Media Strategies for awareness creation: A comparative analysis of three organizations working on women’s rights in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This study is an inquiry in to the media strategies employed by women rights advocates in Ethiopia. The cases of the study are purposively selected three organizations, EWLA (Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association), NEWA (Network for Ethiopian Women Associations) and UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population). The theories this study is guided by are development communication models of diffusion of innovation and the participatory approach. The researcher has collected data using qualitative research methods of in-depth interview and document analysis. Thus interviews were carried out with key informants and documents as annual reports of 2005, 2006 and 2007 were selected. In the case of UNFPA, the researcher collected the agency’s advocacy strategy for the five year period of 2007-2011 along with its Fifth country program for the period of 2002-2007. The research has kept in mind that the structural differences of the organizations reflect up on the action and focus of the strategies. The study has found that both small and mass media are used by all three organizations with varying degrees. The organizations use IEC materials extensively which even if important in creating awareness, does not reach a wide audience. Mass media use by EWLA seems to be regular, while NEWA and UNFPA generally use mass media messages following special events. The message of both mass and their own media packages include other than promotion of the organization, education of an element or more of women rights. This study, moreover, found that the organizations face challenge in passing messages as illiteracy and lack of access to media outlets prove to be bottlenecks in Ethiopia. This especially affects women as the majority doesn’t have access to media and are not literate. The view and strategies of the organizations are thus affected by the conditions of their audience and who they plan to reach. The study has argued that a more participatory diffusion of education is encouraged for better reach of grass root level people.



Media Strategies