The Network of Ethiopian Women’s Associations (NEWA) launched Temsalet: Phenomenal Ethiopian Women, a book featuring stories and photographs of 64 accomplished Ethiopian women, on the 7th of October 2014.
The inauguration of the book was followed by a week-long exhibition “Faces of Temsalet” featuring photographs by award-winning Ethiopian photographer Aïda Muluneh whose portraits of the women accompany each story in the book.
Temsalet is the work of the Network of Ethiopian Women’s Associations (NEWA), an Ethiopian consortium of local Ethiopian societies working to advance women’s rights and status. The book showcases the first-ever collective portrait of 64 accomplished Ethiopian women across a wide range of occupations, from farmer to ambassador, and “is designed to inspire girls and young women to achieve their utmost – and to celebrate Ethiopian women:, according to the organizers.
Roman Tesfaye, the wife of PM Hailemariam Desalegn, has written the foreword for the book which also features an assay on selected women in Ethiopian history and written by Rita Pankhurst.
The project involved the work of many dedicated volunteers over a three and a half year period; the book was edited and compiled by Mary-Jane Waglé, an American volunteer, with the guidance of an all-volunteer advisory board of distinguished women and with the help of twenty young women as interviewers and researchers. The book is published by Tsehai Press, a publishing company based in Los Angeles, California.
NEWA’s partners – Sweden, East Africa Bottling Share Company, UN Women, Civil Society Support Program, GirlHub Ethiopia, European Union, Irish Aid, Ipas Ethiopia, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Embassy of France in Addis, Embassy of the United States in Addis, FAWE-Ethiopia, and MujujegwaLoka Women’s Development Association – have sponsored the first Amharic edition of the book to be distributed free of charge to organizations working on girls’ empowerment including high schools, libraries, and both governmental and non-governmental groups.
Later in the year, NEWA and Tsehai Press will publish an English edition and a second Amharic edition of the book intended for sale to the public both in Ethiopia and abroad, with royalties helping to support NEWA’s work for women.