Assessment of Gender Inequality in Domestic Chores in Addis Ababa: The Case of Mekdim Ethiopian National Association (Mena)

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Addis Ababa University


The major objectives of this study were to investigate the gender inequality in the context of domestic chores, especially by taking the case of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) of MEKDIM ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (MENA) project beneficiaries. For this research, a qualitative research approach was employed. Primary data was collected through un structured interview from the MENA project beneficiaries and project office staff. Secondary data was gathered by reviewing literatures, documents such as proclamations, code laws, regulations, guidelines, and policy documents and official reports. Research findings provided that in managing the projects, MENA has exerted much effort in the areas of capacity building, training, system strengthening, advocacy and enhanced participation of women in the areas that concerned women's lives in domestic chores. And it also created an opportunity for women to participate in their own matters in the governance processes of the Association. On the other hand, the research findings provided that MENA project activities slightly change women attitudes and perceptions towards domestic chores. And men's involvement in domestic activities was found to be very limited. Also, MENA project beneficiaries have faced multiple social and economic challenges. Based on the research findings, the attitude and behaviors of women and men towards domestic determined by social experiences, cultural tradition, and economic status, which shape and enforce the gender biased attitudes. As a result of their engagement in domestic chores they encounter depression, economic dependence on the income of their husband, and non-adherence to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).In contrast, MENA projects enhanced the rights of women of PLWHA by effective management of their projects such as promoting micro-level advocacy activities; gender equality awareness program and community dialogues through PLWHA support group like Village Saving Group (VSG). In order to solve the challenges indicted above and enhance women's right to protection at the grass-roots level. MENA is required to strengthen women's rights in FDRE's constitution and principles across all levels including the domestic laws; extend its strategic partnership to enhance women’s rights scale up its intervention at the policy level. MENA also need to carry out the holistic approach to prevent and respond to domestic chores to create a space for MENA-supported partners to engage them in micro-level advocacy activity; conduct awareness-creation programs to promote the gender equality in domestic chores. MENA should also create space for partners to engage them in micro-level advocacy work. Domestic chore awareness programs should be implemented by MENA and its stakeholder organizations. MENA needs to create a strategic partnership with the Federal Women's Sector Office to ease the burden of domestic chores. Furthermore, PLWHA must participate in the development of the Association's programs and projects, as well as make significant efforts to practice gender transformative programming. Also, holistic support for PLWHA and their families is essential to bringing real gender equality at household level. Finally, MENA should recognize that men and women needs to work together to achieve lifechanging outcomes for PLWHA.