Ethiopian Business Review

Menna Asrat

Menna Asrat

Deputy Editor-inChief

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The Army Without Guns

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 17:40 Published in Interview

Bineta Diop is the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security to the African Union (AU). The first woman to hold the position of special envoy, Diop is also the founder of Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS), a non-governmental organisation that promotes women’s rights and interests in Africa. As the daughter of a feminist mother, she managed to complete school in her home country of Senegal, at a time and place where not many women were able to. She studied business in Paris, where she accompanied her husband, a career diplomat, over various countries and events, including to Ethiopia for three years during Emperor Haile Selassie. Having joined the International Commission of Jurists, human rights NGO in Geneva in 1981, she then started FAS in 1996. Diop was also involved in in the development of the African Charter on Human and People’s rights (also known as the Banjul Charter), as well as the Protocol to African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa (the Maputo Protocol), alongside a group of African lawyers. In her position as Special Envoy, she was instrumental in the development of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda for the AU, and the subsequent Continental Results Framework. She sat down with EBR’s Menna Asrat on the sidelines of the recent African Union Summit, to discuss the developments in the position of women on the continent in light of International Women’s Day 2019. Diop stressed that the AU will continue working on the grassroots level by putting federations of women’s groups, which she calls them ‘the army without guns’ together all over Africa to amplify women voices.

The Dreadful Fate

Monday, 15 April 2019 03:00 Published in Society

Women with Disabilities Facing Indescribable Danger

In Ethiopia, the plight of people with disabilities has long been ignored or pushed aside. Various myths and misconceptions face people with disabilities in their quest for recognition and inclusion. But for women living with disabilities, this is not the only hurdle they have to face. As in many developing countries, women in Ethiopia who live with disabilities face the added challenge of sexual and gender based violence. Although there is no clear consensus on the number of victims, many women with disabilities in developing countries face the same problem. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.

The Dark Side of The Entertainment Industry

Monday, 15 April 2019 03:00 Published in Art & Life

The #MeToo campaign has increased the confidence of women, mainly Western women, to report sexual and gender-based violence. A year after the Harvey Weinstein story broke; the conversation has extended well into Hollywood and beyond. Countless other powerful and famous men have been felled by accusations, victims and advocates have bonded together in hopes of evolution and healing, and the entertainment industry has attempted to keep up with seismic change. But in developing countries like Ethiopia, the shame and blame on the victims has largely kept them silent. In fiercely patriarchal societies, where religion and tradition define the role of women, simply reporting abuse against women in the entertainment industry is so difficult that it is not even considered to bring down men of power, as #MeToo has allowed. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.