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Accepted Paper:

The Silenced Voice in Identity Making: Female Urban Migrants Role in Identity Rhetoric  
Kiya Gezahegne Wotere (Addis Ababa University)

Paper short abstract:

Mobility, conflict and identity is a very gendered concept in the urban context of Ethiopia. By taking the case of Addis Ababa, this paper explores migrant women’s roles in identity making and its impact on everyday life.

Paper long abstract:

Hosting 3.4 million people (2017 estimate) from different parts of the country, Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, have witnessed protests and conflict (both passive and active) related to ethnic and religious identity. Links have been made to urban migration and migrants who have made a living in the capital in instigating conflict and divide between ‘original’ residents of Addis Ababa (Addis Abebe) and the ‘newcomers’ (mete) and consequently creating separate identities, based on ethnicity and religious differences, that dictates economic opportunities, political participation, and social interactions. The urban space for such conflict and discourse making is very much dominated by men, overlooking the role women have in such discussions. Women are often represented as victims of such conflict rather than as an active participant. The scales in which women are concerned with different forms of conflict and how these relate to everyday life and identity is what is explored in this paper. As shown in the case of Addis Ababa, the narratives and ideas of belonging to certain identities, and the notions of division and conflict are mainly dominated by men, related to patriarchy and the tradition of passing on identity through the male line. However, at the background, women are actively engaged in setting the agenda, guiding the discussion and promoting or resolving conflict that arise from identity claims.

Panel Urba13
Migration and the making of urban futures in Africa
  Session 3 Friday 2 June, 2023, -