CREW Press Release |
The death of Ethiopia’s long-time ruler, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, has created uncertainty in the country. The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW), a peace and human rights organization created to promote the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide, expresses its concern about the current situations in Ethiopia. We would like to encourage all concerned parties to use this crucial juncture in our history to pave the way for better political and economic conditions and ultimately improve the lives of the Ethiopian people.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Developing Index, Ethiopia ranks 174 out of 187 countries with comparable data (UNDP, 2011). Women and children are the main victims of poverty, wars, and conflicts. Since employment opportunities are limited in the country, thousands of Ethiopian women migrate to the Middle East countries and work as domestic workers in slave-like conditions. The economic opportunities available are for the very few. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has widened extremely.
Currently in Ethiopia, basic human rights are not respected. There is no freedom of speech, press and peaceful assembly. Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) and Amnesty International have documented the massive human rights violations in Ethiopia by the EPRDF government for the last twenty-one years that it has been in power. According to numerous reports by these credible human rights organizations, opposition leaders, human rights activists and journalists are jailed or exiled. The Anti-Terrorism and the Charities and Societies Proclamations that were enacted in 2009 have crushed and criminalized any dissent and abated the work of many civic society organizations. In order for the country to have sustainable peace and development, these repressive measures have to be abolished. The rights of people must be respected and the country’s economic system should benefit the majority of the people and mitigate poverty. There must be an end to oppression.
CREW appeals to the international community to urge the new Prime Minister to promote peace and reconciliation and to start dialogue with opposition groups and civic organizations. CREW recommends the following:
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women is a peace and human rights organization created in March 2012 to promote the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide.