Ethiopia as a country has one of the most comprehensive and equitable criminal codes in terms of addressing violence against women, and the country’s family laws are largely adhering  to international standards, especially when compared to other countries in the region. However Ethiopia is also one of the most culturally diverse countries.  Individual cultures within Ethiopia promote their own customary practices.

Legal Framework

As customary legal systems and formal legal systems provide different definitions of the rights and equalitystatus of women,the protection of women’s rights is uneven and unclear In 2004, Ethiopia criminalized FGM, yet it still needs to be fully implemented to ensure the law is translated into practice. Although, there are possibilities for proactively engaging in civil society work in Ethiopia, non-governmental actors find themselves blocked continuously from the Charities and Societies Proclamation. The Proclamation blocks Ethiopian NGO who working on rights based issues, from accepting more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources and gives the government authority to appoint the NGO’s leadership positions.

Our work in Ethiopia

 Addressing the Conditions of Trafficked Women Deported Back to Ethiopia

SIHA’s focus of work in Ethiopia focuses on the issue of human trafficking and migration, specifically targeting women and girls, who have been deported back to Ethiopia and are facing hardship upon their return. The challenges obtaining suitable work permits and travel documents, forces the majority of  of them to leave the country by irregular means, thus increasing their vulnerability of being subjected to human trafficking. The primary objective of SIHA’s project Is to improve the welfare and the human rights of women migrants or trafficked domestic laborers, and to increase  awareness of human rights violations around the migration of domestic workers.

Economically and Legally Empowering Ethiopian and Eritrean Migrants in Sudan and Improving Integration in Sudan

Refugee or migrant Ethiopian and Eritrean women who have limited understanding of refugee legislation and limited access to protection, health or economic support, are subjected to the institutionalized subordination of women embedded in Sudanese legislation.

Capacity Building for Civil Society Organizations on Human Rights and Gender Equality

Women Support group-Addis Ababa

SIHA provided and facilitated a series of trainings focusing on understanding essential frameworks of leadership (basics of leadership, levels of leadership, shifts leaders need to take, leading and managing practices),basic competencies of leadership and organizational development overview and assessment.

Partner Organizations and Locations of Work

SIHA has been working mostly in the regions of Tigray and Oromo, as well as in Sudan, with the Ethiopian Migrant community. SIHA currently has 15 member organizations in Ethiopia:

  • Action Professionals Association for People (APAP)
  • Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD)
  • Beza Organising Association of Women in Need
  • Circus in Ethiopia for Youth and Social Development
  • Ethiopian Women Lawyer Association (EWLA)
  • Good Samaritan Association (GSA)
  • Love for Children Organisation (LCO)
  • Mothers and Children Multisectoral Development Organisation.
  • Mujejegwa Loka Women Development Association (MLWDA)
  • Multi – Purpose Community Development (MCDP)
  • Network for Ethiopia Women Associations (NEWA)
  • New Millennium Hope Development Organisation (NMHDO)
  • Siiqqee Women’s Development Association (SWDA)
  • Union of Ethiopian Women Charitable Associations (UEWCA)


  • “Between Modernism and Heritage” explores the application of the parallel legal system to the Oromo women of Ethiopia and effectiveness of the legal protection for women in remote areas of Ethiopia.
  • “Walking through a Forest of Thorns” presents analysis of methods from the advocacy work of women civil society organizations Considering the complex overall context and overwhelming challenges and issues, especially in Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.
  • “SIHA Community Activism Guide” provides analyses of the significant challenges to community activism encountering women organizations working on human rights in Ethiopia.

Download SIHA country profile Ethiopia PDF