Africa · Ethiopia · Men · Women

Violence Against Women in Ethiopia

There have been several things going on around Ethiopia that I have not been able to address because I didn’t know what to make of them. One of the things that people are talking about the most is the rise of Violence Against Women (VAW). Well, I don’t know if the correct term is “rise” as this had been going on for a while now, people just never spoken about it as they do so freely today.

We’ve heard of the many cases, like the girl who got acid spilled on her (I don’t know her name), Aberash, who lost both her eyes and a harari woman, who was murdered by her husband.

You can get details of Aberash’s case from our fellow Ethiopian blogger, AfricanFeminism

The harari lady, from what I heard, was married to a divorced man with children. After a couple of years of marriage, she got a visa to go to the United States and when she told him, I guess he killed her. Maybe he was pissed that she never told him about the visa; maybe he didn’t want her to go; or maybe he had whatever reason.

I get it. The men who do these disgusting crimes are wrong. No woman deserves to be treated like this; actually, no human being should be treated like this. I mean, what is honestly going through a man’s mind as he murders the woman who he once claimed that he loved? Forget murdering; even just beating? Honestly, I can’t hurt a person if my life depended on it. (That might be an exaggeration, if my life depended on it, well…) Seriously though, you know when you’re just joking with your friends and they say, “come on, hit me the best you can.” They hit me the best that they can, but I don’t. Don’t ask me why.

Anyway, honestly, I don’t know exactly if we can always blame the men alone. (I AM IN NO WAY SAYING THE ABOVE MENTIONED PEOPLE ARE WRONG. I JUST WANT TO POINT OUT AN OBSERVATION).

So one day, my parents and I were driving up to our home and you know how the Ethiopian homes are, the houses are not right on the street. You have to go in narrow roadways where only one car can go through at a time. Anyway, we drove up to our gate and there was a couple standing like 10 feet away. (Our narrow roadway is commonly known as Romeo and Juliet Road as there are at least 3-4 couples standing in the corners of people’s gates after dark. But this wasn’t at night yet; it was like 5pm-ish. So I look over and I see the dude hitting the girl and I’m like, “huh?” I tell my mom to look over and she saw the same thing. Mom rolled down the window and yelled out to the guy to stop hitting her, and he just ignored her. After she repeated a couple of times, the GIRL turns around and she says, “No, it’s OK; leave him alone.” At this point, I’m in shock. For a second I thought the girl was kidding but you can tell from her voice and the look of her eyes that she wasn’t fine. When help is offered and the women refuse, what do we do? What SHOULD we do?

This isn’t the first time I heard about this kinds of stories. This happens all the time and everywhere. Even the little “joking” punches on our arms turn into a slap, and finally it’s out of control. Some women are ALLOWING the men to treat them like this. How do we educate the women that this is not OK? I know that that girl was afraid of what would happen once we’re gone, but when help comes, I think you should take it.

When will these kinds of horrendous acts will stop?

When will it be the “breaking point”?

When will the good men join us in finally putting an end to this?

When will this be taken VERY SERIOUSLY?

When acid is thrown in a woman’s face?

When a woman loses her sight?

When a woman is murdered?




8 thoughts on “Violence Against Women in Ethiopia

  1. i remember once that there was a radio program . It was for ppl who are in this sort of r/ships to call and tell why they stay in the r/ship. Most of the ladies said, it’s because they love the make up part that comes after the fight….didn’t not make sense to me at all but that is what most of the ladies that called said. they didn’t think it was wrong .

  2. There is also a different version of domestic violence not usually covered by the media. (Today while I was in Court) A pregnant woman who hit her husband with a stick only once on his head (unfortunately he died!) was charged with murder. But he was the one who started beating her for refusing to obey his order.
    In cases like this, the police and public prosecutors think that it should be only the court (even when there is a self-evident case of self defense) who should say that it is self-defense. No that is not right. If it is a manifest case of self-defense it is the duty of public prosecutor not to frame a charge. Now the woman is in prison. “Law enforcement agencies if they are not able to protect women, should at least give them protection when the women protect themselves” (N.B. no particulars as to the identity of accused and the court was disclosed since the case is pending)

    1. Thanks for the comment! I definitely agree with you. But in a country like this… I don’t think these kinds of effects will take on anytime soon. It’s really difficult to adapt to change let alone dramatic ones like these. But, let God be with these women.

  3. whats even more sad is that in some cases even if the women speak up, there is no one to listen to them, or no one to give them their rights. they are guilty even though they are the ones getting abused. 😦

  4. Oh no, I know an Ethiopian guy who is taking phd program in Taiwan. He is quite a nice guy. Don’t tell me all Ethiopia men treat their life partner like this after marriage. Is there any exceptional? Are you saying that Ethiopia guys don’t show respect to their wives regardless of muslims or christians? As a wife, She is not supposed to have her own opinions but always listen to her husband? I am a Malaysia Chinese lady. Pls. tell me this is not common in Ethiopia but just occasional cases.

    1. Noo, no no, obviously not all men treat their wives that way. You can never generalize people. However, these men who do beat their wives, are not properly punished. These are rare cases which are publicized, but there are definitely more which are not let known to the common people.

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