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Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country, the second-most populous nation in Africa, and one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was established on 25 May 1963 and replaced by the African Union (AU) in 2002. The headquarters of the AU is based in Addis Ababa. Today, Ethiopia has the largest GDP in East Africa and its economy is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Ethiopia is one of the few countries in the world which had achieved gender parity in the cabinet, and where women hold the positions of both President and Chief Justice. Ethiopia now ranks 18th in terms of women’s representation in Parliament according to the International Parliamentary Union. Ethiopia's new cabinet in 2018 made history for women in government with a 50 percent female cabinet. Ethiopia is only the second state, after Rwanda, on the continent to have equal gender representation in the cabinet.

Ethiopia’s revitalized democratic process has opened up new possibilities for gender equality lawmaking and economic renewal. And yet, persistent gender inequality is undermining its full potential and poses serious threats to peace and economic stability. If gender gaps in the laws are closed, Ethiopia can ensure greater gender equality and secure a substantial growth dividend in the process. This paper provides a roadmap for gender equality law reform across the legal landscape in Ethiopia.


Foreign & comparative law, gender discrimination, equality, Ethiopia, employment, harassment, family, marriage, divorce, adultery, disability, violence against women, abortion, harmful traditional practices, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, shariah courts, land rights, Maputo Protocol