During the UN Campaign “Sixteen Days of Activism” from November 25 to December 10, 2019 EWLA conducted numerous activities in order to raise awareness on Gender Based Violence, especially on this year’s main thematic priority RAPE.
The following three activities were outstanding:
1. Educational work at Addis Ketema High School, Addis Ababa: EWLA’s employees and volunteers spent one entire week on the Addis Ketema High School premises and informed students on Gender Based Violence by spreading flyers and brochures and making public statements with a microphone during the school breaks. EWLA was pleased to find many students interested in the prevalence and effects of Gender Based Violence, even sharing personal experiences and asking uncomfortable questions. The week at Addis Ketema has again emphasized the importance to educate students on critical thinking and questioning traditional role and thinking patterns, since today’s youth will define the society we live in tomorrow.
2. Police officer workshop at Mado Hotel, Addis Ababa: EWLA provide training for police officers at Mado Hotel in Addis Ababa with the objective to improve the officers’ sensitivity and the overall handling of gender based violence and rape cases, both specific forms of Gender Based Violence. While many police stations don’t have sufficient premises to ensure privacy for victims, inappropriate and condescending comments of the responsible officers will make it even more uncomfortable for women to file a complaint resulting in a large number of unreported cases. In the course of the week EWLA managed to raise awareness and could lay the foundation for a better handling of domestic violence and rape cases in the future.
3. Awareness creation at Hawassa University, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region:
EWLA Team also went to Hawassa University and conducted an awareness creating workshop on Gender Based Violence for all enrolled university students, male and female. Furthermore the Dean of the University agreed to provide space for a Legal Aid Office to be run by EWLA’s staff from the branch office in Hawassa. This Legal Aid Office will help students, who are victims of Gender Based Violence seek Legal Aid and encourage them to pursue their legal rights and speak up at an early age. Lastly EWLA managed to set up a male engagement group, whose main objective will be the fight for equality and women’s rights, making gender issues a topic of discussion in the student body.