Sibrat (“Trauma”) premiered on January of 2009 and aired through February 2010. This 226-episode radio show aired twice per week in Amharic, the official language in Ethiopia.

Sibrat aired on the National Service Radio of Ethiopia (NSRE), the state owned national broadcast radio in Ethiopia, and FM Addis 97.1. Each episode was 25 minutes long.

As with all of PMC’s radio shows, Sibrat was created using PMC’s radio show methodology.

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Making a Difference

Focus groups about Sibrat found a number of impacts from the radio serial drama, including:

Two girls from Hawassa reporting that they were able to rescue a girl who was to be circumcised by telling her mother of the negative consequences they learned from Sibrat.

Members of the focus group discussion in Yirgalem reported that they have used all forums and other opportunities to raise awareness about the negative consequences of female genital mutilation. Specifically, they mentioned trips recently made to five rural villages to present lessons they learned from Sibrat.

Members of the focus group discussion from Yirgalem (also members of The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) Youth Association) reported initiating alternative means of income for two women who used to live upon incomes derived from performing female genital mutilation.

In Jijiga, two girls reported that they saved a girl by telling the harms of female genital mutilation to her mother and threatening to report it to the Police.

Another girl from Jijiga reported that she managed to convince her parents not to perform the practice on her youngest sister, though it was too late to do the same to her other younger sister who was circumcised a few years earlier.

Project Information

Title: Sibrat (“Trauma”)
Format: Radio Show
Location: Ethiopia
Language: Amharic
Duration: September 19, 2007-February 28, 2010

PMC Country Staff:
Country Representative: Dr. Negussie Teffera


Mintamir’s story

Mintamir has dreams of achieving a higher education, but her father and brother have low opinions of women. They force her to leave school to serve them at home. When her father dies, Mintamir is denied any of his wealth. She and a friend band together to open a small shop. They are constantly in debt, partially because her brother often steals their money for himself. When they report these cases to the police, they are ignored because they are women. Mintamir must fight through this discrimination to prove her worth to her village and become financially independent.

Tihitena’s story

Tihitena is well-mannered and beautiful. She is abducted and forced to marry Gashaw despite being in love with Ephrem. When Tihitena becomes pregnant, her husband forces her to deliver the baby at home. She goes through a prolonged labor, and, due to her childhood circumcision, she almost dies during the birth. She is rushed to the hospital where medical staff save both her and the baby. She resolves to not let her daughter be circumcised, but Gashaw insists on it – so she runs away. Her loving aunt shelters her, although Gashaw is violent and often comes looking for her. Ultimately, Tihitena is able to convince the police to help her after multiple attacks from her husband. She gets a restraining order and a divorce. Tihitena and Ephrem are eventually reunited and marry.

Abeba’s story

Abeba’s mother and sibling both die during childbirth as a result of her mother’s female genital mutilation. This fuels Abeba’s strong aversion to the practice. When Abeba’s aunt gives birth to a baby girl, Abeba tries desperately to stop them from conducting female genital mutilation. She fails to stop them. They are unable to contain the blood loss during the circumcision, and the baby dies. Abeba’s decides to fight female circumcision for the rest of her life. As Abeba struggles through life, avoiding a near-rape, trying to make money to survive, she continues to talk with village women about the dangers of female genital mutilation. At the end, one of the main female circumcisers touched by Abeba destroys her circumcision equipment, sparing a newborn baby girl. Abeba is succeeding in her message.

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