Workshops organised by project dldl/ድልድል with the support of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and InterChurch Aid Commission (EOCDICAC)

The workshops held with EOTC clergy in North Shoa Zone of Ethiopia have aimed to help the clergy develop a better understanding of: a) forms of conjugal abuse that might occur in the countryside; b) helpseeking attitudes of the predominantly female victims; c) material, sociocultural and psychological explanatory parameters of conjugal abuse, as well as; d) community attitudes towards it as informed by the existing scholarship and detailed anthropological research conducted in Northern Ethiopia in previous years.

By completing the workshop, the clergy participants were anticipated to have a better understanding of:

  1.  how their own teachings and pastoral advice can combine with sociocultural norms to maintain, indirectly, some rigid gender norms or perceptions about marriage that are unhelpful or can be associated with some forms of conjugal conflict and abuse.
  2. theological teachings on marriage to teach the laity in ways that can reverse or discontinue some of the underlying harmful associations.
  3. Increased sensitivity of victim and perpetrator psychology to support either group appropriately and to mediate conjugal conflict without endangering the victim or other vulnerable parties.
  4. existing efforts to develop referral systems in the country and how they can be integrated in these efforts to be able to support victims and perpetrators most effectively.
  5. safeguarding protocols in domestic violence services provision developed with reference to standard international practice and the advice and knowledge of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA).

The current booklet summarises the main content of the workshop presentations with the aim of providing a useful and permanent resource for participants that they can take away to reuse after completing the workshop. The booklet is also targeted at clergy around the country more widely who have access to the online resource. The booklet is structured according to the topics and themes covered during the workshop, however, for the sake of brevity, discussion questions and group activities are omitted, while many topics are considerably simplified or abbreviated. Clergy using this booklet are advised to use their discretion and to contextualise appropriately the content they choose to use when providing spiritual support or teaching in their communities.

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