The Problems of Legal Gap to the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence in Ethiopia

Lamessa Gudeta Guder


Domestic violence is the most common form of violence experienced by women around the world which is directed by their intimate partner and other family members, and manifested through; physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse. Domestic violence against women exists in countries with varying social, political, economic, and cultural structures, and its pervasiveness signifies that the problem does not originate with the pathology of an individual person. In Ethiopia, domestic violence is very prevalent throughout the country. However, building strong legal frame work is a cornerstone for the protection of women’s rights against any sexual based discrimination and violence. Accordingly, targeting at providing better protection to the rights of women, Ethiopia has attempted to undertaken significant ‘gender-sensitive’ legislative reforms after the down fall of military junta. Foremost among these laws; the 1995 FDRE constitution, the 2003 Revised Family Law[1] and the 2005 Revised Criminal Code[2] are indicative.  However, regarding the scope of coverage of laws dealing with VAW, the Ethiopian legal framework cascades dump of the internationally accepted standards. Different forms of violence against women have not be criminalized in the way of understanding the complexity nature of the violence though international standards require States to ensure that forms of violence against women are included in criminal law as criminal acts.

DOI: 10.7176/JCSD/56-01

Publication date: February 29th 2020

[1] The Revised Family Code of Ethiopia, Proclamation No. 213/2000

[2] Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, proclamation no. 414/2004

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