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Homosexuality in Ethiopia

Author:
  • Iddo Balcha
Publishing year: 2009
Language: English
Document type: Student publication for Master's degree (two years)

Summary

Abstract
This paper analyses the concept and the construction of homosexuality in relation to the issue of gender and feminism in Ethiopia. While Female homosexuality is simply overlooked, male homosexuality has been criminalised under Ethiopian law with imprisonment up to three years. The media and the elite has been creating homophobia in discourse and linguistic terms; however, it is the church which has been effectively campaigning for hatred and abhorrence against homosexual persons in the county. My hypothesis is that besides the campaigns by the church and the media, gender relation and the absence of feminism have much to do with the status of homosexuality in the country today. My intention is to understand the concept and the construction of homosexuality by the elite and the church, and how this process has shaped the views ordinary citizens currently hold against homosexuality. By analysing media discourse, earlier empirical studies and primary data from interviews, I have come to the understanding that there is a discrepancy between the concept of homosexuality as defined in the west and the concept of homosexuality in Ethiopia. Homosexuality is the least understood subject because it is mostly viewed as only men’s behaviour or disease, which is contagious due to association. Generally, Female homosexuality is unknown to ordinary citizens, and it is less active than male homosexuality. Despite the oppressive environment however, homosexuality is under transformation from being taboo to the issue of public debate due to attitude change induced by the process of globalisation.

Keywords

  • Social Sciences
  • Homosexuality
  • Gender
  • Feminism
  • Globalization
  • Discourse

Other

  • Axel Fredholm