We Stand With You – A statement of solidarity

We, as African Women Activists with our regional and global partners, write this statement in a rapidly changing context as the conflict that started in the Tigray region in November 2020 expands to the Amhara and Afar regions, and threatens the stability of Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa region. We stand in solidarity with our sisters, partners, and advocates in Ethiopia.

We are dismayed and horrified by the suffering of the Ethiopian people, including the impact of the conflict on women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities in Ethiopia. As African women activists, we know all too well the barriers that Ethiopian women face to realizing lives free from violence and harm.

Ethiopian women, in all their diversity, find themselves in the path of an eruption of violence stemming from decades-long ethnic tensions, regional inequality, and political and economic instability.

Reports from the ground paint a horrific picture of what women, children and the most disadvantaged are experiencing – rape, abuduction, arbitrary arrest, human-caused famine, lack of access (for approximately 2.5 million people) to essential health care services, and massive displacement internally and across borders.

The state of emergency across Ethiopia has created a climate of fear that has crippled human rights defenders’ and activists’ efforts, making it impossible for them to mobilize around the defense of human rights in Ethiopia.

We support and align ourselves with the global movement of locally-rooted solutions and crisis-response that centre leadership in the impacted communities and populations. We also express our concern over the “silence” of African leaders about the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia.

We call for the following:

  • An immediate declaration of a ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities

  • Immediate humanitarian access to affected communities and populations

  • An end to all atrocities including the use of rape as a weapon of war

  • Independent investigations into rights violations and the establishment of independent mechanisms to deliver justice

  • Neighbouring countries to keep their borders open and allow safe passage to fleeing refugees

  • All efforts to resolve this conflict involve Ethiopian women in all their diversity as central partners

  • Survivors are provided the needed protection, medical treatment and trauma counselling

  • Establishment of frameworks to support family reunification, and care for children born of rape

  • Immediate and unconditional release of all persons arbitrarily arrested under the state of emergency laws

In Solidarity, Signed:

  1. Strategic Initiative for women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network)

  2. The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda)

  3. Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organisation (VOSOMWO)

  4. Musawah

  5. Akina Mama wa Afrika

  6. The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)

  7. Mouvement Inamahoro, Femmes et Filles pour la paix et.la securite

  8. CVPP/Community Voices for Peace and Pluralism (Africa)

  9. FemWise

  10. WCGE

  11. Muzna Dureid- Syrian Women’s Political Movement

  12. Children’s Rights Innovation Fund

  13. Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual

  14. National Women Empowerment and Rehabilitation Organizations

  15. Mother of Hope Cameroon (Mohcam)

  16. Forum for Women in Development, Democracy and Justice

  17. Nongovernmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council

  18. Stella’s Girls

  19. L’association Tunisienne de la gouvernance et de l’Égalité entre les Femmes et les Hommes dans les Postes de décision l’ATGEC

  20. Call it Genocide

  21. Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa

  22. HopeNow-Uganda

  23. Ayin Media
  24. Sarah Mukasa

  25. Bashiratu Kamal

  26. Catherine Nyambura

  27. Amel Gorani

  28. Alobo Susan Toolit

  29. Adeng Leek

  30. Niat Amare

  31. Melanie Lindayen

  32. Patience Poni

  33. Lorna Mesina

  34. CARE international

  35. Union de l’action féministe

  36. Medica Liberia

  37. Association Nationale AL HIDN

  38. Global Learning for Sustainability

  39. AWLN CAMEROUN  (African Women Leaders Network)

  40. Amal Chariot Foundation

  41. UAF

  42. Majda

  43. DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era)

  44. UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

  45. New Millennium women Empowerment Organization

  46. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific

  47. Candlelight NGO

  48. Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT)

  49. Gender Lab

  50. FemInStyle Africa

  51. Rights and Responsibilities Initiatives Ghana

  52. National Women’s Lobby Group (NAWOLG)

  53. Developing Women for Skills and Opportunities Initiative

  54. Sisters Diary

  55. Societe civile

  56. Amélie Gontharet

  57. Advocates & Trainers for Children and Women’s Advancement and Rights


  59. Disability Employment Rights Initiative

  60. Gender Centre and Human Rights Documentation Centre

  61. HYT

  62. AFEDECO (Action Feminine pour le Développement Communautaire)

  63. Juan José Guzmán

  64. Daniele Elizaire

  65. Women’s Refugee Commission