We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. Women in Ethiopia live under constant fear of violence, illness, hunger and poverty but they are now also facing a new threat - human trafficking, according to veteran women's rights campaigner Bogaletch Gebre. Girls are often regarded as a financial burden on their families in the Horn of Africa country long blighted by cycles of disease, drought, hunger and conflict, and expected to drop out of school to get married or find employment. She is literally there to serve the family," Gebre said, as she recalled growing up in the s in Kembatta, southern Ethiopia. In the past decade, human traffickers have increasingly lured girls away from their schools and homes in poor, rural areas with the promise of jobs and other opportunities in cities like the capital Addis Ababa, Gebre said.
There have been several studies concerning women in Ethiopia. Historically, elite women in Ethiopia have been visible as administrators and warriors. This never translated into any benefit to improve the rights of women, but it had meant that women could inherit and own property, and act as advisors on important communal matters. Workit and Mestayit regents to their minor sons have been held responsible for their provinces. They owed their rights to landed property because of a special type of land tenure that expected tenants to serve as militia to overlords, irrespective of gender. In , Empress Tayetu Betul, wife of Emperor Menelik II, actively advised the government and participated in defending the country from Italian invasion.