Women Empowerment Practice In Ethiopian Federal Civil Services: The Case of Five Selected Ministries

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Addis Ababa University


This study was conducted to examine factors contributing to women empowerment/ disempowerment practice under the Ethiopian Federal Civil Service. A total of 194 Civil Servant Women (of which 10 serving in Leadership positions, 64 in other Profession Science Positions and 120 in Semi-Professiona, Clerical and Fiscal Positions) from five purposively selected Ministries, i.e. Women, Youth and Children Affairs, Federal Civil Service, Education, Agriculture and Foreign Affairs were participated in the study. Methodologically, mixed method is used and data were callected from primary and secondary sources. Structured and semi-structured interview instruments were developed and used. The study took Agency and Opportunity Structure (independent varialbe), Degree of Empowerment (mediating variable), Development Outcome (dependent variable) and Age, Educational Background, Work Experience, Position and Income (contraolling varialbe) as the conceptual framwork. A five point Likert Scale questioner was also used to measure the level of the research participants’ agreement/disagreement on empowerment practices and the influence of each variable on the process of empowerment in the institutions covered under the study. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis were used to analyze the collected data. Findings showed that all the variables are significant predictor of development outcome. The study revealed that among the controlling variables position has significant influence on degree of empowerment and development outcome. Age and monthly income have significant but weak correlation with opportunity structure and degree of empowerment. It was also found that there is no statistically significant correlation between educational background, work experience and development outcome. The qualitative findings showed the existences of supportive legal frameworks, structure and improvement in the asset and capabilities of the agencies of women in the federal civil service system. However, unfavorable attitude and the continued culture of patriarchy found to be the major obstacle that impacted negatively the existence of the required degree of empowerment and prevented women civil servants from enjoying their legal rights of equality in every aspect



Empowerment; Gender equality; Gender Mainstreaming; Civil Service; Agency; Opportunity Structure; Degree of Empowerment; Development Outcome