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Istratii, Romina (2021) 'An ethnographic look into conjugal abuse in Ethiopia: a study from the Orthodox Täwahedo community of Aksum through the local religio-cultural framework.' የኢትዮጵያ ዓመታዊ መጽሔት = Annales d'Ethiopie, 33. pp. 253-300.

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of studies on intimate partner violence in Ethiopia. The latest Ethiopian Demographic and Health surveys have established that marital violence, affecting women primarily, is commonplace and is widely “justified” by populations across Ethiopia. Surprisingly, very little research has been conducted on the ethnographic realities of conjugal abuse or, and especially, on the interface of people’s attitudes about the issue with their religious beliefs and folklore systems. Paralleling the wider field of gender-based violence studies in African development, many of the available studies presuppose feminist explanations that associate conjugal abuse with gender inequalities, which are fostered through cultural or religious parameters. These are presented without providing, however, rigorous empirical evidence to demonstrate the connections. This paper presents a previously unexplored theology-informed anthropological study into the realities of conjugal abuse and attitudes in the predominantly Orthodox Täwahedo population of Aksum, Northern Ethiopia. This study utilised a decolonial conceptual and methodological approach and combined a gender-sensitive ethnographic analysis in the local languages with an investigation of the local religious tradition from an informed insider’s perspective. This study provides a preliminary look into some of the mechanisms that have contributed to the perpetuation of conjugal abuse and its tolerance in the rural communities and the city of Aksum. It adds considerable complexity to the interpretation of attitudes towards conjugal abuse that are not currently captured in population surveys or existing studies from Ethiopia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: conjugal abuse, Orthodox Täwahedo Church, Ethiopia, Aksum, ethnographic realities, attitudes, religion, spirituality, decolonial epistemology, participatory methods
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 00662127
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2021 16:48
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/34896
Related URLs: https://www.per ... ollection/ethio (Organisation URL)

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