Short Stories With Long-Term Goals: Making Ethiopia Safer for Women and Girls

January 27, 2015 • Adolescent Reproductive Health, Child Marriage, Family Planning, Female Genital Mutilation, Gender Equality, Gender-Based Violence, Health Services, Ethiopia, News

Sometimes it has to be personal to be understood. That’s why Population Media Center-Ethiopia tells true personal stories to address crippling issues like rape, child marriage, and female genital mutilation. After publishing more than ten powerful books of short stories in Amharic, Population Media Center-Ethiopia has now published two short story compilations in English: Blood Price & Other Stories and Ditched In The Jungle & Other Stories. Population Media Center-Ethiopia expects these stories to raise awareness and bring about social change.

“More than 130 harmful traditional practices can currently be identified in Ethiopia,” write the two editors. “But the stories not only move and touch us, they also inspire public indignation that will help change prevailing attitudes. The brave victims who have shared their stories here will not have suffered in vain.”

Each book contains twelve stories. Eight of the stories in each publication are based on an interview with an individual and told in her words. Horrifying experiences and abuses come to life through the victim’s often emotional and difficult retelling the story. The four other stories in each publication are written by the writers and based on what the writers heard throughout countless interviews.

Population Media Center-Ethiopia had received numerous requests from partners about the possibility of translating some of the strongest stories from the Amharic publications into English. Most of the stories included in these two publications garnered so much attention in their initial Amharic publication that they have been read over various private and government radio stations and listened to by more than 36 million people in Ethiopia. These stories have impacted people in Ethiopia in a very real way, inspiring conversations about these harmful practices and empowering communities to change.

The two books are edited by Negussie Teffera, the Ethiopian Country Representative of US-based nonprofit Population Media Center, and Zerihun Asfaw, Associate Professor in the Department of Ethiopian Languages and Literature at Addis Ababa University.

“The heartbreaking pain felt by all the characters featured in these stories will touch the innermost heart of everyone,” says Negussie Teffera.

 

ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):

Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org


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