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[PANEL] 1102 “JUSTICE FROM BELOW” PANEL 2: GENDERED APPROACHES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN ETHIOPIA: WOMEN, REDISTRIBUTION AND RECOGNITION
RAHWA Mussie, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Pierre GUIDI, IRD-CEPED, France
ABEBA Amare; DEREJE Fufa Bidu; RAHWA Mussie; Momoka MAKI
Following analyses in political philosophy (see. Rawls or Sen), the notion of justice has recently resurfaced in social sciences. Freed from its ethical and normative dimension, the notion now allows stimulating works addressing the questions of common goods, public spaces, the redistribution to resources, and equal access to services. Spatial justice, social justice, environmental justice or gendered perspectives on justice restore and value the political dimension of social organization and consider with great depth the silenced claims of subaltern citizens not in capacity to frame their requests within the legal path of a formal/judicial process.
In contemporary Ethiopia, the extent and rapidity of socio-spatial transformations multiplies the opportunities for people to claim for justice as well as the ways to convey demands. The two “Justice from Below” panels intend to raise perceptions of justice, to observe their surge in public space and their consideration by authorities. Both present critical analyses grounded in social materiality.
Since the National Policy on Ethiopian Women in 1993, the issue of gender justice occupies a central position in Ethiopian government official discourses. A Ministry of Women’s Affairs was established and the Gender Mainstreaming approach was adopted to make gender issues part of the agenda of all government agencies. At the same time, women’s organizations – as the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association –, stating the difficulties of women’s voices to be heard, struggle to put discourses about gender justice into practice.
Gender issues are central to social justice, a moral theory and political vision based on equality. Recently, it is also a notion tackled by social scientists. To make it scientifically relevant, Nancy Fraser considers social justice in terms of redistribution and recognition [Fraser, 2005]. This panel will consider altogether the material and symbolic aspects of power relations to analyze the mechanisms of gender domination and moves toward emancipation. Many issues of gender studies can be addressed: gendered socialization and education, health and sexuality, work and division of labor, distribution of political power, violence etc.
ASPECTS OF GENDER JUSTICE IN AMHARIC AND TIGRIGNA PROVERBS [Abstract ID: 1102-07]
This study analyzes proverbs as a cultural discourse in order to determine how gender justice is expressed and constructed through Amharic and Tigrigna proverbs in Ethiopia. Like any other people in the world, the Ethiopian people have an oral heritage. Proverbs as part of oral tradition provide a network of meanings for societal and cultural norms as well as practices by consistently depicting and transmitting such values and practices from generation to generation. In spite of the influence of modernity, traditional thoughts and values transmitted through proverbs are still significant socio cultural practices among the Ethiopian people. This paper will attempt to show how proverbs in relation to gender construction and justice induced in our day-to-day life reveal the concepts and values they convey to the public and how they shape the mindset and social relations of society. Gender system is perceived here as a multi-layered structure in which the perpetuation of gender concepts and metaphorical meanings is reflected. In order to explore the role of proverbs in relation to gender justice, attention is given to gender power relations, gender role expectations, gender identities (womanhood and manhood), violence against women, gender representations, and in general how gender justice affects women in particular. The study employs Critical Discourse Analysis as the epistemological framework to analyze the proverbs in the context of traditional systems of the people. Critical Discourse Analysis helps to examine gender relations and identities in relation to how they are constructed and used in the proverbs or cultural artifact. The proverbs are collected from published sources “የአማርኛ ምሳሌያዊ ንግግሮች”(Amharic Proverbs which has collection of 5,142 proverbs,) and ምስላታት- የትግርኛ ምሳሌያዊ ንግግሮች (Tigrigna Proverbs which has collection of 5,144 of proverbs) by Academy of Ethiopian Languages in 1982 (E.C) and 1885 (E.C) respectively.
OROMOO INSTITUTIONS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT [Abstract ID: 1102-02]
In Africa, where the largest proportions live in rural communitites, efforts of women empowerment are insignificantly fruitful. The present study explores Oromoo culture as an example to explicate its potentials to empower women at a grassroots level. Data was collected through observations, interviews, focus group discussions, and intensive and extensive document analyses, interpreted using Turner’s ritual theory. The results reveal powerful women institutions ignited with belief systems at various age levels to exhibit gender equality even though colonialism and modernization weakens them in many localities. They have potential to exploit as resourceful establishments to bring to modern contexts. Many cultures may have similar establishments to exploit to bring about gender equality, which the study recommends.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT, INEQUALITY AND JUSTICE: THE CASE OF ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY [Abstract ID: 1102-08]
Sexual harassment is an outcome and expression of women‘s subordinate status in Ethiopia and is the result of the complex interplay of individual, social, cultural and environmental factors. Sexual harassment continues to be practiced and condoned in university setting, inflicting untold human suffering on victims/ survivors, families and communities.The available literature on sexual harassment in higher educational settings in Ethiopia mainly focused on its prevalence rate, associated factors for its occurrence and its impact on victims/ survivors, but failed to explore the meanings associated with sexual harassment and justice. This paper explores perspectives of survivors on “sexual harassment”, experiences of sexual harassment and their pathways to access ‘justice’.
WOMEN LIBERATION IN TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA: THE EXPERIENCES UNDER A SITUATION OF CIVIL WAR [Abstract ID: 1102-09]
The policy of Women’s Liberation in Ethiopia was introduced under the Derg regime, along with other policies of socialism. However the Derg’s policy towards women was limited, and the estimate of that policy is still under consideration. On the other hand, during the civil war of 1974-1991, several anti-government movements or groups also had their own policies, based on the Liberation of Women. In this presentation, I intend to focus on the policy and practice of Women’s Liberation with regard to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), during the years 1975-1991. I had discussed the issue of Female Fighters of the TPLF at ICES 2016, and hence I intend to probe deeper into the topic of Women and the TPLF in this study. The TPLF had more than 20,000 female soldiers, and they received mass support, including the support of women in liberated areas, during the war against the Derg regime. First of all, I intend to discuss the process of introducing the policy of Women’s Liberation as a TPLF policy, on the basis of documents and testimonies of the policy makers. Second, I shall analyze the practice of the policy in liberated areas of the TPLF and at the TPLF’s military section, with reference to land distribution, education, political participation, transformation of patriarchal gender bias, and so on. Third, the reaction that arose with regard to these policies, both from men and women, will be examined. Finally in the conclusion, I shall discuss the issue as to how the TPLF’s policy towards women influenced those women’s life and agency, and the post-conflict society of Tigray.