Article 1: Comprehensive Coverage of Protection against Discrimination on the Basis of Sex


Article 2: A policy of Eliminating Discrimination against Women


Article 3: Development and Advancement of Women


Article 4: Temporary Special Measures


Article 5: Elimination of Prejudices and Customary Practices that Discriminate Against Women


Article 6: Trafficking in Women and Exploitation of Prostitution of Women


Article 7: Political and Public Life


Article 8: Women’s representation at the international level


Article 9: Citizenship


Article 10: Equality in the Field of Education


Article 11: Equality in Employment


Article 12: Elimination of Discrimination against Women in the Field of Health Care


Article 13: Equality in Economic and Social Life


Article 14: Rural Women


Article 15: Equality before the Law


Article 16: Equality in Marriage and Family Life


Responses to the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Comments on Ethiopia’s combined sixth and seventh periodic report


Visibility of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations


Harmonization of Laws


Institutional Framework and Capacity


Awareness Creation


Human Trafficking and Exploitation of Prostitution


Participation in Political and Public Life


Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations








Rural Women


Disadvantaged Groups of Women


Discrimination Against Women in Family and Marriage Relations



1.The preparation of the eighth periodic report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (hereinafter referred to as ‘CEDAW’ or ‘the Convention’) benefited from a participatory process, which brought together stakeholders from government organizations, NHRIs, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and grass roots women’s associations.

2.A technical committee composed of all the major sectors namely Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Federal Attorney General (FAG), Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR), Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Areas Development Affairs (MoFPADF) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) guided the report preparation. Each sector provided detailed inputs on the activities it has undertaken during the reporting period in relation to the obligations arising from the Convention.

3.In addition, several meetings were held during the preparation of the report. The first meeting convened gender mainstreaming structures at federal agencies, seven regional states and the two city administrations. The second meeting involved participants in the first workshop and government enterprises. The third meeting convened federal and regional women’s affairs offices, federal and regional women’s federations that are consortiums of grassroots women’s organizations, women’s standing committee of the national parliament, the judiciary represented by the Federal Supreme Court, United Nations advisory groups, religious coalitions, associations of women, other civil societies and the media. The meetings enabled a comprehensive discussion on the content of the report and allowed the participants to reflect the realities of their respective regions and sectors.

Composition of the Report

4.The report is composed of two major sections. The first section elucidates the progress in the reporting period in the implementation of the Convention’s Provisions. The second section elaborates the progress in the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations and concluding observations. The report is also supported by its Annex which provides supporting data and statistics.

Article 1: Comprehensive Coverage of Protection against Discrimination on the Basis of Sex

5.Ethiopian law provides comprehensive protection against all forms of discrimination on any ground including sex. The principle of equality is enshrined in the 1995 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (hereinafter referred to as Constitution) as well as all relevant subsidiary legislations. Further, the Constitution provides that international human rights laws ratified by the country are integral part of the Ethiopian law. There has been no change since the previous reporting period in this regard.

Article 2: A policy of Eliminating Discrimination against Women

6.The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has implemented several policy and institutional measures during the reporting period with the objective of eliminating discrimination against women.

7.The National Women Development and Change Strategy is prepared through a consultative process that involved various partners and stakeholders under the leadership of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs. The Strategy seeks to contribute to the enforcement of the constitutional commitment to create a democratic society where there is gender equality in economic, social and political spheres. The Strategy employs the participation and empowerment of women as a means to the realization of gender equality.

8.Ethiopia is also adopted the Criminal Justice Policy in 2011 which lays the foundation for special protection of vulnerable groups namely women and children. The policy caters for the needs and special situation of women — both as defendants and victims of crimes. It further provides for the establishment of a separate system for prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against women, children and persons with disability.

9.Implementation of the Strategic Plan for an Integrated and Multi-Sectoral Response on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) and Child Justice in Ethiopia commenced within the reporting period. The Strategic Plan focuses on prevention, protection of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and devises response mechanisms concerning violence against women and children.

10.The Government also adopted the National Strategy on Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) and the accompanying action plan on Female Gentile Mutilation (FGM), child marriage and abduction in 2013. The Revised Sentencing Guideline No. 2/2012 is issued by the Federal Supreme Court in 2012 to guide determination of criminal sentences. Accordingly, judges are required to increase the lower end of the penalty in sentencing gender based violence crimes covered under articles 555–560 of the Criminal Code and sexual violence crimes covered under articles 620–628 of the Criminal Code.

11.Furthermore, Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) on Elimination of all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) is developed. The SOP is planned to standardize national preventive, protective and service provision amenities and ensure multi‑sectoral coordination in support of women and children. The SOP describes clear procedures, roles and responsibilities for each sector involved in the prevention and response to GBV. The main objective of the SOP is to build institutional mechanisms for integrated responses in the provision of rehabilitative services, enhancing capacity of service providing institutions (both formal and informal), expanding the scale and range of services using multi-sectoral approach and ensuring comprehensive support to women affected by violence.

12.The Government also established child and women protection units in police stations responsible for handling cases of VAW, the VAW investigation and prosecution team (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa as well as in the regions) and child friendly and victim friendly benches within federal as well as regional courts. The Child and Women Protection Units have expanded significantly in number and coverage through the country. In addition, gender sensitive criminal proceeding; including investigation and evidence gathering has been rolled out throughout the country.

13.Members of law enforcement organs are trained in order to ensure effective implementation of laws and gender sensitive procedures. These trainings are designed to equip law enforcement officials with the skill and technique needed to handle cases on VAW. In addition, women’s and children’s affairs offices at federal, regional and woreda levels are staffed with legal officers that provide legal advice to women. Similarly, women’s associations provide legal advice services to their members and their community.

14.The Strategic Plan provides for support systems for victims of VAW. These are shelters, legal aid centres and medical and psychosocial support services. In this respect, regional states have established facilities to provide support for victims. Ten safe houses are located in Addis Ababa, Oromiya and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State of Ethiopia (SNNPR).

15.One-stop service centres are also expanding with Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa operating two centres and Oromiya Region three centres. Establishment of more one-stop service centres in other regional states is underway. The Centre in Addis Ababa provides victims of sexual violence, mainly victims of rape a package of services consisting of medical and psychological treatment, legal support and shelter. The Centre served victims of sexual violence in the respective areas including women and children, and persons with disabilities. As an example, the one stop centres in Addis Ababa provided services to more than 3,221 victims between April 2012 and June 2014. The Centre has contributed to improve one of the factors for underreporting and low success in prosecution of GBV crimes i.e. the challenge in securing adequate medical evidence. The Centre provides medical evidence free of charge, hastens evidence collection within the required period of 15 days and translates medical evidence from English into the working languages of law enforcement organs.

16.The one stop centre in Dire Dawa City Administration provides shelter (food and lodging) as well as psycho-social support for survivors of GBV and HTPs that come from the city administration as well as the surrounding rural woredas. Through coordinated work with the police, survivors in the shelter are able to testify freely.

17.At federal level since 2014/15 up until this report was compiled, 976 cases of crimes against women and children were prosecuted. Of these, 552 were found guilty and 170 were acquitted while the remaining prosecutions are pending.

18.The demographic and health survey cover limited aspects of violence such as FGM, child marriage and wife beating. As a remedy, the current round of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS, 2016) has included new modules on child marriage, FGM and violence against women. Accordingly, it is expected that nationally representative data on these indicators will be available upon completion of the ongoing survey. We have also observed that Comprehensive national data on the various forms of violence against women is lacking.

19.The manner of collecting and recording information is inadequate within service providers that are the first line of contact i.e. the police and women’s affairs bureaus. In order to address the data gap, the Federal Attorney General (FAG) is in the process of developing and implementing the National Integrated Justice Information System (NIJIS). The system will compile data on legislation management, case management, court information and prisoner management. The Program will be implemented in three phases and it will be finalized by the end of the GTP II (2015/16–2020/2021) The system is expected to expedite the work of the justice administration systems at woreda, zone, regional and Federal levels; make national and regional laws easily accessible to the public and other stakeholders; facilitate coordinated effort among actors in the sector; provide statistics for policy makers, and promote accountability within the justice administration system.

20.During the reporting period, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission opened eight branch offices in the regions. In each branch office, the Commission assigned women and children directorates. Protection and promotion of human rights of women and children are among the strategic directions in the Commission’s five-year strategy. Moreover, the Commission mainstreamed gender in all its activities.

21.A National Free Legal Aid Strategy is designed with the aim to ensure better coordination of the various stakeholders and to improve the availability and quality of legal services to needy. The Strategy consolidates the efforts of governmental and nongovernmental organizations that offer free legal advice and representation.

22.The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission opened 126 legal aid centres operating throughout the country in collaboration with 19 Universities and two Civil Society Organizations. The Commission so far provided legal aid services for 70,000 beneficiaries in its 116 centres. The Commission supports 24 human rights clubs in 24 universities. In addition, 242 human right clubs are established in primary, secondary and preparatory schools and are currently working among others on the promotion of women and children’ rights within the school community.

23.Similarly, Addis Ababa University Centre for Human Rights operates 20 legal aid Centres in Addis Ababa, Adama, Ambo, and Hawassa that provide free legal representation and promote public awareness. The Centres are located within court compounds, women and children offices, prisons and similar other offices. From Dec 2012 to May 2016 the Centres provide service to 27,134 beneficiaries of which 12,989 are women.

Article 3: Development and Advancement of Women

24.During the reporting period, the Government engaged in activities that target strengthening the institutions mandated to advance gender equality; effective mainstreaming of women’s concerns in the national development programs and priorities; and development and implementation of tools/instruments for integrating gender issues and determination of budgets.

25.The Women’s Caucus and the Women and Children’s Affairs Standing Committee in the House of Peoples’ Representatives monitor the executive body for the implementation of the gender equality objectives set within the national policy frameworks. The House also scrutinizes budgets from a gender perspective. The Standing Committee reviews reports and conducts field observations to monitor gender mainstreaming in sectoral plans and projects. The Standing Committee also supervises mainstreaming of gender issues in the works of other standing committees within the Parliament.

26.During the reporting period, the Ministry responsible for the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment was restructured in order to ensure a more focused treatment of women’s issues. The former Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs became the Ministry of Women and Children. The Ministry has the responsibility to initiate and promote laws, policies, strategies and action plans on the right of women; promote and support gender mainstreaming; conduct research; monitor and report on accountability in ensuring gender equality; build the capacity of stakeholders within and outside Government; conduct societal mobilization and partnership. Gender mainstreaming as well as women’s empowerment extends to the lowest administrative level within the country. At the federal level, women affairs institutions across all line ministries and public organizations have been functioning. Similarly, regions have Bureaus on women’s affairs.

27.A high level national coordinating body chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of the country and composed of pertinent sector ministries such as Ministry of Women and Children, Ministries of education, health, and agriculture is formed with the objective to overseeing the equal participation of women and youth in the development process of the country.

28.Women Development Groups (WDGs) that consist of women from 25–30 households that are further organized into a team of five women led by a woman who showed an exemplary performance in improving her livelihood and play a significant role in improving the situation of especially women in rural areas. Members of WDGs meet regularly at the time and place of their convenience to discuss and resolve their socio-economic problems and other related matters.

29.The main purpose of the WDG is to enhance and ensure the active participation of women in the country’s social, economic and political development endeavour. WDG contributes significantly to enhancement of knowledge and skills of women that allow them improve their lifestyle. It also increased medical service seeking behaviour of households and hastened the implementation of health and agriculture extension packages; universal education programs; and elimination of HTPs. Currently 11,956,791 women are organized into 477,369 women development groups and 2,207,879 five-member teams.

30.The Government took advancement of women as one of its priority and cross cutting concern within the consecutive national development plans/programs of the country. During the reporting period, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I) integrated women’s empowerment and gender equality within the six major pillars as well as allotted it a stand-alone 7th pillar. Furthermore, the MoWCA developed and launched the National Gender Mainstreaming Guideline. In addition, it delivered capacity building trainings to respective stakeholders on how to implement the Guideline. This intervention is helpful for ensuring accountability of all government organs in the implementation of their duty to mainstream gender in their undertakings. The Ministry also piloted gender mainstreaming levelling tool, which encompasses monitoring and levelling of sectors based on their performance in ensuring the benefits of women. In addition, the Ministry is developing Standardized Gender Responsive Monitoring and Evaluation Manual. Nevertheless, the limited expertise in the area of gender mainstreaming hampers the effective coordination of sectors and stakeholders.

31.The Government has integrated GRB in the Program Budget process in Finance Proclamation No. 970/2016 to enhance the participation and benefit of women from the economy. The Proclamation requires sectors to prepare gender sensitive budget. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation developed and launched a Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) guideline in 2008 and amended in 2011/12. The Guideline facilitates the efforts to increase and track national planning and budget allocations related to achieving gender equality and empowerment of women. A GRB Training Guideline has also been developed. Federal sector ministries and pertinent organs at regional levels are trained. Since after the GRB guidelines and subsequent trainings, sectors started to incorporate gender related activities and gender-focused goals as part of their budget request. Gender has become one criterion in the consideration of budget request and in prioritizing budget allocations. The Ministry has also reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Civil Service University to provide GRB as one aspect of pertinent academic programs.

32.The political commitment to advance the role of women in the society continues to be demonstrated through the adoption of sectoral policies that deal with gender issues pertinent to the respective sectors. Accordingly, the health and energy policies are being revised to incorporate gender as one overriding element.

33.Despite the progress in the realization of women’s rights, there are challenges that emanate from deep-rooted cultural and traditional attitudes or values, inadequate expertise in various fields and the absence of comprehensive systems for data collection and analysis. To address such challenge, the Ministry and various other government and non-government institutions carry out community mobilization targeting creation of gender friendly social norms and attitudes within the communities.

34.The absence of a well-developed system of sex and gender disaggregated data is another challenge. The impact of such limitation can be seen in planning, monitoring, and assessing progress. Planning suffers from limited baseline data, which in turn complicates the nature and extent of interventions and knowledge-based determination of resource requirements. To address this, the Demographic and Health Survey, a national level data source, is expanding its indicators in order to gather national level gender related data. Further, the Central Statistics Agency produced the first ever gender-disaggregated data set covering all sectors. In addition, the Ministry of Women and Children launched the National Women’s Database and sectoral ministries are producing sex-disaggregated data on the implementation of national development goals.

Article 4: Temporary Special Measures

35.Article 35 of the Constitution provides for special measures to address the historical legacy of inequality and discrimination against women.

36.In the political sphere, affirmative action targeting the goal of having 30 per cent of election candidates and members of the national parliament to be women. The Election Board provides special campaign funds for women candidates with the aim of achieving the target.

37.The Civil Service Reform Program and the implementing regulations of the Federal Civil Service Proclamation incorporate affirmative action favouring female candidates who have equal or close scores to that of male candidates.

38.The Ministry of Education determines on a yearly basis a lower cut off point for women in the national exams. In addition, there is a practice of reserving enrolment places to encourage female students enter the fields of science and technology.

39.In the housing sector, the Ministry of Urban development and Housing introduced a scheme that particularly benefits women. Accordingly, the federal affordable housing development scheme reserves 30 per cent of constructed condominium (low cost) houses for women. Women and men equally compete for the remaining 70 per cent. From nine rounds for distribution of condominium houses in Addis Ababa women constitute 54 per cent of the beneficiaries in seven of the rounds. In the regions 47 per cent of the beneficiaries of low cost housing programs are women.

40.Implementation of affirmative action appears to be limited to the public sector. In an effort to improve this situation, the National Human Rights Action Plan of Ethiopia (2016–2020) has stipulated that the Government will design a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights with the aim to incorporate human rights values. The Government also plans to encourage and support the establishment of a Global Compact Chapter in Ethiopia, which will serve as an additional mechanism for the private sector to better protect human rights within itself.

Article 5: Elimination of Prejudices and Customary Practices that Discriminate Against Women

41.The Constitution as well as relevant subsidiary legislations of Ethiopia prohibits all forms of discriminations. The Government adopted National Strategy and Action Plan on Harmful Traditional Practices against Women and Children in Ethiopia in 2013. The Strategy institutionalizes national, regional and grass roots mechanisms with the objective of preventing HTPs, protecting women and children and providing services to survivors of HTPs. It adopts a multi-sectoral approach where a national HTP Platform composed of various sectoral ministries, national associations as well as faith based organizations headed by the Ministry of Women and Children oversee the implementation of the Strategy.

42.The awareness raising and advocacy efforts continued to be the main instruments of change. A notable approach is the creation of sustained community level conversation on FGM, child marriage and abduction. Community conversations have been successful as they were wide reaching and carried out in a continuous and sustainable manner.

43.In the realm of community mobilization, the advocacy and monitoring work done by WDGs has shown impressive result in terms of minimizing child marriage and FGM practices in communities. The community mobilization involves networks of women living within the same neighbourhood and share a similar concern and characteristics. The approach enabled easy access to communities to conduct awareness raising activities and monitoring of the outcome of the activities. The campaign against HTPs was conducted across the country and complemented by teaching and/or awareness raising activities from the perspective of health, religion as well as the law. Religious leaders were actively engaged in clarifying the religious position on how to eradicate HTPs, leading and enforcing the campaign of ostracizing those that practice HTPs, giving their support by the way of blessing to health workers and the police which gave credibility and weight to the latter’s advocacy.

44.National level alliances on different forms of HTPs are established and have gone operational at regional levels. The Somali Regional State is one of the pioneer regional states in establishing its own regional level alliance against HTPs. Similarly, the SNNPR has established its own regional platform to combat HTPs.

45.A significant step in the fight against HTPs and GBV has been the endorsement of the cause by different religions through their Inter-Faith Council that consists of seven faith-based organizations from Christianity and Islam. Since its establishment in 2010 the Council has been working on GBV, HTPs, mother and child health, HIV and AIDS issues. It provides forum for discussion and formulates strategies to address these problems through the involvement of their followers. The Council has taken a stand to eliminate FGM and child marriage by 2025. In 2014, the role of different faith based organizations has been discussed at a consultative meeting that convened over 350 participants from across the country. Furthermore, the Council established a taskforce that will follow up and monitor the implementation of its strategies. This concerted effort have resulted to rescue of 1,116 individuals from different forms of GBV through the intervention of faith based organizations in different parts of the country; sensitization of 385 religious organizations and 830,352 religious leaders on the need to end FGM and other forms of HTPs; inclusion of HTPs and GBV in the curriculum of 60 theology colleges, and dissemination of messages concerning FGM and HTPs through print and electronic medias to an estimate of nine million people. These efforts contributed to the decrease in the rate of FGM from 56 per cent to 23 per cent; child marriage from 21 per cent to 8 per cent, and decline in the incidence of abduction by 12.7 per cent.

46.Despite the significant progress, there are challenges that emanate from the deep-rooted customary norms and practices in the communities, the low level of awareness over the law and the interference by traditional institutions like elders in the formal legal process. The legal literacy programs that are being carried out are expected to address these challenges.

47.The EHRC began organizing ‘Human Right Forums’ at federal, regional and grass root levels that envisage an organized mobilization of the public. The training manual of the Forums consists of a module on the effects of HTPs on human rights of individuals.

48.Towards facilitating women’s access to justice, the Federal Attorney General, justice bureaus of regional states, universities that have legal aid centres, the EHRC, and civil society organizations render legal aid services. Moreover, the Federal Attorney General coordinates the free legal service rendered by private attorneys in accordance with their duty to give pro bono service under the supervision of FAG. In 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 private attorneys and federal prosecutors provided free legal services for 1671 and 217 persons respectively.

Article 6: Trafficking in Women and Exploitation of Prostitution of Women

49.Trafficking in human beings for whatever purpose is an act prohibited in the Constitution as well as the 2005 Revised Criminal Code. Ethiopia enacted the Proclamation for the Prevention and Suppression of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (Proclamation No. 909/2015) to bridge the gaps in the Criminal Code. The Proclamation introduced clear provisions and stringent penalties, including a fine of up to 500,000 and death penalty where the victim suffers severe injury or death.

50.The Proclamation provides for immunity for victims of trafficking and smuggling in order to encourage victims to report offences and collaborate with the prosecutor in providing evidence. It also envisages support services including safe return, reuniting with their families as well as integrating them into society. The law also establishes a Fund to prevent and rehabilitate victims with sources such as Government budget, proceeds of properties confiscated from perpetrators as well as grants and voluntary contributions.

51.The Proclamation also envisages for cooperation with destination as well as transit countries. Investigations, exchange of information and extradition agreements are expected to foster prosecution of human trafficking. To this end, Ethiopia adopted the IGAD Conventions on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance. It also entered into bilateral extradition agreements with Sudan and Djibouti.

52.The Federal Police has established a special section called Human Trafficking and Narcotics Section dedicated for investigation of these crimes. The FAG established a special unit for investigating crimes of Human Trafficking. In 2014/15 alone, 127 cases were investigated, 136 individuals were prosecuted and 49 were found guilty and sentenced with penalties ranging from 2 years to 18 years. The remaining cases are still pending before the courts.

53.In 2013/14, a total of 163,018 migrants (100,688 males and 53,732 females and 8,598 children) that were deported from Saudi Arabia were provided with support, including the provision of temporary shelters upon arrival, reintegration with their families, skill training and organization into self-help groups in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

54.Ethiopia ratified the United Nations Protocol to Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons especially Women and Children. Further, studies as well as preparations are underway to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families as well as the ILO Convention on Migration for Employment.

55.Ethiopia serves as a country of origin as well as transit for the trafficking and smuggling of human beings. Studies show that the majority of those trafficked both within and outside of the country are women. The major purposes of trafficking are forced labour and sexual exploitation.

56.Due to the highly clandestine nature of the crime, the data on the number of trafficked persons is not readily and easily available. However, some reports show that up to 1,000 women leave the country every month to find jobs as domestic workers abroad. The main destinations are Middle East and the Gulf countries. Women are also trafficked into the neighbouring countries of Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and recently South Sudan. Traffickers utilize air and car transport and make the victims travel on foot to neighbouring countries facilitating the journey through their network.

57.The other mechanism used to tackle human trafficking and smuggling is social mobilization that aims at bringing attitudinal change regarding illegal migration. During the reporting period, the MoLSA carried out 534 community conversations on migration and human trafficking and smuggling in Amhara, Tigray, Oromiya and SNNP regional states of Ethiopia involving an estimate of 18 million people. The Ministry also established 325 community conversation centres and trained community conversation facilitators. The MoWCA also collaborated with religious institutions and the media to carry out similar awareness raising activities on the impact of illegal migration on the individual and the nation at large. These social mobilizations carried out through print and electronic media and community conversations have contributed significantly to improve the public attitude towards migration.

58.A national committee and taskforce have also been set up to ensure effective implementation of the five years strategic action plan for the prevention of trafficking in person and smuggling. The National Committee is led by the Deputy Prime-Minister of the country and consists of Heads of the Federal Attorney General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ministry of Education as well as the regional counter parts. The National Committee has an advisory role in policy matters and coordinates activities of the different stakeholders. On the other hand, the Taskforce, led by the previous Federal Attorney General and consists of members the same as the National Committee, is responsible to design national action plans and to take appropriate actions towards rehabilitation, assistance and reintegration of victims into society.

59.Studies indicate that the underlying cause of human trafficking and smuggling is poverty. Thus, to address the root cause, the Government took several measures focused on facilitating legal migration. Accordingly, Ethiopia’s Overseas Employment Proclamation No. 923/2016 is enacted with the aim to protect the rights, safety and dignity of Ethiopians who take-up overseas employment. The Proclamation requires citizens wishing to take up oversees employment to complete eighth grade education and secure occupational competence certificate. It also provides for the provision of pre-employment and pre-departure training pertinent to the job they will take and the conditions of the receiving country. The Government have concluded labour agreements with Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It is also in the process of negotiating similar agreements with the main labour importing countries like Bahrain, Lebanon and UAE.

Article 7: Political and Public Life

60.Women have equal rights to elect and be elected, to participate in the formulation and implementation of government policies and to hold public offices and perform public functions. The National Election Board of Ethiopia has taken several measures to ensure effective realization of these rights by women. According to the political party’s Registration Proclamation 573/2008, support to be granted to political parties is apportioned between the parties on the basis of the number of women candidates nominated by the political parties among other factors. In the national election held in 2015, the Board allocated 15 per cent of the total budget for political parties that meet the threshold of 30 per cent women representation. This is an increment from the previous national election where 10 per cent of the total budget was allocated for the same purpose.

61.Another measure taken by the Board during the recent national election relates to securing special media time for campaign by female candidates. This measure that is the first of its kind in the country allowed female candidates to get air time on TV and radio to relay their message to the electorate. Further, the Board was able to ensure dedication of 10 per cent of the total print media coverage to female candidates. During the 2015 national election 40 per cent of the officials responsible for election execution were women. Furthermore, the Board developed Gender Strategy and implementation manual as part of its five years strategic plan and conducted various gender sensitizations trainings.

62.Women’s representation in the House of Peoples’ Representatives increased to 27.9 per cent in 2010 from 21.4 per cent in 2005; the deputy speaker of the house was a woman; there were 4 women chairs of standing committees; 91 women were members of the standing committees; 4 women were in the advisory committees and 9 women were members of coordinating committees. In the current parliament (fifth term), women’s membership has reached 38.8 per cent; 7 women are chairs and 8 women serve as vice-chairs of standing committees. Similarly, women’s representation in the regional councils reaches 40.2 per cent in regional councils and 50 per cent in woreda and kebele councils. However, there are disparities among the regions.

63.In the fifth general election held in 2015, a total of 1270 candidates (301 for federal and 969 for regional councils) run for office. This is an increase from the previous election in 2010 where only 927 female candidates run for office at the regional and federal levels. The improvement is attributed among other factors to the measures taken by the Election Board.

64.The number of women in the judiciary and executive branches has also shown progress. Within the judiciary, at the federal first instance courts, women account for 43.4 per cent of the judges. Similarly, at the federal high court, women account for 21.3 per cent of the judges. At the Federal Supreme Court there are seven women judges (17.5 per cent). While these numbers show that the proportion of women has increased compared to the previous reporting period, the representation of women in the judiciary remain low. Within the Federal executive branch, women’s representation stood at 15.5 per cent at higher level and 22 per cent at middle level positions.

65.Regarding women’s participation in non-governmental and grass-roots organizations concerned with public and political life, the government has laid down the necessary framework to encourage women to form associations, trade unions, professional associations and other unions. It is believed that these platforms will serve as stepping-stones for emerging women leaders.

66.Although the progress towards ensuring equality in public and political life is encouraging, challenges remain. These include the low level of women’s representation in the executive and judicial branches and the low number of women in decision-making positions. Further, more effort is needed to translate the increasing levels of representation into meaningful participation. Different measures are being taken to address these challenges and increase women’s representation in decision-making positions. One such measure is affirmative action in the recruitment and promotion as well as in education and training. Further, the government provided leadership training to women and avails scholarship opportunities for female employees to obtain the required educational qualifications (1st and 2nd degree).

Article 8: Women’s representation at the international level

67.The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken several measures to ensure equal representation of women in Diplomacy. The Ministry is working towards 50 per cent female intake into the Foreign Relations Training Institute. In the 2014/15, the proportion of females in the training program reached 45 per cent.

68.In addition, affirmative measures that accord 3 additional points for women are implemented during recruitment and promotion. This has resulted in the promotion of 38 women to higher positions in 2013/14. Currently there are five women director generals; nine directors and nine heads of foreign missions. Affirmative measures in training opportunities also benefitted 27 women.

69.Mentoring programs in partnership with foreign diplomatic missions based in Ethiopia is provided to young and upcoming female diplomats. The Ministry also conducts trainings and workshops on topics like women and diplomacy, international and regional instruments on the rights of women as well as gender mainstreaming.

Article 9: Citizenship

70.Article 33 of the Constitution and the Ethiopian Nationality Proclamation No. 378/2003 gives any Ethiopian the right to maintain and/or changes his/her nationality. The Ethiopian law guarantees to a child born from Ethiopian parents to acquire Ethiopian nationality. In addition, women have the right to maintain their Ethiopian nationality as well as pass on their nationality to their foreigner spouses. There has not been any change in this regard during the reporting period.

Article 10: Equality in the Field of Education

71.The three key dimensions of state obligations that are ensuring equal access to education, eliminating gender roles stereotyping and closing existing gaps in education levels of men and women are encompassed in the laws and policies of Ethiopia. The Higher Education Proclamation No. 650/2009, the Gender Strategy in the Education and Training Sector 2014/15 as well as the Fourth Education Sector Development Program and GTP II are among the policies.

72.The Fourth Education Sector Development Program (ESDP IV) is issued with among others the objective of promoting equal access and success in education and training for women and girls. The Program strengthened institutional structures responsible for gender mainstreaming in the sector at all levels; it promoted women education forums and girl students clubs at all levels; it contribute for the increment of girls’ enrolment at all levels and areas, including pastoralist and agro-pastoralist areas; it built on the implementation of affirmative action programs; it strengthened gender sensitization of curriculums and text books as well as gender responsive pedagogy and it facilitated the development of anti-sexual harassment policies in schools.

73.The revised “Gender Strategy in the Education and Training Sector’’ in 2014/15 aims at eliminating gender barriers in all levels of education and ensuring equal participation of women in teaching as well as educational leadership and management. The Higher Education Proclamation No. 650/2009 provides for the obligation of higher educational institutions to increase the proportion of women in senior positions as well as provide assistance to students from disadvantaged communities.

74.The level of girls’ access and success has shown significant increases in reducing the gender gap. The enrolment for girls and boys in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), which includes kindergartens, “0” class and child to child programs in the 2013/14 academic year is almost at par with 38 per cent for boys and 36 per cent for girls. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at primary education in 2014/15 was 107 per cent for boys and 98.4 per cent for girls showing progress from 96.6 per cent for boys and 90.1 per cent for girls in (2009/2010). However, female enrolment lags a bit behind that of boys. On the other hand, NER reached 97.5 per cent for boys and 90.9 per cent for girls in 2014/15 showing progress from 83.7 per cent for boys and girls 80.5 per cent in 2009/2010.

75.The Gender Parity Index (GPI) at primary education in 2014/15 stood at 0.92 at national level. Ethiopian regional states of Tigray and Amhara and Diredawa city administration achieved GPI as per the EFA standard (0.97–1.03). Whereas, the rest of the regions did not achieve GPI and are far away from the national average. During the five academic years (from 2008/9 to 2013/14) repetition by girls at primary education was lower than that of boys with 7.6 per cent for boys and 7.0 for girls. During the same period, the rate of dropout of girls was higher with 10 per cent compared to boys with 9.9 per cent. During 2008/9–2013/14 the average survival rate of girls in grade 5 was 62.8 per cent where as that of boys was 59.8 per cent. In 2014/15 grade 8 completion rate was 50.9 per cent for girls and 51.8 per cent for boys. This shows the completion rate of girls is slightly behind that of boys.

76.At secondary level, the GER for girls was consistently lower than boys over the last five years (2010/11–2014/15). In 2014/15 GER in the first cycle of secondary school stood at 38.4 per cent for girls and 41.3 per cent for boys. The GPI has reached 0.93 for first cycle and 0.80 for the second cycle. During the same period the GER for girls in the second cycle that is Grade 11–12 increased from 35 per cent to 48 per cent with an increase in the GPI from 0.56 to 0.87. at the regional level, GER is higher for Gambella, Addis Ababa, Tigray, Benishangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa, Harari, and Amhara when compared to the national average. Contrarily, Afar, Ethiopian Somali, Oromiya, as well as SNNPRs have GER lower than the national average. The rate of students that have scored 2.00 points and above at grade 10 have shown increase over the last five years. However, only 54.5 per cent of the girls that took the national exams scored above 2.00 while the rate for the boys is at 70.05 per cent.

77.Looking at Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) enrolment over the last five years (2010/11–2014/15), female enrolment with 52.3 per cent in 2014/15 is higher than males. However, in the fields of science, mechanical and technological female enrolment is lower than male. The reasons attributed to this include, stereotypes on division of vocations. To address the challenge, the Ministry of Education provides counselling services to women in order to encourage them to enrol in male dominated fields of training.

78.At the tertiary level, enrolment has shown steady progress but the rate of enrolment for females is still lower than males. In 2014/15 enrolment of women was 33 per cent at undergraduate programs and 24 per cent at post-graduate level. In 2014/15, the share of females was 30.1 per cent in the fields of engineering and technology; 29.8 per cent in agriculture and life sciences; 34.7 per cent in medicine and health sciences; 31.3 per cent in natural and computational sciences; 39.9 per cent in business and economics; and 34.2 per cent in social and humanitarian science.

79.There is also adult and non-formal education meant to address the primary education needs of adult populations. From the 5,990,409 adults that participated in first and second year program 42.8 per cent are females.

80.At primary level, the rate of enrolment is close to reaching the desired level of ensuring universal and equitable access to primary education for boys and girls. This trend however is not followed through to secondary level with the gap becoming higher at tertiary level. Similarly, in terms of success in education, measured through repetition, drop out and completion rates, girls are performing slightly better or similar to boys. However, this level of achievement is not followed through at higher levels of education. The major challenges for this gap are attributable to distance between residence and secondary schools and TVETs, socio-cultural barriers for girls’ education like labour and time-intensive domestic chores, harmful traditional practices and trafficking of girls.

81.Concerted measures are being taken to address the myriad of challenges adversely affecting girls’ education. The Ministry of Education, regional education bureaus as well as higher educational institutions jointly developed regulations and training modules. These instruments include, guideline for textbook review and analysis from a gender perspective; gender responsive training module targeting higher education; guideline for scaling up and replicating good practices in girl’s education; handbook for mainstreaming gender into school improvement programs; guideline for bringing women into educational leadership positions; girls puberty book providing information on physical and emotional changes; life skills training manuals; preferential guidelines for gender equality in general education; and code of conduct for addressing gender based violence. These materials are put to use in various educational settings. Similarly, gender sensitive pedagogy is implemented in teachers training institutions across the country.

82.Towards addressing challenges relating to distance between residence and schools, the Ministry has developed guidelines on the provision of hostel services for female students. Similarly, through United Nations Joint Program (UNJP) Gender flagship, the Ministry is providing financial assistance to girls from underprivileged families to attend school. This program that targets reduction of dropout rates is operational in the four emerging regions of the country namely Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, Afar and Ethiopian Somali Regions. Similarly, guidelines on the provision of tutorial and academic support programs have been rolled out.

83.Universities are implementing programs to help female students that have not been able to academically progress. Some government universities have remedial programs that consist of short-term skill trainings in different areas like Information Technology (IT), surveying, hotel management, hairdressing and secretary in TVET Colleges. This intervention helps female students to start their own business or get employment. During the remedial program, female students are provided with dormitory and cafeteria service at the University.

84.The proportion of women in the teaching profession is 37 per cent at primary; 16 per cent at secondary; 8.3 per cent in teachers training institutions; 17 per cent in TVETs and 11.7 per cent in higher educational institutions. Although these figures show improvements over the reporting period, the proportion remain slow. To address this, the Girls Education and Gender Equality Strategy calls for continued implementation of affirmative action measures during recruitment and selection of teacher candidates as well as in career development opportunities. Further, women in education are provided trainings on capacity building, personal empowerment, proposal writing, research skills and project development. Female researchers are also provided special funding.

85.To cater for the needs of adult women, the adult and Non-Formal Education Program is implemented especially in rural areas where formal schooling for adults may not be easily available. From 5,990,409 adults within the age range of 15–60 years that participated in the program 42.8 per cent are females. The women development groups encourage their illiterate members to attend the Program.

Article 11: Equality in Employment

86.The Ethiopian Constitution, the Civil Servants Proclamation No. 515/2007 and the Labour Proclamation No. 377/2003, partly amended by proclamation 466/2005 and Proclamation 494/2006 regulate labour relationships and rights. The law ensures the right to work including the freedom to choose one’s profession; equality and non‑discrimination during recruitment, promotion, salary as well as other aspects of employment based on sex as well as the right to equal remuneration to work of equal value. The legal framework is maintained within the reporting period.

87.The legal frameworks further provide for paid maternity leave and guarantee job security during pregnancy and immediately after delivery. In addition, the Civil Servants Proclamation provides for paid paternity leave for five working days at the time of delivery. Similarly, both laws provide for protection of health and safety in working conditions. The legal framework is maintained within the reporting period.

88.Despite the law that ensures equal pay for work of equal value, there are gaps in payment between men and women in the private sector. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs conducted trainings on equal pay for equal work to over 16,000 participants drawn from the Ministry of Women and Children, employees and employers’ federations and judges. Similarly, on the spot checks and monitoring have been conducted in over 150,000 private organizations to assess the implementation of the principle.

89.The Ethiopian social security scheme covers employees of both the public sector and the private sector. The public servants’ Pension Proclamation No. 714/2011, which came into effect during the reporting period provides for conditions for receiving social security payment during retirement and in the incidence of incapacity to work due to illness and injury. The benefits therein are retirement pension, invalidity pension, incapacity pension or survivors’ pension and include gratuity and refundable pension contribution. Further, the Proclamation provides for the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex in the age of retirement, payment of social security as well as transfer of the right to survivors.

90.Proclamation No. 715/2011 fills the gap in the social security legal framework that previously covered only government employees. The new law provides for retirement pension, invalidity pension, incapacity pension or survivors’ pension and further includes gratuity and refundable pension contribution to employees of private organizations. The Proclamation contains the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of the above sets of social security benefits and transfer of the right to survivors.

91.Ethiopia has adopted the ILO convention (156) that requires governments to take measures to ease the burden of women in the household. Accordingly, the Growth and Transformation Plan — GTP II — provides for the introduction of day care facilities for working mothers. Additionally, the Social Protection Policy, which was launched within the reporting period provides for formal and informal interventions that aim at reducing social and economic risks, vulnerabilities and deprivations and facilitation of equitable growth to everyone including women. The policy addresses the persistent challenges that emanate from poverty and vulnerability of women.

92.We have made significant progress in the overall integration of women in the labour market. In 2013 the female employment to population ratio reached 72.1 per cent. Agriculture and industry are the major employers of women. From the industrial and manufacturing sectors textile industry takes 66 per cent and the leather industry covers 68 per cent of total employment of women. Employment of women reached 62.4 per cent in the formal economy and the proportion of women employed in the informal economy declined to 36.5 per cent and women in civil service account for 41 per cent.

93.Despite the improvements over the years, 63.1 per cent of women remain outside of the economically active population. The proportion of unemployed female youth is greater with 30.2 per cent and 5.5 per cent female youth unemployment rate in urban and rural areas respectively. Whereas male youth unemployment rate in urban and rural areas is 20.4 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. This shows unemployment is generally higher among female youth. Reports show that, assignment of women to non-paid domestic responsibility and low level of education among the reasons for this trend.

94.The Government devised the Micro and Small Enterprises Strategy that facilitates access to finance through saving and credits; provision of capacity building and skills training in business and entrepreneurship; and creation and strengthening of market access for women entrepreneurs. Between 2010/11–2012/13 the sector generated 3,964,621 jobs through regular program and through participation in large-scale government projects. 41.23 per cent of the beneficiaries of the 2,681,367 jobs created through regular programs were women.

95.There are disparities women and men when it comes to the type of employment and the amount of earnings. Women are concentrated in jobs of lower positions. Women hold only 27 per cent of managerial positions and 32 per cent of professional posts. Whereas, 64 per cent of clerical jobs and 65 per cent of service related jobs are held by women. In addition to addressing/correcting discriminatory frameworks towards increasing the proportion of women in professional and managerial posts there are attempts to upgrade the skills and education levels of female employees.

Article12: Elimination of Discrimination against Women in the Field of Health Care

96.Many elements of women’s rights to health and the channels through which these rights can be realized are addressed at the policy level. During the reporting period, the implementation of the health policy and other programs was intensified. The Ministry of Health launched a five years Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP), which is part of the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-2). Promotion of gender equality; empowerment of women; and increasing the utilization of health services by women were the main focus areas of the Plan. The Ministry adopted a Health Sector Gender Mainstreaming Manual that is applied at federal, regional, and local levels.

97.The Ministry developed the national Reproductive Health Strategy to be implemented from 2016–2020 in order to reduce maternal mortality and promote reproductive health. The Strategy provided the means for reducing mortality and morbidity and improving the health of mothers and newborns. It also incorporates initiatives in response to emerging reproductive health issues. This Reproductive Health (RH) strategy encompasses 12 strategic objectives, including improving Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH); family planning; adolescent and youth reproductive health; prevention and management of reproductive organ concerns; and addressing the social determinants of reproductive health. Further, Facilities providing family planning services have expanded both in terms of number and outreach. 99 per cent of health centres and 79 per cent of health posts across the country provide family planning services five days a week.

98.The Government has strengthened the implementation of the Heath Extension Program (HEP), which deploys 38,000 (98 per cent female) health extension workers in rural and urban areas. The Extension Workers provide door-to-door services in order to facilitate access to quality and affordable health care. The Program gives special attention to mothers and children in rural areas. Women health extension workers made the Program effective and exemplary and enabled Ethiopia attain many of the MDGs in the health sectors.

99.During the reporting period, Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) and the Social Health Insurance (SHI) were commenced. CBHI targets rural and urban population in the informal sector and the SHI, which is being piloted in selected woredas of Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray and SNNPRs is designed for formal sector employees. The Programs are designed to benefit women that have limited access to quality health care due to economic, cultural and mobility related constraints.

100.Currently, over 14,000 students are studying in 27 universities to become medical doctors. There are 6,570 doctors, 42,881 nurses and 12,035 midwives. The increased number of midwives due to the fast-tracked program for training has enabled the country to improve the ratio of access to midwives from 1:39,758 to that of 1:7, 478. In addition, death due to unsafe abortion has declined from 32 per cent in 2005 to that of 9 per cent in 2014/15. In 2014/15, 1343 facilities provided safe abortion service to 211,533 women based on the prescriptions of the law.

101.Fistula is a major problem emanating from child marriage, early pregnancies, and prolonged labour. The Government has collaborated with the major Fistula Hospital in the country to expand the medical treatment centres to nine Regional states.

102.The rate of HIV infection has declined significantly and the prevalence rate has gone down to 1.1 per cent from 2.4 per cent. Treatment and provision of services to individuals that test HIV positive has also improved. During the reporting period, health facilities providing mother to child transmission prevention and ARV services have increased to 2,495 and 1,047 from 1,352 and 550 respectively. Provision of ARV service coverage has reached 64.7 per cent.

103.Significant progress has been registered over the reporting period in all of the essential maternal and child health indicators.



Skilled delivery

Postnatal care

Maternal mortality

Child mortality

Contraceptive prevalence

Fertility rate

Adolescent birth rate





676/100 000

59/1 000



79/1 000





420/100 000

55/1 000



65/1 000

104.Traditional norms and attitudes; low level of education among women; and the resulting constrained decision-making power of women are among the factors that contributes for maternal death. Men’s involvement is crucial to improvement Antenatal Care (ANC), family planning, safe abortion and similar other health services. However, the studies that precede the Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP) show that men have minimal involvement in reproductive health.

105.Mechanisms are adopted to address economic related constraints such as transport services and fees. Accordingly, 1,743 ambulances have been deployed all over the country under the ‘one ambulance for one woreda program. The ambulances provide transport to a health facility for pregnant mothers. The expansion of rural road network also facilitates access to health care facilities in remote and areas of the country.

106.Waiver of medical fee and a free package of health services provided by HEWs or mobile clinics in pastoralist areas contribute to address the economic constraints. The fee waiver and exemption system particularly in relation to maternal health services was implemented for a long period of time. Fee waiver is serving the wide section of the population and is improving the health service seeking behaviour of the society. Among the services that are free are diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of Tuberculosis; prenatal care, delivery and postnatal services; family planning services; cervical cancer screening; immunization of mothers and children; HIV counselling and testing; provision of Anti Retro Viral medicines; leprosy management; epidemic follow-up and control; fistula care and treatment.

Article 13: Equality in Economic and Social Life

107.The major challenge for women was access to finance, market networking and training on entrepreneurship. To address this gap the national Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) Strategy is issued. The Strategy facilitates the provision of access to finance through saving and credits, capacity building, skills training and market access for women entrepreneurs. The data shows, the total number of beneficiaries on the financial services showed increasing trend over the years. The 610,789 beneficiaries in 2009 reached 1,457,339 in 2010, 4,098,313 in 2012 and 6.9 million in 2013. Between 2010 and 2013, women constituted 40 per cent of the beneficiaries of these services. Between 2010 and 2015, about 5 million women were organized and operated in the small and medium enterprises sector.

108.In the area of market networking and trainings the Strategy facilitates market access for women entrepreneurs. During the reporting period, women constituted 38.5 per cent and 39.7 per cent of the beneficiaries of market access opportunities and training in business and entrepreneurship. Similarly, 39 per cent of the beneficiaries of provision of working premises were women.

109.Cooperatives play a major role in promoting the socio-economic rights of women. During the reporting period the number of women in cooperatives reached 3.61 million. Further, 110,544 women are employed by cooperatives. The Federal Cooperative Agency, which is the institution that monitors and supports cooperatives, ensures the issuance and implementation of favourable policy and regulatory regimes for cooperatives.

110.The National Social Protection Policy (2014) targets the promotion of the socio‑economic rights of women through promoting employment and income generating opportunities. The Policy envisages for the provision of skills training and micro‑finance credit services for the poor and vulnerable and the establishment of labour market information system.

Article 14: Rural Women

111.More than 80 per cent of the country’s population relies on agriculture for its livelihood and women constitute close to 57 per cent of the labour force in the sector. Women are engaged in all stages of agricultural production on their own farms or their families’. The social and economic policies and programmes have taken the situation of rural women into account.

Access to Land

112.There is no legal constraint that inhibits women from owning land. The FDRE Rural Land Administration and Use Proclamation enacted in 2005 provides for the issuance of joint land holding certificate. Regional states have followed suit and have issued their own land use and administration laws in conformity with the federal law. During the reporting period, 11,880,345 women from whom 2,138,673 are female heads and 9,741,672 married women were issued land-holding certificates. Overall, the proportion of landholder women stood at 20 per cent while rental/lease among females is 13.1 per cent in 2014/15.

113.Although the law has been instrumental in ensuring the right of women in land ownership it is not without challenges. In 2014/15 the government initiated several studies covering different aspects of the land law and carried out by a variety of stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations as well as development partners. Women’s affairs officials of the regions and the federal government were primary participants in the process. The proposed revision of the law is set to avoid impediments of land ownership by women.

114.Ethiopia has between 12–15 million pastoralist population that live in about 61 per cent of the country’s lad mass and that follow a predominantly transhumant life style. The Pastoralist population of Ethiopia similar with other rural population of the country was marginalized. Women in these areas receive the brunt of this circumstance. To address this situation, the Government introduced Pastoralist Community Development Program (PCDP). The PCDP implemented by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Pastoralist Areas Development and the regional pastoralist affairs bureaus is a multi-dimensional program that incorporates the rights of women as one major aspect. The program ensures the equal and active participation of women in the creation and implementation of development programmes such as saving and credit services, improved production schemes in agriculture and animal husbandry, and infrastructure development. The PCDP follows flexible mechanisms to cater for the unique context and traditions of the pastoralist communities. This approach is the main factor behind the acclamation of the program by the World Bank as one of the most successful grass root development programs in the world.

115.The efficient land use program that facilitates settlement scheme convenient for the provision of social services such as health, education, and clean water in the pastoralist areas is one element of the PCDP. Women that were discriminated against in the traditional land holding system now have the right to have land in their name. This security has resulted to an increased quality of life for households, for enrolment of girls in school, for decrease in harmful practices and infant, child and maternal mortality rates in pastoralist areas.

Health Care

116.The Health Extension Program (HEP) is created in response to the rural community's need for basic health services. The HEP focuses on prevention through building community’s skills and knowledge. The HEP contains maternal, neonatal and child health interventions to the community with the goal of reducing maternal and child mortality. Over 38,000 Health Extension Workers HEWs drawn from the communities they serve are promoting the 16 health packages that incorporate disease prevention and control, family health, hygiene and environmental sanitation as well as health education and communication. The HEP focuses on the household and service are delivered through house-to-house outreach visits.

117.HEWs work with Voluntary Community Health Workers (VCHWs), trained birth attendants and community based reproductive health agents. In addition, they collaborate with grass roots organizations like women and youth associations, Women Development Groups (WDGs), schools, traditional associations like Idir and maheber. This intervention has brought about significant improvements over the reporting period. In addition, model families are identified and trained by HEWs to disseminate and instil health related messages to the rest of the community. During the reporting period over four million households have been trained.

118.The main target of the Health Policy in Ethiopia has been expansion of first level health systems at woreda level through health posts and health centres. The number of health posts reached 16,447. The number of public health centres and hospitals reached 3,586 and 234 respectively in 2015/16. 99 per cent of health centres and 79 per cent of health posts provide different forms of reproductive health services. The expansion of these services together with other multi-sectoral efforts has led to significant improvements in maternal and newborn health indicators in the country.

Social security programs

119.The National Social Protection Policy of the country issued in 2014 envisages for the establishment of productive and social safety net programs to support the poor and reduce vulnerability in the rural context. In the rural context, women are recognized as one of the most vulnerable for the arduous challenges that arise from draught and environmental degradation. In addition, the Food Security Program (2010–2014) is created with the goal of ensuring food security at a household level. The Program is the largest social protection program in the country with four components. These components are Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) including a Risk Financing mechanism, Household Asset Building Programme (HABP), Complementary Community Investment Programme (CCI) and Resettlement Programme. The social protection programs specifically target women heads of households and other women with the aim of resolving recurring food shortage, competing household responsibilities and less bargaining power.

120.The Food Security Programme 2015–2020 introduced specific gender and social development provisions to address the severe impacts of food insecurity on vulnerable women and children. The gender provisions of the Food Security Program address the demands of female heads, pregnant women, and women in marriage. The program provides direct support for pregnant women and lactating mothers. Further, it is not limited to addressing the immediate impact of food insecurity but also focuses on building livelihoods of poor and vulnerable households. The Programme has a special emphasis on female heads of households, people living with HIV and AIDS, women in polygamous households, divorced women, and women with disabilities. The Program provides for joint client card entitlement for husband and wife in order to ensure women in married households have equal say.

121.Recurrent food insecurity, competing household responsibilities and less bargaining power impede women heads of households from taking part in activities outside of the home. Cognizant of this, the Program facilitates the provision of help for labour scarce households. Further, flexibility is introduced in terms of time control to accommodate women that arrive late and leave early from public works. It also comprises of child-care services to allow mothers participate in public works. Women are also made to be part of decision-making structures in the overall implementation of the food security program at different levels.

122.The Programme incorporates employment opportunities; direct cash transfer; household asset building; small-scale social cash transfers including non-contributory pensions; disability grants; cash grants to very poor families with children; and low interest loans aimed at poor households that have the capacity to engage in the economic activities. The household asset building gives priority to female-headed households through its program of preventing asset depletion by assisting food insecure households to transform their productive systems. 440,847 women took part in the household asset-building program; 520,357women got training on business plan preparation; 220,404 received credit service and technical assistance. In 2014/15 51 per cent of the beneficiaries of the Productive Safety-net Program were women.

123.Although women contribute significantly to the agricultural sector, they produce up to 23 per cent less than men because they have a lesser practice of using agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and improved seed and access to extension services. To address this, targets have been set to have 30 per cent more women beneficiaries in all of the extension services. Accordingly, women accessing improved seed and fertilizers reached 12.2 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively in 2013/14.

124.Furthermore, the Ethiopian Women’s Development and Change Package (2005) and the Pastoralist and Semi-Pastoralist Women Development and Change Package (2010) promote the creation of cooperatives so as to ensure economic benefit of women. The Federal Cooperative Agency has been operating with the objective of improving the contribution of cooperatives to economic advancement and improving the livelihood of their members. The Agency particularly focuses on the rural population among other categories. In 2013/14 the number of cooperatives in the country has reached 71,000. From the cooperatives 31 per cent are agricultural; 39 per cent are non-agricultural; and 25 per cent are credit and savings associations. Agricultural cooperatives provide agricultural inputs, markets for agricultural and livestock products and improved technology for members. The number of women in all cooperatives reached 3.61 million with 1.26 million in credit and saving associations. Female and male membership in these credit and saving associations reached the 50/50 mark. In 2013/14 rural credit and saving associations have provided credit to 109,707 rural women.


125.Women are increasingly becoming house owners in both rural and urban areas of the country. In urban areas 11 per cent of women have sole ownership of a house; 66 per cent of the women in rural areas own a house either alone or jointly with their husband. From the total beneficiaries of the low-cost housing program in regional states 47 per cent of the beneficiaries are women.

Water Supply and Sanitation

126.The Government has implemented programs aimed at facilitating access to safe drinking water through subsidized or at times free rates to poor households. Further, hygiene and sanitation have been included as one of the core packages of the health extension package. The concerted effort has resulted to increase in the coverage of clean water to 80 per cent in 2014. In rural areas, the proportion of housing units using safe drinking water has reached 41.3 per cent. Improved water and sanitation closer to households has direct and immediate benefits for women and children that bear the burden of fetching water. Women artisans and caretakers are trained to build and maintain water schemes and there is a 50 per cent quota for women on rural WASH committees, which enables attitudinal change and strengthens women’s skills and participation in public affairs.


127.About 96 per cent of rural households acquire energy mainly from biomass sources. It is only 0.1 per cent of rural households that use electricity for cooking and 5 per cent for lighting. Biomass sources of energy have adverse health impacts on women. To address this stress on women there is a shift towards the use of biogas as a source of energy for households. Five million improved fuel energy efficient stoves were distributed all over the country. Regular trainings on improved fuel saving technology are provided to women.

Transport and Communication

128.Road transport makes up 90 per cent of transport service in the country. The Road Sector Development Program implemented during the reporting period adopted and implemented a Universal Rural Road Access Program (URRAP) which intended to connect all Kebeles by all-weather roads. Access to all weather roads has significantly increased with 77 per cent of the Kebeles connected to all-weather roads and the rural access index for the whole country reaching 43 per cent in 2013/14 compared to just 13 per cent in 1997. Expansion in road access facilitated women’s access to markets, health facilities as well as the use of ambulance services for child delivery. Further, 145 road projects created employment opportunities for over 115,000 women during the reporting women.

Article 15: Equality before the Law

129.The FDRE Constitution provides for the right to equality of women and the prohibition of discrimination based on inter alia sex. Hence, each and every governmental institution has the responsibility to eradicate institutional discrimination against women. The Constitution further provides for the elimination of traditional practices harmful to women and explicitly abrogates laws, customs and practices that oppress or cause bodily or mental harm to women.

130.The rights of women have further been enshrined under subsidiary laws of the country that provide for the equal rights of women in all areas of life. With regard to implementation, the former Ministry of Justice Pursuant to Article 16 of Proclamation No. 916/2015 and the current Federal Attorney General — established pursuant to Proclamation No. 943/2016 — has the responsibility to design and implement a strategy on free legal aid. Accordingly, the Legal Aid Strategy prepared by the Federal Attorney General is being discussed among concerned stakeholders.

Article 16: Equality in Marriage and Family Life

131.The FDRE Constitution, the Revised Family Code and the Regional Family Laws govern marriage and family relations in Ethiopia. There has been no change with regards to the contents of the revised family law and the constitutional protections during the reporting period.

132.The Federal Supreme Court Cassation Division in line with its mandate of providing mandatory interpretations of laws applicable in all federal and regional courts has provided interpretations of the family law that ensure effective protection of the rights of women.

133.Recognizing reliable, timely, updated and regular statistical information is necessary to make relevant policy and decision-making, including resolving court cases regarding succession, paternity and others the Government has enacted Vital Events and National Identity Card Proclamation No. 760/2012. The Proclamation provides for compulsory, permanent, and universal registration and certification of vital events that include birth, death, marriage and divorce. The vital registration system became operational in August 2016 pursuant to the Proclamation.

134.The Vital Events Registration Agency is entrusted with directing, coordinating and supporting the registration of vital events at national level. However, the Proclamation envisages for the registration of vital events at the lowest level of the administrative hierarchy (Keble). The Agency works in close collaboration with international partners such as UNICEF to train professionals that set up the system for vital registration and for facilitating the institutional system.

Responses to the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Comments on Ethiopia’s combined sixth and seventh periodic report

135.This appendix provides Ethiopia’s report on the implementation of the recommendations and concluding observations of the Committee released in July 2011.

Visibility of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations

136.CEDAW is part and parcel of the Ethiopian law by virtue of article 9 (4) of the Constitution. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has translated the convention into Amharic, Afaan Oromo, Tigrigna, Somali and Afar and disseminated copies to all concerned stakeholders including the Courts. The Federal High Court has been using the Convention in its decision.

137.The Commission also conducted training for officials and staff of the different Government agencies at the federal and regional level with a particular focus on the members of the justice administration system. The training programs aimed at familiarizing participants with the major international human rights instruments that the country has ratified. The Commission is continually engaging in awareness creation programs involving women and professionals that work with women. Further, the Commission established a “Human Rights Forum” that brought together educational institutions of different levels, civic organizations, including women’s grass-roots organizations. The Forum provided the platform for regular discussions on women’s human rights issues including addressing major forms of violations of rights and available recourse mechanisms. These are the instances where the rights of women under the laws of Ethiopia and that of the conventions it ratifies including CEDAW are discussed and disseminated to the public.

Harmonization of Laws

138.The country has taken steps towards harmonizing its laws particularly those relating to family and personal matters in accordance with the Convention. During the reporting period, two regional states (Gambella and Benshangul Gumuz) have adopted family laws that are similar in content with the federal revised family law. Afar and Somali Regional States are yet to adopt their family laws. The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs is engaged with the regional states administrations at the ministerial level and is undertaking concrete awareness raising activities over the need to have the family laws enacted. In addition, the Human Rights Commission is works with the concerned regional authorities to expedite the process of harmonization.

139.The Committee has expressed concern on customary and religious adjudication of disputes relating to personal and family laws. Recognizing the fact that Ethiopia is a country with ancient history and diverse society with a rich tradition of administration and dispute settlement the Constitution recognizes religious and customary courts. The only religious court that exists in the country is the Islamic Court of the Country established by the Federal Courts of Sharia Consolidation Proclamation 188/1995. The Court has jurisdiction over matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance, and guardianship and minors and family rights if the marriage was concluded under and the parties have consented to be adjudicated by Islamic law. Thus, a party who concluded his/her marriage and does not consent to have a dispute he is a party to, to be adjudicated by the Shari a court will not be subjected to the jurisdiction of the Court. Moreover, under Ethiopian law, despite the type of marriage — whether it is civil, customary or religious — the preconditions and consequence of marriage are similar. Pertaining to the resolution of disputes through customary mechanisms that are not courts, the mechanism has its own advantage in resolving disputes through harmonious procedures. Nevertheless, these customary institutions are not regular dispute settlement mechanism and their decisions do not bar the courts from assuming jurisdiction. Hence, religious and customary dispute resolution mechanisms are resorted to by the consent of the parties.

Institutional Framework and Capacity

140.The Commission expressed its concern regarding the inadequate capacity, resources and efficiency of the national institutions, which consists of the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs, women’s affairs departments in all federal ministries, regional women’s affairs bureaus, and similar structures at the zonal, woreda and kebele levels. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs through Proclamation No. 916/2015. This move enables the Ministry to have a more focused mandate of catering for the rights and well-being of women and children.

141.Among the common powers and duties of all ministries is found addressing women and youth affairs in the preparation of policies, laws and development programs and projects. The mainstreaming gender issues in the respective sector of executive organs forms a strong basis for ensuring accountability as well as in mainstreaming gender perspectives in all laws and policies. The gender sectoral forum is created to ensure horizontal coordination among government organs. It convenes gender directorates of the line ministries and public organizations to report on the integration of gender issues in their respective sectors and the challenges they face. In addition, they submit annual reports regarding the extent to which they have addressed gender issues in their respective sectors.

142.In regards to human resources, the Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) carried out nationwide during the reporting period has led to clearly set the quantity as well as quality of professional staff required for effective running of the gender related institutions. Staffs at the different levels of the machinery mostly have first and/second degree education. Increase in the number of institutions providing gender training has enabled to increase the available pool. However there still are challenges in terms of attracting qualified personnel due to the modest civil service payment compared to other employees such as international organizations and non-government organizations.

143.During the reporting period, there has been an overall increment in the allocation of the budget towards the advancement of women and promotion of gender equality. This is seen in terms of increased allocation of budget to the Ministry over the years and the resource allocated to gender offices in ministries that has mainstreamed gender.

144.The Ministry carries out training programs in order to build the capacity of implementers within the gender institutions. The trainings include annual short-term trainings that involve selected number of trainees as well as professional degree level programs for qualified middle level and senior experts. The Ministry prepared training modules in areas such as gender mainstreaming, analysis, audit, and gender responsive monitoring and evaluation.

145.The Committee also recommended for further strengthening the Commission for women and Children within the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. The EHRC launched eight branch offices throughout the country. Increasing the number of offices and expanding their reach is expected to contribute to facilitating easy access to women, children and the persons with disability. In order to further strengthen these structures, an assessment study is under way. The Human Rights Commission has given adequate attention to the human rights of women and children as reflected in its five years strategic plan.

Awareness Creation

146.The Government notes the Committee’s recommendation regarding harmful traditional practices. The Government entered a commitment to end child marriage and FGM by 2025 at the London Summit towards the end of 2015. The National Strategy and Action Plan on Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) against Women and Children was adopted in 2013. The Strategy institutionalizes national, regional and grass roots mechanisms with the objectives of preventing HTPs, protecting women and children and providing services to victim of HTPs. The Strategy has identified three of the most commonly practiced HTPs namely FGM, child marriage and abduction and has developed detailed implementation plan (action plan) for three years. It adopts a multi-sectoral approach where a national HTP Platform composed of various ministries; national associations as well as faith based organizations headed by Ministry of Women and Children oversee the implementation of the Strategy.

147.The Strategy encompasses advocacy and monitoring work through grass-roots organizations such as the women development groups and HTP committees. HTP Committees established in villages and composed of representatives of different social groups such as women, youth, elders, and religious leaders as well as officials of the local administration. The advocacy and follow up work carried out at the community level has shown encouraging results in terms of minimizing child marriage and FGM practices in communities. Furthermore, the campaign against HTPs spearheaded by religious leaders is widely utilized during the reporting period.

148.During the reporting period, several efforts were made to increase legal literacy on women’s rights and the illegality of HTPs. Moreover, the work of Health Extension Workers (HEW), women development groups, and girls’ clubs in schools, human rights clubs and similar other efforts are contributing to the enhancement awareness over women’s rights. Similarly, establishment of circuit courts that. With regard to enforcement, efforts are made to try cases involving violence against women through temporary benches located at places where the incidents occur.

149.The Ministry established a “National Alliance to End Child Marriage and FGM” consisting of all concerned stakeholders in order to implement the strategic interventions set out in the National Strategy. A national platform for the prevention of all forms of HTPs has also been recently launched. This platform consists of federal ministries; regional counterparts; United Nations agencies and international organizations. There are similar institutional mechanisms at the regional level with the Somali Regional State taking the lead in establishing one.

Human Trafficking and Exploitation of Prostitution

150.The Government notes the concern and recommended measures of the Committee regarding human trafficking in Ethiopia. The measures taken to curb the problem include enactment of a law on human smuggling and trafficking; strict enforcement of the law through prosecution and setting out the conditions for legal migration; continuous awareness creation efforts using several methods of communication; victim rehabilitation; conclusion of law enforcement cooperation with neighbouring countries; and job creation which addresses the root causes of human trafficking and smuggling.

151.The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has been spearheading the awareness raising campaign to combat human trafficking. The ministry used the national television, and radio, community radios, pre-existing community organizations and other mechanisms to raise awareness on human trafficking and smuggling. Moreover 325 community conversation centres are set up in Amhara, Tigray, Oromiya and SNNPR. Trained community conversation facilitators run community conversations on human trafficking, smuggling and irregular migration. The Ministry has also prepared a discussion paper on the situation of trafficking and its causes and consequences. The awareness raising effort has reached an estimate of 18 million people across the nation.

152.The lack of adequate services to victims was another concern of the Committee. The Proclamation for the Prevention and Suppression of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants‟ (Proc. No. 909/2015) provides for the establishment of a “Fund” to rehabilitate victims.

153.In 2014, Ethiopia received more than 150, 000 of its citizens that were deported from Saudi Arabia. These immigrants travelled to Saudi Arabia through different arrangements, including human trafficking and smuggling. Similarly, several victims of trafficking that were destined to South Africa are made to return to their country. Continuous efforts are underway to ensure the safe return of irregular migrants that are detained in southern African countries. Returnees are provided with emergency medication, shelter and pocket money to allow them integrate with their family. The returnees also received skills training and support to help them support themselves through engaging in business activities. There remains a substantial work with regard to facilitating victim support.

154.The Government also notes the concern of the Committee regarding the root causes of human trafficking. The Government is aware of and is working to address the cause of irregular migration and the factors that lead migrants fall on the hands of human traffickers. Poverty and unemployment are the main source of the social ills in the country. Cognizant of this the Government has been implementing various policies and national development goals to tackle poverty and unemployment. The advancements on education, health, and social protection, employment incorporated in this report have a direct correlation with addressing the root causes of irregular migration. With regard to women, the overarching policy direction of economic empowerment, literacy, and sustainable development are believed to resolve the problem. In addition to the poverty reduction strategy that will contribute to the reduction of human trafficking the Government takes measures geared towards giving solution to the problem in the shortest time possible. This includes the micro and small enterprises strategy and sector, which during 2010/11–2012/13 generated a total of 2,681,367 jobs from which women took up 41.23 per cent; rehabilitation and training and support of returnees to engage in income generating activities; and awareness creation efforts to ensure realistic attitude regarding migration and living and working in a foreign country.

155.With the adoption of the Proclamation No. 909/2015, strong procedures and institutional mechanisms for the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of perpetrators have been put in place. In 2014/15 the Federal Police in cooperation with the Federal Public Prosecutor investigated 127 cases. Overall 136 individuals were charged of which 49 were found guilty and sentenced with penalties ranging from 2–18 years of rigorous imprisonment.

156.The Government takes note of the recommendation of the Committee on human trafficking within the country. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is implementing the national plan of action for elimination of worst forms of child labour (2010–2016). To this end, the Ministry is engaged in extensive sensitization of the public on child labour and trafficking. It works with grass roots associations and utilizes traditional gatherings to advocate for the education of children and the danger posed by trafficking, including what trafficking is. A Child Trafficking Unit is established at the central bus station through which many of the trafficked children enter Addis Ababa. Trafficked children identified by the aforementioned Unit are referred to various services provided by the government and NGOs. Different kinds of support services are given to 11,102 women working as prostitutes that opted to look for another means of livelihood.

Participation in Political and Public Life

157.The Committee expresses its concern on women’s participation in elections. The Electoral Board has taken steps to address these challenges. Financial challenges of female candidates are duly taken into consideration in the Revised Political Party’s Registration Proclamation number 573/2008. Accordingly, the Board has allocated special fund to support female candidates. In the most recent national election conducted in 2015 the Board increased the budget allocated for female candidates from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the total budget allotted for political parties. Further, political parties adopted quota system to encourage the participation of female candidates in elections. As reported hereinabove, the Government is working to further enhance the participation of women in public service, Foreign Service and higher positions in other government agencies.

Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations

158.The Government notes the recommendation of the Committee on the role of CSOs on the promotion of women’s rights. The Government recognizes the role of women’s associations in enhancing the right of women. It has been proved that the role of women’s associations play a remarkable role in improving not only the situation of women but also the community at large. The Government also follows an all-inclusive approach that involves concerned stakeholders on the creation, implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes. The women development groups that comprise of Ethiopian women in urban and rural areas, in agrarian and pastoralist communities and other social backgrounds are promoting the interests of their members as reported hereinabove.

159.As to the associations that are registered by the Charities and societies agency, at the time this report is prepared there are 107 Ethiopian charities, 2115 Ethiopian resident charities, 333 Ethiopian societies, 89 Ethiopian charitable societies, 371 foreign charities, and 53 consortiums in Ethiopia. Moreover, the rest that work on issues of socio economic relevance address the needs of women in their undertaking. Hence, the Charities and Societies Proclamation improved the culture of financing crucial causes such as gender equality by local resources. The law also promotes efficiency and accountability by requiring charities and societies use the resource they gather for the intended purpose.


160.The Government notes the recommendations of the Committee regarding education of girls. As shown in the section of this report pertaining to the right of education of women, there are several efforts being made by the government to ensure the equal involvement of women in education. These efforts are bearing an encouraging outcome in terms of overall increase in the enrolment, retention and completion rate of girls at all levels of education.

161.Various measures have been taken during the reporting period to increase girl’s education in rural and pastoralist areas. During the reporting period the ESDP IV expanded mobile schools and para-boarding schools for primary and secondary education to reach all children in pastoralist and semi-pastoralist communities. Further, boarding schools and tutorial support programmes are put in place to support girls from these areas.

162.The proportion of female teachers is 37 per cent at primary, 16 per cent at secondary, 8.3 per cent at teachers training colleges, 17 per cent at TVETs, and 11.7 per cent at higher education institutions. The desired level of representation of women is yet to be achieved. To increase female participation in traditionally women dominates areas of study, the Ministry of Education implements affirmative action and encourages women to enrol in these fields.

163.During the reporting period, the Ministry of Education adopted the Gender Equality and Girls Education Strategy that provides for detailed strategies to address sexual harassment and other forms of violence in education institutions. Further, anti‑sexual harassment code of conduct has been prepared and rolled out for implementation at all levels of schools.

164.The Government notes the recommendation of the Committee to improve the access to education for persons with disability. The Ministry issued a new strategy on special needs education in 2012. The fourth Education Sector Development Program deals with the issue of disability in relation to access to and achievements in education. Affirmative measures have been introduced within the Higher Education Proclamation and the technical and vocational training draft legislation so as to encourage the participation of persons with disability in these levels of education. The Ministry also established the National Council on Inclusive Education and Training to promote inclusive policy throughout the country. During the reporting period, teachers and training institutions are trained in sign language and Braille. In 2013, around 60,789 students with disabilities were attending class in primary and secondary schools.


165.The Committee’s concern on the rate of unemployment among women is noted. The measures taken with regard to poverty reduction, health, education, social protection, and land are set to contribute to the enhancement of the situation. Moreover, the job creation efforts that include several and interrelated packages such as job creation, training, access to finance, operational and market place services, market access (local and international), improved technology provision, information and counselling services among others is benefitting women. During the reporting period, 41.2 per cent of over ten million jobs created in the small and medium scale industries were for women. Similarly, 40.6 per cent of the over three million beneficiaries of the skills training opportunities; 46.5 per cent of beneficiaries of financial services; 40.8 per cent of beneficiaries of provision of workshops; and 40 per cent of the beneficiaries of market linkages were women.

166.To resolve the lack of sex-disaggregated data in the field of employment the Central Statistics Authority has conducted data mining on existing and new national level surveys to produce gender disaggregated data in the field of employment particularly the informal sector. The outcome shows progressive decline in the representation of women in the informal sector from 64.8 per cent in 1999 and to 36.5 per cent in 2013, this is attributed to women’s increasing engagement in the formal sector.

167.The Committee expressed its concern regarding implementation of the laws on the rights of women workers. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has developed and implemented a manual to conduct ground level monitoring of the application of the various forms of protections. During the reporting period, the Ministry conducted checks and monitoring of 151,358 organizations with a view to ensuring the adequate implementation of the laws. In addition, the Ministry conducted trainings to close to two million workers across the country on their rights under the labour law. In addition, over 16,000 participants drawn from the Ministry, employee and employers’ federations, and judges are trained on labour standards.

168.The Committee’s concern regarding the inadequate treatment of sexual harassment in the work place within the existing laws is noted. To address the problem, the draft revised labour proclamation is made to contain provisions on sexual exploitation at the work place. Similarly, the Government shares the Committee’s concern regarding the lack of protection to domestic workers for the rectification of which a regulation on employment of domestic workers is being developed.

169.The Government notes the concern of the Committee regarding the worst forms of child labour in the country. The laws set the minimum age of employment at 14 years and young workers between the ages of 14–18 are restricted from working in certain vocations not suited for their well-being. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has established a desk responsible for addressing exploitative child labour within the Ministry. During the reporting period, it has also rolled a two years action plan (2010/11–2013/14) to address the problem. Capacity building trainings as well as general awareness raising programs targeting the general public has been carried out. The Ministry and Regional Bureaus also commemorate a national day against child exploitation using the occasion to prevent the act and raise awareness.


170.The committee’s concern over maternal mortality is noted. The Government planned and implemented programs that targeted the achievement of the millennium development goal to reduce maternal mortality. To this end, it increased the number of health extension workers, which are front line providers of maternal health services. The majority of the health extension workers operate in the rural setting, making maternal health services accessible to the rural population. Similarly, the number of midwives reached 12,045 bringing the ratio of midwives to population ratio to 1:7478 from the previous ratio of 1:39, l758. Overall, the proportion of medical personnel with the required skills for delivery has reached 83 per cent of the total medical professionals in the country. Furthermore, there are 16,447 health posts, 3,586 health centres, and 234 hospitals that provide different forms of reproductive health services. This enhances access to health care and maternal health and pre-natal and post-natal care with the outcome of reducing maternal mortality.

171.As reflected in the sections of this report, there is a concerted effort to answer the reproductive health demands of women. To this end, the number of health facilities that provide reproductive health services is increased; provision of free anti‑retroviral has continued at a larger scale reaching 87 per cent of the population that require the service and services for prevention of mother to child transmission is being provided.

Rural Women

172.The Committee’s concern regarding effective implementation of women’s equal rights to land is noted. The Government has continued to aggressively enforce the joint land holding certification process throughout the country. During the reporting period, 11.11 million women of whom 2 million are female heads of households and 9.11 million married women were issued with land-holding certificates. The process has now reached 98 per cent of all farmers in the country. Further, the Government noting challenges in implementation has initiated consecutive consultative sessions that brought together participants from regions, the federal government, and bilateral and multilateral partners. A number of studies covering different aspects of the law have been carried out by a variety of stakeholders from government, non‑governmental organizations and, other partners as an input to the revision process. A revised draft has now been tabled for approval.

173.The situation in regards to safe drinking water and sanitation is addressed in detail under the report on the implementation of article 14 of the Convention above.

Disadvantaged Groups of Women

174.The Committee’s concern on lack of disaggregated data on the situation of groups facing multiple/interesting forms of discrimination is noted. Although disaggregated data on disadvantaged women may not be readily available, attempts are made to compile data on some forms of disadvantage. In this regard, both the second and third national census (1994 and 2007 respectively) collected data on women with disabilities. Further, an exclusive report on disability was produced in 2011. The report contains data disaggregated along disability type, sex, age and regional distribution.

175.The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is providing specialized health services and medical supplies for women with disability. During the reporting period, 19,781 women with disability received prosthetics and over 20,000 received rehabilitation and physiotherapy services.

176.In addition, elders, prostitutes and beggars were provided with different package of services during the reporting period. 118,707 elderly women were provided with care and support services within the community, 9,384 girls and young women that live on the street, and 3,271 beggars received skills training that enabled them to engage in gainful employment. The urban safety-net program benefited over 14,000 elderly women during the same period. Moreover, 17,792 women from low-income groups were assisted to access finance to engage in income generating activities.

177.To address the challenges faced by victims of human trafficking, smuggling and deportation (both in country and outside), various response mechanisms have been put in place. The support services provided include arranging their safe return and reuniting them with their families as well as reintegrating them into society.

Discrimination against Women in Family and Marriage Relations

178.The Committee has expressed concern with regards to unequal treatment of women during division of common property upon divorce. In addition to the Constitution that enshrines the equality of spouses during and after marriage the Family law enacted by the Federal Government and family laws of the regional states provide for the equal rights of women to communal property during the dissolution of marriage.

179.Different measures are being taken by the government to address challenges in the implementation of the laws. Among these measures are continuous sensitization of judges on the rights of women, awareness raising programs and legal aid implemented by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission; the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs; the Federal Attorney General, Regional Justice Bureaus as well as grass roots organizations.

180.In addition, the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Division has provided several interpretations of laws towards effective implementation on equal division of community property upon divorce. These decisions are binding interpretation of laws applicable in all federal and regional courts.