There are very few remains of Christian Aksumite art, but from the 13th to the 20th centuries, there was an uninterrupted production of religious paintings and church buildings. Islam spread to this part of Africa from its beginnings, and Muslim sultanates developed from this time in the eastern region and then most specifically around Harar, from the 16th century onward. At the end of the 19th century, Menelik, King of King of Ethiopia, expanded the southern part of his country, doubling its size. Limited bibliographical information is presented here for artistic productions in this part of this modern nation. In fact, the geographic areas covered by this bibliography vary according to the period. For prehistoric art, we give examples in the whole Horn of Africa, which is the scale at which the specialists of this region are working. To follow the historical evolution of the Ethiopian political space, production within what is now Eritrea is sometimes included, particularly for Aksumite and medieval times, but this bibliography cannot be considered comprehensive for more recent arts in Eritrea.
Before Ethiopia relaxed its abortion laws in 2005, unsafe abortions contributed to a third of all maternal deaths in the country. The law was very strict – abortions were only lawful if the woman’s life was in danger – but, as in many other places with restrictions, the risks did not deter women from seeking to end unwanted pregnancies. Abortion rates remained high. Women were forced to resort to dangerous and illegal techniques, resulting in infections, injuries with lifelong consequences and, in some cases, death.
The desperate methods women used at the time ranged from traditional remedies like consuming tree roots and herbs to inserting implements such as catheters and metallic tools, causing uterine perforation and organ injury. At that time, it was normal to see half of the delivery and gynaecology wards filled with women who needed immediate medical assistance as a result of unsafe abortions.