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The Role of Education and Political Participation For Women’s Rights in Ethiopia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper concerns women's rights in Ethiopia, and focuses on how education and political participation can work as an instrument to increase women's rights. It is an interesting subject since the level of education in Ethiopia is very low, and the country has a very patriarchal culture with heavily measured norms where women are considered inferior to men. Research on women's education in Africa has been performed before but not with the women's rights angle and not in Ethiopia. Political participation is also interesting since this can make an impact on women's rights and this subject has been researched on in Ethiopia earlier as well, not with human rights as a focus though.

The method I have used is a qualitative analysis which investigates books, reports and articles as well as some statistics which I have used as tools to highlight certain factors that I believed were important and interesting for the study.

The theories I have used are primarily the liberal feminist and radical feminist theories which have helped me to strengthen the answers to my hypothesis. Furthermore, Douglass North's reflections on formal and informal institutions have also been interesting, especially regarding cultural norms and values and legislative law.

According to my research the results show that education in Ethiopia can prevent girls from being married off at an early age, which increases their chances to personal empowerment as well as gives them greater possibility to eliminate the stereotypical identity of girls being shy and silent. Education can also inform girls about their rights and this knowledge can be spread and encourage girls and women to demand their rights. The possibility to proceed and obtain a career also increases with education, and political participation is an extension of this. As education and political participation go hand in hand, when entering politics in Ethiopia the probability to get involved in women's rights is greater. The best chance to improve women's rights seems though to get involved in the leadership of an NGO or a CBO where the best opportunities of making a difference are. Women's rights organizations defend and affirm the rights of women and they have the possibility to spread the norm of international human rights for women, and increase the implementation of these norms in different nations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Women's rights, education, politics, Ethiopia
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89455OAI: diva2:618026
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-25 Created: 2013-04-25 Last updated: 2013-04-25Bibliographically approved

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