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EWDNA is implementing a 5-year program to Advancing Women’s Engagement, Strengthening Opportunities to Mobilize for Equality (AWESOME project) with two main focuses which is eliminating SGBV and increase women’s participation in the leadership position through provision of safe spaces for Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) including those led by women with disabilities, activists and young women to come together to increase collaboration and solidarity; to ensure greater willingness and support to challenge harmful gender norms and attitudes; and formal institutions and to improve the policy and legal framework for the realization of women’s rights. This program will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women.

Threshold Association

EWDNA and Threshold Association have a long partnership for a project named “Empower women with Disabilities in Ethiopia”. The program focuses mainly on social and economic empowerment of girls and women with disabilities. For the period 2022-2025, the project will be implemented in Addis Abeba, Dire Dawa and Mehale Meda.

Diakone Act Austria

Women with disabilities in Ethiopia face double discrimination, both in terms of gender and also because of their particular impairment. Ethiopian society has widespread negative attitudes towards people with disabilities; those holding views related to witchcraft believe that disability is a punishment for bad deeds carried out and others often believe disability is an act of God. For women with disabilities, these negative views compound with negative views about women to create significant additional barriers that prevent their full participation in social, economic and political activities and their abilities to break the vicious circle of dependency, isolation, discrimination, and poverty.

Supporting Women in Political Participation in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian legal and policy frameworks provide equality in political and public life in terms of the right to vote in all elections, eligibility in elections of all publicly elected office, participation in the formulation and implementation of government policies and holding public offices and perform public functions. However, the frameworks are quite weak (and even silent) when it comes to acknowledging the disadvantage that women face from socio-cultural as well as economic aspects. The newly adopted electoral and political parties’ proclamation fails to address this gap – it does not provide for any form of affirmative measures (for example quota for female candidates at the time of candidacy by parties, reserved seats in parliament etc.).
EWDNA -NEWA partnership project focuses on increasing the political participation of Women with disabilities ranging from coming as a voter to being candidate. It involves provision of voter’s education to EWDNA members and creating a platform where they can make discussions about the using their voice to decide in issues that matter most in their life.

Thematic Priorities

1) Empowerment of women with disabilities, gender equality, safeguarding, women leadership and SRHR
2) Capacity building of persons with disabilities and their organizations
3) Livelihoods and poverty reduction
4) Business collaboration with Sera Helsinki and creation of sustainable export carpet business value chain