Egna Legna Besidet
Egna Legna Besidet
We are, community-based, feminist activists working on migrant domestic workers’ issues and general women’s issues in Lebanon and Ethiopia. We seek to support women already working in Lebanon and are raising awareness in Ethiopia to stop women going to Lebanon. We are run by Ethiopian women and we seek to assist our own community in a multitude of ways. We collaborate with different NGOs and ethnic groups to achieve our purposes.
To fight for justice for abused domestic workers.
To provide Ethiopian women with survival skills for living in Lebanon.
To promote women in leadership
To educate young women in Ethiopia of the dangers of traveling to Lebanon in order to dissuade them from coming.
To provide women with work skills that will enable them to be self-supporting on return home so that less leave to work in the Middle East again.
To break cultural taboos and create a safe space so that women are comfortable to talk about personal issues.
To create a safe space by organizing cultural events, celebrating feast days, and to create a sense of family abroad.
To educate women about their rights as women and domestic workers.
To build solidarity and share resources among activist community groups.
We design and implement workshops on financial management; sexual harassment; social media; bullying; workplace safety; racism; sexual reproduction health; MDW rights; how to protect ourselves when helping victims of abuse and procedures for working on cases. These workshops are based on our personal daily experiences and knowledge of what the issues and concerns faced by domestic workers are.
We have made a series of 6 educational videos in Amharic which address the problems and issues which are of concern to us e.g. MDW rights, racism, financial management, and social media bullying.
From 2017 to 2019 we provided shelter for more than 25 women who had been homeless and were running from abusive employers. We covered the costs of their food, clothing, phone calls, rent, transport, medical assistance and helped them find jobs. Some are now home and some are still working in Lebanon contributing to the financial assistance and counseling of other victims. We also donated clothes and sanitary products to domestic workers in shelters and hospitals.
We work with a lawyer in Lebanon and in Ethiopia to pursue justice in cases where there was physical and/or sexual abuse and/or false accusation of theft, and to bring cases against traffickers. This is something we intend to pursue more. When legal advice is needed we refer women to a lawyer.
Director of Finance
Ethiopian, women, domestic workers, activists.
“We do not want other women to suffer through what we have experienced”
Gender Inequality NGO