Presentation by the Ethiopia Network of Women Shelters

11/06/2019 - 13:45 to 11/06/2019 - 15:15
Proposal(Workshop / Presentation)
Coordinating organization: 
New Methods in Shelter Management and Social Work
Organization Name: 
Ethiopia Network of Women Shelters
Organization Introduction: 
The Ethiopia Network of Women Shelters is a network established by eight civil society organizations and one governmental organization providing shelter, medical, psychological, legal and other essential services to women and girls survivors of violence in Ethiopia. It was established by 9 organizations as a result of a training on the Global Essential Services Package in November of 2016 provided through the support of UN Women. The leaders of the organizations identified the need for establishing the network to strengthen the accessibility and quality of services such as creation and strengthening of referral linkages, addressing emerging needs, introduction of management information system to organize data and records of survivors, experience sharing and on job training support and harmonizing of services throughout Ethiopia through development of Standard Operating Procedure. The organizations agreed to establish the Ethiopia Network of Women’s Shelters (EWNS) and formalized it by signing a Memorandum of understanding (MOU). The organizations have a common understanding of violence which identifies violence against women as “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”…and the root causes of violence against women as “a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between men and women which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men”. United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993).
Since its establishment, the network with the support of UN Women travelled to South Africa for an experience sharing visit organized with the aim of facilitating exchange of knowledge among the Ethiopian shelters and the South African shelters. The network has also developed its bylaw and strategic note for the period 2019 to 2023. The Network is led by a chair person and a vice chairperson and has a coordinator to facilitate implementation of the strategic note developed.
Proposer: Winta Ermias
Describe your workshop/presentation (300-500 words): 
Objective for attending the 4WCWS and this presentation:
• Widen audience’s perspective and share experiences for shelters in similar contexts
• Share experience on innovative systems, integration and resource mobilization to increase availability and accessibility of shelter services to violence survivors
• Contribute and introduce the work that is done in Ethiopia to increase visibility, networking and resource mobilization
The Presentation will have four sections
1. Overview of Ethiopian context: Brief description of the legal framework of the country, level of implementation of laws and policies protecting women and girls; the socio- cultural context promoting violence and findings of the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey of 2016.
2. Contribution of CSOs in the prevention, protection and response to violence on women and girls: Reinforce and support the implementation of the legal framework and policies; identification and advocacy on gaps on the legal framework, community mobilization, service provision.
3. Brief presentation of shelters in Ethiopia: location, types of services provided, unique features and experiences of shelters in Ethiopia supported by a short 5 -7 min video.
4. Success Story: Of a young service provider who was once a survivor herself. (10min)
All Speakers:
Mrs. Maria Munir
Maria Munir
Maria was born in Merkato in Addis Ababa to a large family of 13 girls and 4 boys. In 1991, Maria was selected to join the Federal High Court and became a judge and served in civil and criminal bench. While she was a judge she and other women lawyers brought the idea of forming the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) paving the way for its formation where she served as a board member. After she left her role as a Judge, she became an independent Lawyer and participated in forming the EWLA office and committees in all the regions. Maria was also one of the free legal aid providers in EWLA in which she was awarded by APAP for giving free legal Aid for more than 8000 women. She was then engaged in travelling all over the country to create awareness on women rights; was one of the team members who provided paralegal training; encouraged participation of women in election in all the regions; advocated for the revision of the family and penal code and pension regulation; was a team leader of the group organized by the Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association (NEWA) that provided training in many of the regions for women candidates.
In 2000, Maria led campaigns within EWLA and with other women's rights activists including the late Dr. Konjit and the late Dr. Adanech culminating in a huge demonstration on the issue of women’s rights. Maria and the group wanted to do something more concrete after the end of the campaign period and created what was then the Tsotawi Tikat Tekelakai Mahber (TTTM) which was formally registered in 2003 but which started work in 2005 and opened the first safe house for abused women girls and children providing holistic services. When all NGOs were asked to re-register after the new Charities and Societies Organization (CSO) legislation passed in 2009, TTTM became the Association for Women's Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD). AWSAD runs five Safe Houses in Addis Ababa, Oromia, Hawassa and Dessie. The AWSAD safe houses works in collaboration of women's affairs offices as well as the child-friendly courts one stop center Gandi Hospital, schools and other NGOs and targets on all women and children survivors of physical and/or sexual violence coming from all parts of Ethiopia. AWSAD provides various rehabilitation, reintegration and empowerment services to the survivors also following up survivors through an ex resident meeting.

Maria is a winner of different prizes for her work including AWUiB Women of Excellence 2015.
Rufael Mele
Rufael Mele was born in Bahir Dar city Ethiopia in 1991. When she was 8 years of age she started schooling and learned until grade 8. It was at that time that she found herself in the most distressful situation as a result of the sexual assault that she survived.
She was one of the lucky girls who came to know about the AWSAD safe house and joined the safe house in Addis Ababa from 2013 to 2015.

With the support of AWSAD safe house Rufael was able to fully recover and rehabilitate from the traumatic experience that she passed through. She was able to continue her education and took the national examination in grade 8 and also acquired hairdressing skill training and completed fashion designing training at a college.
The safe house did not only help her to get back on track but also inspired her to support others like her who need support. Therefore, she participated in the establishment of the hairdressing skill training center at AWSAD Head Quarter compound. Currently she is working as a hairdressing skill trainer at AWSAD. Now she has once more joined AWSAD not as a survivor this time but as a woman who can contribute and give back to others who needed the kind of support that she once needed to get back on her track.