • Helps girls to run a community shop to raise money for school uniforms and supplies.
CAWEE logo

Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment (CAWEE)

  • Ethiopia
  • Africa
The vision of CAWEE is to create a class of globally competitive women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia.
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Setaweet Logo


  • Ethiopia
  • Africa
Setaweet is a home-grown Ethiopian movement that aims to explore and articulate what feminism means for Ethiopian women.
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Our impact in Ethiopia

Thanks to our partnership with women’s organisations in Ethiopia, in one year:

  • Over 170,000 women and girls learnt about violence against women, enabling them to speak out
  • More than 2,000 women took part in business skills training
  • Over 3,500 women received legal aid to access justice
  • Over 4,000 girls were supported to continue their education.

Find out more about our impact

Help us do more

£24 can help to pay for materials for two new local women’s groups, including books, pens and storage boxes

£39 can pay towards training two village leaders to run community conversations about violence against women and girls

£122 will pay towards a training session for police officers to learn how to support women survivors of violence.