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Land Registration and Certification as a Key Strategy for Ensuring Gender Equity, Preventing Land Grabbing and Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia


Gebre-Egziabher, Abraha Kinfe. 2013. “Land Registration and Certification as a Key Strategy for Ensuring Gender Equity, Preventing Land Grabbing and Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.” International Journal of African Renaissance Studies - Multi-, Inter- and Transdisciplinarity 8 (2): 5-22.

Author: Abraham Kinfe Gebre-Egziabher


In Ethiopia the land issue has always occupied a central place in various struggles for survival and development. Tigray, Ethiopia had a complex land tenure system which has a long history, which goes back to the Aksumite period. The land tenure of Tigray was modified after the introduction of Christianity to Tigray, Ethiopia in about 320 AD, and subsequent leaders began founding churches and establishing monasteries. Traditionally, every Tigreayan was entitled to a piece of land by virtue of the fact that he/she belongs by birth to a given community (Rsti). However, “The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Article over the years this seemingly simple system has been complicated by the monarchs of Tigray. Two of the main problems that were associated with the land issues of Tigray during that time mainly during the imperial regime were land grabbing and the gender disparity in land ownership. As a result of the two and other key problems, the Tigreayans grew progressively poorer over the years.
40 (The Right to Property) and Article 35 (Rights of Women), respectively, were aimed at addressing the major problems related to land and gender issues. As a way of implementing the articles given in the Constitution and the policies, the regional government of Tigray used Land Registration and Certification as a strategy. The land registration and certification process conducted in Tigray is a process that is local, simple, done in the language of the people (Tigrigna), transparent and participatory, and has prevented land grabbing and ensured gender equity. This article then discusses how land registration and certification not only prevents land grabbing and ensures gender equity, but also enhances agricultural productivity, by using the evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.

Keywords: Agricultural productivity, financial capital, human capital, natural capital, social capital, gender equity capital, Land Certification, grabbing, registration, sustainable development, Tigray, ethiopia

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Land grabbing, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2013

The Gender-Energy Nexus in Eastern and Southern Africa


Mihyo, Paschal B, and Truphena E Mukuna. 2015. The Gender-Energy Nexus in Eastern and Southern Africa. Addis Ababa: The Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA).

Authors: Paschal B Mihyo, Truphena E Mukuna


“The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Eastern and Southern Africa have been at the forefront to developing new energy policies and programmes aimed at reaching the UN goal of Ensuring Access to Clean Energy for All by 2030. In the year 2006, the East African Community passed the EAC Strategy to Scale Up Access to Modern Energy Services, committing its Member States to reach the UN goal of "access to all" by 2030. The Inter-governmental Authority for Development adopted its Environmental and Natural Resources Policy in 2007 which includes issues of renewable energy. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa launched its Model Energy Programme in 2012, followed the same year by its comprehensive baselines database on renewable resources covering all its Member States. In the year 2009, the African Union General Assembly at its 12th Ordinary Session adopted the Policy on "Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Africa". The regional policies have been domesticated by Member Sates of the RECs. Although their targets are very ambitious, implementation programmes launched at national level are robust and producing results. Both in the policies and implementation programmes, gender issues have, however, not featured prominently. Noting this deficit, the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa called for researchers to assess the extent to which energy policies in Eastern and Southern Africa have taken gender issues on board.
“This book is the product of that project. It has ten chapters that investigated the gender-energy nexus in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Swaziland, Sudan and Kenya. The book will prove useful to all policy makers, researchers and analysts who may be interested in strengthening the gender content of the programmes as we move towards 2030. We believe it triggers and helps policy makers and researchers to create platforms to use its findings, and those of others, to see how in gender terms those at the bottom of the energy access pyramid can be factored into these programmes, to make sure they are not left behind.” (Summary from African Books Collective)


Table of Contents:
Paschal B. Mihyo

1. The Gender-Energy Nexus in Zimbabwe
Charles Mutasa

2. Gender-Energy Nexus in Ethiopia: An Analytical Review
Alemu Tolemariam and Dejene Mamo

3. The Gender-Energy Nexus in Tanzania: Assessing Rural Electrification in the Context of Gender Mainstreaming among Women
Henry M. Kigodi and Japhace Poncian

4. Towards a Gender Transformative Agenda? A Critique of Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Policy in Kenya
Moses A. Osiro

5. Community Perspectives on the Demand, Availability and Accessibility of Energy Resources in Swaziland: A Case Study of Sinceni on Deforestation
Londiwe D. Hlophe and Musa M.A. Dube

6. Gender Equity and Household Decision-Making in Alternative Energy Technologies Adoption: A Case of Access to Biogas Technology in Central Tanzania
Anna Wawa

7. Cooking Fuel in Sudan: Utilisation Patterns, Health Hazards and Cleaner Fuel Adoption
Yahia O. Adam

8. Turning Challenges into Opportunities in Household Energy Demand: Women Tiftif Makers in Yeka Sub-city Addis Ababa
Betelhem Ephrem

9. Gender-Sensitive Clean Energy Technologies for Sustainable Development amongst Pastorialist Maasai Communities, Kenya
Truphena E. Mukuma

10. Bridging the Gender Gap in Access to Energy in East Africa: A Needs-Based Approach
Paschal B Mihyo

11. Conclusions and Recommendations
Truphena E. Mukuma


Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Year: 2015

An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries


Graham, Jay P., Mitsuaki Hirai, and Seung-Sup Kim. 2016. “An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries.” PLOS ONE 11 (6): e0155981. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155981.

Authors: Jay P. Graham, Mitsuaki Hirai, Seung-Sup Kim



It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.


This study aims to a) describe gender differences in water collection labor among both adults and children (< 15 years of age) in the households (HHs) that report spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, disaggregated by urban and rural residence; and b) estimate the absolute number of adults and children affected by water collection times greater than 30 minutes in 24 SSA countries.


We analyzed data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) (2005–2012) to describe water collection labor in 24 SSA countries.


Among households spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, adult females were the primary collectors of water across all 24 countries, ranging from 46% in Liberia (17,412 HHs) to 90% in Cote d’Ivoire (224,808 HHs). Across all countries, female children were more likely to be responsible for water collection than male children (62% vs. 38%, respectively). Six countries had more than 100,000 households (HHs) where children were reported to be responsible for water collection (greater than 30 minutes): Burundi (181,702 HHs), Cameroon (154,453 HHs), Ethiopia (1,321,424 HHs), Mozambique (129,544 HHs), Niger (171,305 HHs), and Nigeria (1,045,647 HHs).


In the 24 SSA countries studied, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection in households with collection times greater than 30 minutes. We suggest that accessibility to water, water collection by children, and gender ratios for water collection, especially when collection times are great, should be considered as key indicators for measuring progress in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

Year: 2016

Engendering Energy in Ethiopia: The Role of Solar Energy in Improving Rural Women’s Socio-Economic Conditions in Tigrai Region


Gebregiorgis, Gebrecherkos. 2015. “Engendering Energy in Ethiopia: The Role of Solar Energy in Improving Rural Women’s Socio-Economic Conditions in Tigrai Region.” International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 7 (1): 8–20.

Author: Gebrecherkos Gebregiorgis


This study was conducted on the role of solar energy in improving the socio-economic conditions of women in Tigrai region, Ethiopia. The specific objectives of the study were to assess the extent of solar energy use, to examine the role of solar energy in promoting women’s income earning strategies and access to social services; to document the perceptions and attitudes of women beneficiaries towards solar energy interventions and assess the challenges and prospects. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods (mainly surveys and ethnography). Primary data were gathered from different sources including beneficiary women household heads, local residents and pertinent administrative bodies. The specific tools for primary data collection include household questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with key informants, focus group discussions, and in-depth interviewing. The study also made use of secondary data obtained from reports and various documents. Primary data were analyzed using descriptive statistics including tables, charts and percentages using appropriate software. Qualitative data were presented in narrative descriptions while the results of the case studies were presented in the form of illustrative boxes to substantiate and consolidate major quantitative findings. The findings of the study indicate a substantial shift from biomass use to photovoltaic(PV) electricity which has improved women’s access to income and social services: shops and cinema houses flourished; radio and TV sets could be used to obtain information; schools and health posts gave better services and the time and energy women spent fulfilling their traditional roles such as cooking was reduced allowing them to actively participate in development activities like soil and water conservation. Major constraints and challenges identified were mainly related to sustainability: problems associated with maintenance, inaccessibility of spare parts, lack of technical skill to operate the systems, lack of follow-ups from concerned bodies as well as financial constraints.

Keywords: solar energy, socio-economic impacts, women, Tigrai, ethiopia

Topics: Class, Economies, Education, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2015

Predicaments of Mursi (Mun) Women in Ethiopia's Changing World


LaTosky, Shauna, Thomas Bierschenk, Anna-Maria Brandstetter, Raimund Kastenholz, Matthias Krings, and Carola Lentz. 2013. Predicaments of Mursi (Mun) Women in Ethiopia’s Changing World. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe.

Authors: Shauna LaTosky, Thomas Bierschenk, Anna-Maria Brandstetter, Raimund Kastenholz, Matthias Krings, Carola Lentz


Currently, 'fast track' modern development schemes are being implemented in southwestern Ethiopia, with enormous impact on the lives of local indigenous peoples. In this book, LaTosky looks at the predicaments of modern life in Mursiland, and reveals how Mursi (Mun) women experience and interpret the changes that are affecting their everyday lives. Based on ethnographic research conducted in northern Mursiland between 2004 and 2009, the author examines how Mursi women rhetorically express their conceptions of the past, present and future, and how they negotiate what it means to live well in a changing world. Drawing on the personal narratives of three generations of Mursi women, and analysing these stories within a framework of rhetoric culture theory and feminist rhetoric theory, LaTosky reveals the ambiguities, tensions and social contradictions that arise when an agro-pastoralist community is confronted by modern change. The book also considers how Mursi women's experiences of being Mursi are shaped by their notions of gender, which in turn are shaped by rhetoric, and provides a critique of the universal enforcement of gender equality in the light of Mursi ideals of well-being. (Abstract from Amazon)


Table of Contents:


Part I. "The Challenge: Unequal Citizenship"

1. "Comparative Perspectives on Citizen-Creation in Africa"

2. "The Historical Context for Modern Ethiopian Citizenship"

Part II. "The Response: The State and Its Citizens"

3. "Popular Responses to Unequal Citizenship

4. "A Referendum on Ethnic Identity and the Claims of Citizenship

5. "No Going Back on Self-Determination for the Oromo"

6. "Ethiopian Women and Citizenship Rights Deferred"


Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Women, Governance Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2013

Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender, and National Identity in Ethiopia


Smith, Lahra. 2013. Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender, and National Identity in Ethiopia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Lahra Smith


"Making Citizens in Africa argues that citizenship creation and expansion is a pivotal part of political contestation in Africa today. Citizenship is a powerful analytical tool with which to approach political life in contemporary Africa because the institutional and structural reforms of the past two decades have been inextricably linked with the battle over the 'right to have rights.' Professor Lahra Smith's work advances the notion of meaningful citizenship, which refers to the way in which rights are exercised, or the effective practice of citizenship. Using data from Ethiopia and developing a historically informed and empirically nuanced study of language policy and ethnicity and gender identities, this book analyzes the contestation over citizenship that engages the state, social movements, and individuals in substantive ways. By combining original data on language policy in contemporary Ethiopia with detailed historical study and an analytical focus on ethnicity, citizenship, and gender, this work not only brings a fresh approach to Ethiopian political development but also to contemporary citizenship concerns relevant to other parts of Africa" (Summary from Cambridge University Press).

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia


Development of a Screening Tool to Identify Female Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in a Humanitarian Setting: Qualitative Evidence from Research among Refugees in Ethiopia


Wirtz, Andrea L, Nancy Glass, Kiemanh Pham, Amsale Aberra, Leonard S Rubenstein, Sonal Singh, and Alexander Vu. 2013. “Development of a Screening Tool to Identify Female Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in a Humanitarian Setting: Qualitative Evidence from Research among Refugees in Ethiopia.” Conflict and Health 7 (1): 13. doi:10.1186/1752-1505-7-13.

Authors: Andrea L. Wirtz, Nancy Glass, Kiemanh Pham, Amsale Aberra, Leonard S Rubenstein, Sonal Singh, Alexander Vu


Background: High levels of gender-based violence (GBV) persist among conflict-affected populations and within humanitarian settings and are paralleled by under-reporting and low service utilization. Novel and evidence-based approaches are necessary to change the current state of GBV amongst these populations. We present the findings of qualitative research, which were used to inform the development of a screening tool as one potential strategy to identify and respond to GBV for females in humanitarian settings.

Methods: Qualitative research methods were conducted from January-February 2011 to explore the range of experiences of GBV and barriers to reporting GBV among female refugees. Individual interview participants (n=37) included female refugees (≥15 years), who were survivors of GBV, living in urban or one of three camps settings in Ethiopia, and originating from six conflict countries. Focus group discussion participants (11 groups; 77 participants) included health, protection and community service staff working in the urban or camp settings. Interviews and discussions were conducted in the language of preference, with assistance by interpreters when needed, and transcribed for analysis by grounded-theory technique.

Results: Single and multiple counts of GBV were reported and ranged from psychological and social violence; rape, gang rape, sexual coercion, and other sexual violence; abduction; and physical violence. Domestic violence was predominantly reported to occur when participants were living in the host country. Opportunistic violence, often manifested by rape, occurred during transit when women depended on others to reach their destination. Abduction within the host country, and often across borders, highlighted the constant state of vulnerability of refugees. Barriers to reporting included perceived and experienced stigma in health settings and in the wider community, lack of awareness of services, and inability to protect children while mothers sought services.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that GBV persists across the span of the refugee experience, though there is a transition in the range of perpetrators and types of GBV that are experienced. Further, survivors experience significant individual and system barriers to disclosure and service utilization. The findings suggest that routine GBV screening by skilled service providers offers a strategy to confidentially identify and refer survivors to needed services within refugee settings, potentially enabling survivors to overcome existing barriers. 


Keywords: refugee, displacement, conflict, gender-based violence, sexual violence, reproductive health, ethiopia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2013

Quality of Life after Postconflict Displacement in Ethiopia: Comparing Placement in a Community Setting with That in Shelters


Araya, Mesfin, Jayanti Chotai, Ivan H. Komproe, and Joop T. V. M. de Jong. 2010. “Quality of Life after Postconflict Displacement in Ethiopia: Comparing Placement in a Community Setting with That in Shelters.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 46 (7): 585–93. doi:10.1007/s00127-010-0223-1.

Authors: Mesfin Araya, Jayanti Chotai, Ivan H. Komproe, Joop T. V. M. de Jong


Background The resilience of post-war displaced persons is not only influenced partly by the nature of premigration trauma, but also by postmigration psychosocial circum- stances and living conditions. A lengthy civil war leading to Eritrea separating from Ethiopia and becoming an inde- pendent state in 1991 resulted in many displaced persons.

Method A random sample of 749 displaced women living in the shelters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa was com- pared with a random sample of 110 displaced women living in the community setting of Debre Zeit, 50 km away from Addis Ababa, regarding their quality of life, mental distress, soci- odemographics, living conditions, perceived social support, and coping strategies, 6 years after displacement. 

Results Subjects from Debre Zeit reported significantly higher quality of life and better living conditions. However, mental distress did not differ significantly between the groups. Also, Debre Zeit subjects contained a higher proportion born in Ethiopia, a higher proportion married, reported higher traumatic life events, employed more task-oriented coping, and perceived higher social support. Factors that accounted for the difference in quality of life between the shelters and Debre Zeit groups in three of the four quality of life domains of WHOQOL-BREF (physical health, psychological, envi- ronment), included protection from insects/rodents and other living conditions. However, to account for the difference in the fourth domain (social relationships), psychosocial factors also contributed significantly. 

Conclusion Placement and rehabilitation in a community setting seems better than in the shelters. If this possibility is not available, measures to improve specific living condi- tions in the shelters are likely to lead to a considerable increase in quality of life. 


Keywords: Resilience, ethiopia, Postmigration, Shelters, Community setting

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2010

Violence Against Women in Ethiopia


Kedir, Abbi and Lul Admasachew. 2010. “Violence Against Women in Ethiopia.” Gender, Place & Culture 17 (4): 437–52. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2010.485832.

Authors: Abbi Kedir, Lul Admasachew


Investigating the experience of violence against women and exploring women's coping strategies is a crucial component of re-tailoring the provision of services for victims/survivors. This article explores violence against women in the context of culture, theory of fear of violence and literature on spaces perceived to be ‘safe’ or ‘dangerous’ by women victims/survivors of violence in Ethiopia. To collect the relevant data, we conducted 14 semi-structured interviews with Ethiopian women who are victims/survivors of violence and three interviews with gender experts in Ethiopia. Our group of women suffer in ‘silence’ and confide only in friends and relatives. They did not resort to institutional support due to lack of awareness and general societal disapproval of such measures. This contrasts with claims by experts that the needs of these women are addressed using an institutional approach. Culture, migration status and lack of negotiating power in places of work are key factors when considering violence. The majority of the respondents in this study occupy both public and private spaces such as bars and homes and have experienced violence in those spaces. The social relations and subsequent offences they endured do not make spaces such as these safe. Education of both sexes, creation of awareness, sustainable resource allocation to support victims/survivors, ratification of the Maputo protocol and effective law enforcement institutions are some of the practical strategies we propose to mitigate the incidence of violence in Ethiopia.

Keywords: violence, women, ethiopia, victim/survivor

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2010

Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk


Kumar, Neha, and Agnes R. Quisumbing. 2015. “Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk.” World Development 67 (March): 406–23.

Authors: Neha Kumar, Agnes R. Quisumbing


There is growing interest in how reforms in different policy areas can be formulated in order to be consistent in promoting gender equality and empowering women. We use data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) to show how two seemingly unrelated reforms—community-based land registration, undertaken since 2003, and changes in the Family Code implemented in 2000— may have created conditions that reinforce each other in improving gender equity. Our findings suggest that the land registration process and the reform of the Family Code had mutually reinforcing effects on women’s rights and welfare.


Keywords: gender, reforms, Family Code, land registration, ethiopia

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2015


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