Gender equality has been a longstanding issue in Ethiopia, with evident disparities, particularly between urban and rural areas. Ethiopian girls and women face various challenges, including limited access to education, early marriages, and social exclusion. Consequently, these obstacles restrict their future opportunities to pursue sustainable and well-paying livelihoods, leading to an overrepresentation of women in lower-skilled jobs and unpaid care work.
Despite resistance, Ethiopia has witnessed inspiring stories of successful female trailblazers in the business and social sectors. We wanted to give them a platform to share their experiences with a wider audience, to challenge the prevailing perspectives and assumptions about gender equality, and envision a future of greater possibilities for women in Ethiopia.
In 2022, together with the award-winning Ethiopian radio Erq Ma'ed, and with funding from The Swedish Institute, we produced The Voice of Change - a radio series featuring notable Ethiopian women who challenge the gender norms. Their stories served as a beacon of hope, showcasing change and inspiring transformations.
As part of the project, five radio interviews were broadcasted on Bisrat FM, featuring our remarkable "sheroes":
Tigist Getachew, venture capital wizard.
With an ambition of participating in the booming economy of her motherland, Tigist co-founded and led a successful advisory firm East Africa Gate.
Hamere Mulugeta, clay mesmerizer
Passionate about nature and handicrafts, Hamere founded Nu Chika Enabuka to rediscover traditional values and instill them in children, fostering a culture of peace, tolerance and respect.
Rahel Tsegaye, creative educator
Driven by her passion to introduce a comfortable teaching-learning method, Rahel founded Fidel Tiru, where she produces high-quality learning materials, including illustrations, puzzles and storybooks.
Serawit Teketel, big-hearted protectress
Once having caught a glimpse of the horrifying hidden world of the Ethiopian street sex-workers, Serawit founded of Ellilta began her lifelong quest of bringing positive change to their lives.
Rahel Heruy, master of herbology
Rahel founded Damascene Essential Oil company in a bid to giving a second life to the old secrets of traditional Ethiopian herbology and medicine.
Our radio shows have been broadcasted within a 125 km radius of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The estimated potential audience for all our radio shows on Bisrat FM 101.1 is approximately 12 million people. Additionally, our campaign website received a total of 43,000 visitors.
To assess our impact, we conducted focus groups at the conclusion of the project. Eleven women, who were beneficiaries of the projects supported by Reach for Change, participated in these focus groups. The findings were highly encouraging, as all the participants (100%) reported feeling more inspired about their future and more empowered to pursue a career in business/social entrepreneurship. Importantly, they expressed an increased awareness of the available career paths in these fields.