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Setaweet, Yellow movement promote gender equality

Puagume activism, the second installment of social media based campaign to promote gender equality in the country has begun. Organized by Setaweet – a feminist company dedicated to promoting gender equality – and Yellow Movement Addis Ababa University – a gender equality advocacy association based in the university – the movement has been trending on Facebook and Twitter.

Set during the five short days of the 13th month of Puagume, this year’s Puagume activism utilizes social media to transmit the message of gender equality. Organizers of the movement, and Hilina Berhanu, Setaweet’s Gender Shop project manager says Puagume was selected as a month of activism setting the stage for transition into the New Year with these issues in mind.

The first day of activism focused on sisterhood. Both men and women on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram shared their stories of sisterhood by highlighting good female friendships and supportive mentor/mentee relationships. The day also commemorated the ways different cultures celebrate female friendship and sisterhood.

The following days of activism will promote positive masculinity (Arif Wond), female sexual reproductive health, leadership and political participation of women and the fifth day will be a pledge day where participants promise to support fellow women and promote gender equality in their community. The final day will also honor Chaltu Abdi.

Setaweet, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), held a candle light vigil in Sidist Kilo on September 5, 2018 for the recently deceased 14-year-old Chaltu who had been raped and chemically attacked in Harar, this past month. Chaltu had passed away on August 28 after she was hospitalized at Yekatit 12 Memorial Hospital.

According to Hilina, they have decided to honor Chaltu because of her gruesome and untimely death remains in the mind of the public and create a positive outcome from her unfortunate passing.

Sehin Teferra, founder and manager of Setaweet, expressed the importance of reaching a wide variety of people in these five days. “We don’t just walk to talk amongst ourselves. We want it to reach other people.”

The activists will be employing storytelling, pictures and posters to promote gender equality. The previous year’s Puagume activism focused on harassment, the representation of women in the media, reclaiming words and women supporting other women.