Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Life story narratives of Ethiopian women activists : the journey to feminist activism
Author: Abye, Tigest
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 5378
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Through the life story narratives of Ethiopian women activists, this research explores the journey of Ethiopian women activists during three political and historical periods (1955–1974; 1974–1991; 1991–2015). Thus, the study proposes a new perspective on the forms of Ethiopian women’s activism and subsequently the different types of feminism emerging from their narratives. Through examination of how the activists reflect on, reconstruct and give meaning to their life stories, this research unravels that their activism is informed by feminist principles. It also exposes that it is shaped by a long history of resistance to patriarchy, which enabled women in traditional Ethiopia to negotiate a certain level of “autonomy and liberty”. Contrary to the general expectation, the research demonstrates that the process of modernization (read: westernization) came with its own structure based on western patriarchy, and reinforced local patriarchy. In this new, formalized patriarchy, the rights that women had negotiated through their resistance in earlier times were diminished. This study on women activists, categorized for the purpose of this research as pioneers, revolutionaries and negotiators, suggests that Ethiopian women activists have since adopted different forms of engagement that tend to improve the social, cultural, economic and political conditions of Ethiopian women. Consequently, I argue that, while Ethiopian women’s activism and feminism is firmly embedded in the history of resistance of previous generations of Ethiopian women, the form of activism varies according to the political and historical context in which the activists negotiate and adapt the way they act.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Feminism ; Activism ; African feminism ; Gender ; Patriarchy ; Ethopia ; Life-story narratives ; Subaltern ; Revolution ; Armed struggle ; Women activists