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Ethiopia: A Look at What Women Voters Want

Neamin Ashenafi | The Ethiopian Reporter   in  ·
January 29, 2015

In many elections across the world women, especially the undecided ones, are crucial in deciding the outcomes of elections. In that regard, political parties tend to focus their campaigns on winning over the hearts of women electorate.

In Ethiopia lots have been said with regard to empowering women and increasing the participation of women in the country’s political landscape. However, political parties seem to lack clearcut policy alternatives when it comes to swaying the votes of women, writes Neamin Ashenafi.

Addis Zewdu is a vendor of coffee, tea and bread on the streets of Bole. Her customers are mostly daily laborers who are engaged in the booming construction sites in the area. From her meager earning, Addis struggles to cover all her expenses including her house rental bill. She lives in a small room with her roommate where she has to contribute seven hundred birr per month for rent. She always dreams of a better job and life, and as election looms near, she can expect promises that appeal to her needs. Though the country has conducted four general elections, Addis has never participated in any of them.

“I don’t even know what to elect and what to expect from elections,” she told The Reporter. But this year is ready to exercise her voting right during the fifth general election which will be conducted in May.


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