Seifu, the teacher on EBS, teaches chemistry using puzzles. I’ve visited with some of Ethiopia’s most well-known filmmakers as well as professors of film and theatrical history at Addis Ababa University during recent visits. They’re well aware of how other countries’ film industries operate, and they point out that Ethiopia, too, is not a utopia for women.
Despite the country’s constitution forbidding discrimination, gender discrepancies in funding and lending to entrepreneurs persist. While no Ethiopian organization has looked into the problem of gender in the media sector, my own informal investigation of the Addis Ababa Bureau of Culture and Tourism’s list of films licensed reveals that the gender ratios are similar to those in the United States.
Women’s influence and achievement in the film industry are unique in Ethiopia. Women have consistently had more long-term success as writers, directors, and producers in a highly competitive field where many people never make more than one film. Women-directed films have a higher box office success rate and have won more honors at the nation’s biennial Gumma film awards.