Love and Honour for our living and fallen heroes who resisted any barbarian act against Oromo nation
|Addee Asli Oromo: The first woman in the history of Ethiopian Empire that sentenced to death because of her political vision about Oromo people but released after 18 years in prison as a result of international communities campaign.||Addee Urjii Dhaabaa: Is one out of many Oromo Women that survived sexual aggression of Ethiopian government military force, police and security agents.|
Thank you Mr, Chairman
Your excellences member of the European parliament, Dear participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, my most heartfelt thanks are extended to the Organising Committee of this seminar. I am particularly grateful to my informants Asli Oromo, Urjii Dhaabaa, Ilfinesh Qano and Dinkinesh Dhereessaa whom I am able to speak to about the agony they endured and who also morally supported of the Oromo women survivors of sexual violence who able to speak to them while their stay in Ethiopian Prison.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa and it is the second most populated country in Africa with projected population of 100 million by 2020. It has a number of nations/ nationalities with distinct culture. Ethiopia consists of peoples speaking more than 80 different languages (CSA, 2006). Currently, Ethiopia is classified into nine regional states. Oromia is the largest regional state in land mass and population. Ecologically and agriculturally Oromia region is the richest region in the Horn of Africa. Oromos are accounted for more than 45% of the population of the Ethiopian empire. The population size of the Oromo people and their resources makes Oromia the heart of Ethiopia. Failure and progress in Oromia regional state is grossly contribute to the failure and progress to Ethiopia.
Oromo people are egalitarian society. Historically their democratic system of government known as “Gadaa” governed the social, economic political affairs of the Oromo people. Under Gadaa, Oromo women developed their own unique institution known as “Siiqee”. Oromo women used Siiqee institution to defend their rights, promote their interests and challenge male domination. After the Oromo people are colonized in 1880s all Oromo institutions are either totally banned or incapacitated. Since then the Oromo people are denied the right to determine on their social, economic, political and cultural affairs. For example, banning or incapacitating Siiqee hindered the Oromo women defending their rights. The colonial power not only banned and incapacitated Oromo institutions but also introduced and/or widened gender hierarchy and discriminatory social practices. This conditioned Oromo women to bear double burdens (i.e. colonial and male domination) and exposed them to sexual violence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The definition and the scope of sexual violence is a major problem in communications as it can be defined either narrowly or broadly. Here are four selected exemplary definitions of the term for the purpose of this presentation. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (UN, DEVAW, 1993), defines violence against women as: ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
The second definition of violence which is worthy to consider is one that is found in the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, better known as the Maputo Protocol, which was adopted by the African Union in 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique and entered into force in 2005 (AU, Maputo Protocol, 2003). As per this protocol, violence against women means: “all acts perpetrated against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psychological, and economic harm, including the threat to take such acts; or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life in peace time and during situations of armed conflicts or of war” (AU, Maputo Protocol, 2003: article 1.b. paragraph. 8)