FSS Holds Research Validation Workshop on Female Wage Labor in Ethiopia

FSS Holds Research Validation Workshop on Female Wage Labor in Ethiopia

Forum for Social Studies (FSS) organized a research validation workshop on ‘The State of Female Wage Labor in Ethiopia: the Case of Textile/Garment, Foloriculture and Cafè-Restaurant Service Industries’ on Wednesday 27th of April, 2022 at Elilly International Hotel, in Addis Ababa.  The research project, the results of which the workshop validated, were  financed by the Open Society Foundation (OSF) formerly known as Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA).

At the outset of the validation workshop three field research reports, prepared by the three teams working on each of the three constituent research themes, namely, Textile/Garment, Foloriculture and Cafè-Restaurant Service were presented.

In their reports, the researchers emphasized the fact that women employed in the three sectors face difficult working conditions, highlighting that the women workers are often underpaid and left out of benefit schemes, have no job security, and are exposed to various human rights abuses. Despite the harsh and unfavorable working conditions, the researchers stated that the positive note was the job opportunities that the three sectors offer to women and girls in Ethiopia Each research team then concluded their respective presentations by offering recommendations to policymakers and other stakeholders they deemed relevant in ameliorating the state of female wage labor in Ethiopia.

Before the floor was opened for discussion by the workshop participants, half an hour of the workshop time was devoted for reviewer-cum-discussant comments on each of the research papers, by three high-level scholars from Addis Ababa University (AAU), namely, Professor Tegegn Gebre-Egziabher, Dr. Ezana Amdework and Dr. Asnake Kefale. As circumstances did not permit Professor Tegegn to attend the workshop in person, his opinions on the textile/garment study which he had also reviewed was presented by Dr. Ezana Amdework who kindly took upon himself the task in addition to discussing the study on floriculture that he had personally reviewed and was directly responsible for. Finally, Dr Asnake, too, delivered a comprehensive review of the research report on cafè-restaurant servisce female wage workers.

On the whole, the reviewers expressed their delight in finding that the researchers had duly addressed the comments they had forwarded to them in the first round of the review process, making marked improvements in each of the reports they reviewed. The reviewers provided futher inputs to the study teams, focusing on the key components of the three studies: the respective methodology, sampling and data collection, analysis, key findings, and the recommendations. They considered each element and provided the researchers with additional feedback to further improve the respective research studies.

During the discussion period that followed, FSS Executive Director Dr. Yeraswork Admassie, the chairman, allowed attending participants to forward their questions, comments, and suggestions to the researchers who adequately responded to, and pledged to consider most of their comments, that would benefit their respective final research reports.

In his closing remark, Dr. Yeraswork thanked the researchers and the reviewers who ensured that the research objectives were fully met, the industries and institutions that extended unreserved support to the research teams during their investigation, and OSF for its continued support to FSS, which enabled the implementation of research projects such as this one. He also extended his appreciation to the audience  ̶  around 50 individuals drawn from academia, textile/garment and floriculture industries, the government’s Social Affairs Bureau, and Investment Commission, and the media  ̶  for their active participation. It is worthnoting that Dr Yeraswork also briefed the workshop on the way forward of the project, namely, the deepening and disseminating work that will follow this validation workshop for some 10 months through a national conference and various TV and radio roundtable discussions.

The three research papers will be duly published in a single volume, whereas  their respective policy briefs both in Amharic and English will also appear in the usual FSS Policy Brief format at a later date, and disseminated to policy makers and other stakeholders. These will be available for sale at major bookshops in Addis Ababa as well as the FSS library. In the upcoming days FSS will also produce a video of the dialogue event which will be uploaded on its official website, Youtube, as well as other social media platforms.