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Implementing legal changes to benefit women in Ethiopia is impeded by difficulties in using the formal legal system, by poverty and deeply embedded gender inequalities, by plural legal systems, and by entrenched cultural norms.

However, this article by Gemma Burgess, published in 2011, argues that the most significant challenge is the increasing degree of authoritarianism in Ethiopian state politics, that this is crucial in determining the space for activism, and that this shapes the successful implementation of legal change. 

'When the personal becomes political: using legal reform to combat violence against women in Ethiopia', Gender, Place & Culture, June 2011.