The Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament organised an Exchange of Views on women and Gender Violence in Ethiopia, a timely event given the dire situation of women and the violence inflicted upon them at the hands of the Ethiopian government. The event was opened with remarks by Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights who spoke fiercely against the brutality of the Ethiopian Government and the suffering of the people in Ethiopia. Prominent members of the European parliament such as MEP Liliana Rodrigues (who also sits on the Women’s rights and Gender committee) from the Socialist and Democrats were present, collectively, they pledged their support to continue supporting our advocacy efforts both within the European Parliament and beyond concerning the human rights situation of the Ogaden.
Earlier this year, OYSU representatives also presented at a conference titled ‘Women’s Inferno in Ethiopia’ at the European Parliament. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness about the deteriorating condition of human rights in Ethiopia, focusing particularly on gender-based violence that disproportionately affects women of marginalised ethnic groups. Two years ago, UNPO held a conference titled ‘Minority Women’s Rights: an Ethiopian Inferno?’, and on this Subcommittee on Human Rights event, these issues were brought back to the table. OYSU presented a talk on gender-based violence and the institutionalisation of sexual violence in the Ogaden region highlighting the deteriorating situation of Ogaden women. Among other points, the talk covered the Ethiopian government’s systematic use of sexual violence against women as a deliberate military strategy and the psychological traumas associated with such violations.