The First Werdwet Fellows are Selected

CARD Werdwet Research Fellowship Program (Werdwet Fellowship) is launched by CARD to promote indigenous knowledge to fight inequality and look for ways of protecting the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups. The research fellowship program will also give women and youth opportunities to pursue their passion for researching and promoting their ideas to bring about a just society.

CARD Werdwet Research Fellowship Program is named after Yeqaqe Werdwet, a woman who lived about 160 years ago in the 19th century and who fought for equal rights in marriage among the Guraghe community.

Eyerusalem Belay

Eyerusalem Belay

Eyerusalem Belay, 24, is a legal professional with an LLB from the Addis Ababa University, School of Law and Governance. Eyerusalem has been working as an intern for different organizations: Danish Refugee Council, Center for Human Rights at Addis Ababa University and the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association. She had also worked as a research assistant at the African Disability Alliance and the Ethiopian Human Rights Council.   She also had worked as a Junior Associate focusing on regulation and compliance matters at an Ethiopian Law Firm. Eyerusalem has had successful mooting run during her time at the Addis Ababa University, her team won the School’s  International Humanitarian Law Moot court competition and represented the University at the national ICRC IHL competition and the University of Strathmore, Kenya moot court competition, where her team was a runner up in both competitions and she was awarded the Spirit of the Moot award by the University of Strathmore.  Given her passion for academia, writing, and human rights advocacy, she joined the Ethiopian Human Rights Defenders Network in December of 2019. Eyerusalem was raised as an only daughter in a family that supported the educational path that led her to a career in law and passion for the Ethiopian legal sphere. 

Eyerusalem, as Werdwet Fellow, will be researching “Traditional Means of Fighting Gender Inequality: a Systematic Study of Female Religious Gatherings such as “the juma”, the ” female prayer groups” and the “sewa mahber”.

Muluken Kassahun

Muluken Kassahun

Muluken Kassahun, 32, was born and raised in Mettu, Ilu Aba Bora. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Law at Mettu University. Muluken did his LLB in Laws at Jimma University, LLM in Comparative Public Law and Good Governance (ECSU), and is a Ph.D. student in Human Rights at Addis Ababa University. He is certified of Competency for Judgeship & Public Prosecutor position by Oromia Justice Sector Professionals Training and Research Institute, 2011. Muluken has served as a public prosecutor in Oromia Regional State from June 2010 through September 2016. Then, he joined Mettu University as a lecturer in 2016, became Vice Dean in 2017 and Dean of School of Law of the University in 2019. Muluken published five articles at peer-reviewed International and National Journals as well as presenting about ten research papers at National and International research conferences. He also participates in volunteering activities as a professional. Muluken, as a multilingual professional, contributes his academic articles in three languages: English, Afaan Oromo, and Amharic. 

Muluken, as Werdwet Fellow, will be researching “The Role of Atete and Siinqee Institutions to ensure the rights of women among Oromo Communities”.

The Fellows are expected to work full time on their research for seven months and CARD will provide working space, hire part-time advisors (when needed) and allocate budget for all necessary and related expenses.  At the completion of her/his research, each fellow is expected to facilitate two panel discussions or consultation meetings to disseminate their research findings. In addition to that, CARD, will publish their reports and disseminate them in both soft and hard copies to the public and identified stakeholders.

Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD)

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