During the summer of 2016, I was granted the opportunity to construct, and execute a research thesis on women coming out of prostitution in Ethiopia. By partnering with the Ellilita Women's At Risk (E-War) in Addis Ababa, and Debre Zeyit location I lived in a house with 8 other women and children who were trying to overcome their lifestyle. The goal was to identify if religiosity played a key role in overcoming hardships, in doing this I created an extensive 60+ question pre survey and then followed up with a post survey. With each individuals consent, and willingness to opt in or out of the study, their faith in God was witness throughout the entire study.
Below is the abstract and preface of my thesis and further below is the full 40 page PDF where you can download and read its entirety which includes the shocking update after I left. Thank you, and if you have any questions about this thesis or would like to further this research, please feel free to contact me!
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the potential correlation with religiosity and its power to overcome prostitution. This empirical research was conducted in Debre Zeyit (Bishoftu), Ethiopia, Africa for 100 days (between the months of May and August 2016). The Ellilita Women at Risk (EWAR) is an organization which focuses on bringing women out of prostitution through the love of Christ. Through multiple surveys and face-to-face interviews to better understand and track progression, this study will respond to the hypothesis of having faith in Jesus Christ and helping women leave devastating circumstances. Many wonder what factors in why some people can “do it”, hopefully this research will indicate endurance and triumph.
Preface: To better understand the background of this study, it is vital to set the guidelines and define the variables. When measuring religiosity, for the purpose of this study, religiosity has been defined by the Christian Protestant faith. Although many in this study may have deemed themselves as more religious if they were practicing other respected religions such as Islam, Paganism, Judaism, or even other sectors of Christianity such as Ethiopian Orthodox, or The Latter Day Saints (Mormon), religiosity is set to be defined as the Christian Protestant faith. This thesis is not simply researching the power of (any) religion, but instead the effect on specifically the power of Christ from the minority religion in Ethiopia as described in Protestant Bible text. To reduce complexity and unify the readers, when God is mentioned it is seen through the eyes of one researcher’s lens of Protestantism. In the text it describes Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and the only way to receive salvation is through Him. It is also important to understand the culture influences and its complexities while reading this thesis. Ethiopia is enriched with over 80 ethnic groups and 88 different languages. When studying prostitution we asked the participating women to give an insight on a lifestyle that is highly frowned upon in their country, being that Ethiopia is overall conservative. Debre Zeyit’s location is in a primarily Christian region where symbols of Mary and Jesus on most buildings and inside most public taxi cabs, “bajajs” (Amharic term for India’s “tuk tuk”, or “mooto bajaj”). Furthermore, typically on Sundays the town slows down and many places are closed. Considering Ethiopia’s background we must acknowledge trauma each woman had to overcome to willingly speak about their truths.