About Us

Setaweet Story

Setaweet feminist movement was founded in July 2014 as an informal gathering of Ethiopian women who advocated for gender equality and identified themselves as feminists. What jump-started the movement was the unfortunate reality of the sixteen-year-old girl named Hanna Lalango, who passed away in November 01, 2014, after being held captive and gang-raped by five men in Addis Ababa.

In the hopes of creating a safe space for a support network, and amplifying their marginalized voices, these feminists started to get together every second Tuesday of every month to simply share the challenges they face arising from their gender identity.

Even though the group originally included few women, the crowd gradually grew to include women from all walks of life and became known as Setaweet Circles. Within a few months, the Setaweet circles gave birth to Setaweet Open Sessions, which are public sessions that are free to both men and women members of the public to attend.

Open Sessions and Setaweet Circle discussions started to draw attention to the need for a feminist organization that worked towards bringing women and men on equal footing. Subsequently, the social enterprise wing of the movement was established. Initially, the organization focused on conducting feminist researches and providing gender equality services for schools, agencies, and private businesses including trainings centering on assertiveness, women’s leadership at the workplace, and Gender-Based Violence. Meanwhile, Setaweet also organized several campaigns such as #Chaltu_Lemin_Motech (#why_did_chaltu_die), which was a nation-wide petition to show support from our community for a better consideration by the law for acid attacks, and #AriffAbbat (‘Great Dad’), a photo competition and exhibition that encouraged active fatherhood.

In due course, project-based research and activism accompanied Setaweet’s identity. The Ethiopian Women Scholars Program supported a team of Ethiopian female researchers from five different universities around Ethiopia with research, academic writing skills, mentorship, and coaching. Our exhibition titled “#ምንለብሳነበር?”(#WhatSheWore), showed the outfit worn by survivors at the time of their rape accompanied by the stories from the survivors themselves at Addis Ababa, Gondar, Wolaita, and Dire Dawa Cities. In December 2019, Setaweet launched a gender-based violence hotline to provide first response to survivors with professional-level psychological support and referral.

The Setaweet Story is still in motion. Our activism is still changing and evolving. Nonetheless, our dedication to women’s liberation is unwavering.


Bedrocks of Ethiopian Feminism

Historical Feminist Action in Ethiopia and unpacking women’s traditional forms of resistance to inequality

Feminist Academic-Activism

Ongoing and contemporary articulation of Ethiopian Feminism

Ethiopian Languages, Media, and Educational

Curriculum Transformation to fuel lasting ideological changes in our country

Sisterhood/ Solidarity/Addooyee

Strategic Sisterhood and Solidarity as political, necessary, and transformative feminist action.