Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Gebre Bogaletch (Ethiopia)

Note: The following article was written during the lifetime of the award winner. Bogaletch Gebre died on November 2, 2019 in Los Angeles.

The Ethiopian human rights activist, Dr. Bogaletch Gebre started studying parasitology and public health under a Fulbright scholarship in the US in 1975. Already by then, she founded the organization Parent International Ethiopia – Development through Education. After she returned to Ethiopia in 1997, she set up, together with her sister Fikrete, the organization Kembatti Mentti Gezzimmatope (KMG). This organization devotes its efforts primarily to support women and marginalized population groups in the rural areas of Ethiopia. It fights, in particular, against female genital mutilation, child marriage and domestic violence. In addition, the organization develops interdisciplinary female health and education programs, implements projects aimed at combating HIV infection and AIDS, and launches ecological initiatives. 1.5 million people have so far benefited directly from KMG’s work, whose impressive success in its field of action is reflected by the reduction of female genital mutilation by 97% within a period of 10 years, and a decline of HIV infections. Dr. Bogaletch Gebre has received multiple awards, amongst them the King Baudouin Foundation’s African Development Prize in 2013, the Jonathan Mann Award of the Global Health Council in 2007, and the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe in 2005.