As part of ILPI’s Women’s Rights Project (WRP) in Ethiopia, the ILPI team conducted several research trips in the four regional states of Ethiopia from 10 February to 14 March 2015.
The project, which is financed by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa, aims to understand how the rights of women are perceived and protected in the Ethiopian pluralistic justice systems. After the successful completion of a feasibility study conducted in 2014, the WRP is currently at the baseline study phase.
In the implementation of the project, ILPI works and collaborates with several public universities in Ethiopia including Addis Ababa University, Hawassa University, Bahir Dar University, Wollo University, Mekelle University, and Samara University. These universities are best placed to understand the formal and informal justice systems in their area of locality.
In February (10-12), (18-20) and March (3-14) 2015, ILPI’s WRP team of researchers have conducted three consecutive field trips to the partner universities and signed agreement with officials of the relevant departments on the implementation of the WRP in the selected five research sites of the Federal government and the regional states of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP), Amhara, Tigray, and Afar. The officials of the partner universities have expressed their view that the cooperation enables the universities to build their research capacity. On the basis of the project implementation agreement, the partner universities have selected and appointed a researcher that would participate in the WRP. During the visit, the project team briefed the selected researchers at each partner university and supplied each researcher with a manual containing the major documents of the WRP. The WRP team also visited relevant formal and informal justice institutions in the regions including the Silte customary justice system in the SNNP regional state, the Wejerat customary justice system in Tigray regional state, and the Awaramba Community in the Amhara regional state.
On March 18, 2015 the WRP research team also conducted a general meeting in Addis Ababa with all researchers from partner universities and research sites. ILPI’s Senior Partner and Project Leader of the WRP Professor Kjetil Tronvoll also attended this meeting. The discussion focused on the objectives, substance and approach of the project, the implementation strategy of the baseline phase including discussions on the formal and informal justice systems as the focus areas of the project. ILPI team of core researchers and partner researchers from Hawassa, Silte, Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Mekelle and Samara attended the full day meeting.