Friday , September 21 2018
Home / Articles / Awate Forum Harvest: Emancipation Of Eritrean Women

Awate Forum Harvest: Emancipation Of Eritrean Women

The following is selected comments made by Awate Forum debaters over the last few days. The topic is regarding the role and emancipation of Eritrean women. The comments were slightly edited to make it better focused on the topic. //Awatestaff

Semere Andom: Do the overwhelming majority Eritrean women really support the regime that enslaves them? Has Ghedli emancipated women or enslaved them both during and after Ghedli? Does our culture in general enslave women worse than Ghedli or were women better of before Ghedli? Supporting your arguments for and against with some empirical facts will

Sarah Ogbay: Women were allowed and in fact encouraged to fight in battlefields and die for their country. As for ’emancipated’ I doubt it. Many women fighters were let down immediately after liberation by both ‘Ghedli’ and by the rest of the society. With whatever level of sense or better call it feeling of gender equality they came, in the liberated Eritrea they were not absorbed by the government and they were not as supported as they should by the whole society. They were frustrated. If they were really [not] emancipated why not fight for their rights?

The condition of women in general, after liberation, there was a hype on ‘gender equity’. Women were pushed into every committee, every organization and into education. Huge funds from all over the world arrived! The whole issues of 30%! What did not follow is equal promotion to decision making positions. In education there was/is very little success considering huge access. Where do the girls who join school at the elementary level disappear? Why don’t we have many educated women managers and directors in all the sectors? (I hope you have seen the CEDAW report on Eritrea in 2013 and 2014. No matter how much tampering of data was done, it still shows that women are still not doing well after 20 years). Currently, the stress on the average Eritrean woman to make ends meet is unimaginable. My opinion is that the system selects some women and uses and abuses them for decorative purposes.

Semere Andom: Working on increasing the number of cells on someone’s brain, it would have made exponential increase if the transplant included some of Papi’s, Hayat’s and Yodita’s, but the patient was adamant to receive transplants from women to his peril.

Mahmud Saleh: Ghedli didn’t emancipated women, but it didn’t enslave them. There is a difference. Emancipation of women is a long societal process; that being true, women earned respect through their actual participation and sacrifices and that, had it not been squashed by PFDJ policies, they would have been in a better place. Focusing more on the general blame targeting women, I proposed on how to win them, concluding my long and not so fruitful debate. If the opposition fails to win women, it won’t win the society.

Amal: Being one of the women that read and never interact on the comment section of awate.com, I have to confess that I am utterly provoked and astonished that in 2014 we still have men that hate women in our society. The current discussion under “Never Mind The Calf: Mind The Rustler” is amazingly revealing to a small portion of this deeply rooted hate to the female wisdom and the never discussed patriarchal stronghold of our society. No idea how this developed into a discussion about women, gender and even a spontaneous “women’s day” was declared. I won’t get into who said what, when, but allow me to put a few things straight.

Little did Stieg Larsson know that the first book of his Millennium series “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, which in it’s original language (Swedish) had the title “Män som hatar kvinnor” literally, “men who hate women.” If the title had to truly reflect on the story, it would translate to “women in Eritrea”.

To my understanding there is no such thing as Habesha culture when it comes to women in our society. The cultural norms that govern social norms for women’s position is between Highland/Lowlands. There is no difference between Saho, Jebirty and Habesha women’s treatment, upbringing and societal expectations in the highland except that of religion (I stand to be corrected). And in the lowlands many a time one would hear men (only men) boasting as to how well they treat their women but both ways in my opinion are limiting and oppressing to women with their own set of codes.

Are we or are we not a patriarchal society in Eritrea, except the Kunama? An easier way would be if you have a heart to heart with the Eritrean women in your life. Where by, you genuinely want to investigate patriarchy and it’s effects on society.

There were certain points raised, as if women only are the supports of PFDJ. Do we ever ask why men support the PFDJ? It’s interesting that women are all of a sudden just a mere collective. It’s when you were talking about that I could sense the resentment for women in small portions.

Semere Andom: Eritrean women have been at the receiving end of the ugly societal norm and the ugly Gheldi that promised to liberate them and ended up enslaving them. Because I was accused wrongly accused of being anti-women when I criticized the Askalu’s.

haileTG: There is indeed a patriarchal system in Eritrea and the vast parts of the world. A non-Eritrean friend of mine who had many years of travel and work throughout Africa, once observed to me that even if the male has a higher status in the home, our division of labor seemed to him to be done willingly and accepted naturally. This of course was in reference to how the Eritrean diaspora household manages rather than the actual situation in Eritrea and throughout its diverse cultures. I believe, however, that the observation may be possible to extend to Eritrea, in so far as the roles of relatives were to be limited. Sometimes the main perpetrator of the woman’s agony ends up being a vengeful female in-law (sister or mother).

I use to have a professor long ago (in my undergrad years) who used to tease us “..OK class this is going to be easy, except you need to be fluent in Latin” If we are to suggest cultural revolution before political one, well I can only say that we may be a little pressed for time sir! Eritrean justice seekers who believe Ethiopia should assist them still go one using terms as “Agame” in derogatory terms. The complex issues of women’s rights ain’t dandy in HGDEF side either and can’t be argued that is what is making those old ladies (from the time of Hafash wudubat) to stick around! HGDEF and its kingdom is the WORST violator of women’s rights. Eritrea is still a developing state in this regard and the issue straddles all societal nooks and crannies. Can we be who we are, go at our pace and mobilize to save the nation or it is either we solve every world problem first or perish? I don’t think other successful revolutions reached the level of such thresholds of equality and justice to do what is right and moral to save their periled populations.

Tzigereda: The sole aim of the whole discussion is on how to enhance the contribution of Eritrean women in saving the Eritrean people and the nation. Eritrean women belong to the main victims group of the PFDJ-gang! We are not calling for “cultural revolution”!

haileTG: Such is a desperately needed and welcome development in advancing the cause of justice. Unfortunately, it waxes alien to the reality of Eritrean politics to argue that the women are not joining because of the justice seeking community being somewhat discouraging of women participation. It would be preposterous to even argue that there is anything outside of our societal norms taking place in the opposition to turn away women. I think it is many women who are left without bread winners in Eritrea, I think it is many women being raped and humiliated from Sawa to Sinai and the jails of Tripoli and Misrata, I think it is many women giving birth in horrifying conditions while running away the brute. A women who doesn’t give a damn to all these and happens to be jumping up and down for IA and kissing his hands may have other issues. Despite the above women tragedies I mentioned, many older women are still hopelessly being used by regime propaganda. I can’t say what is in their head but they tend to submit to the regime’s mischief. We are a society where women don’t sit on the same side with men in church services, social occasions and the rest. A woman is still domesticated in mainstream Eritrea and social role stereotypes and male domination pervades the entirety of our society. Hence, either saay is proposing cultural revolution or cosmetic changes! I don’t know an Eritrean opposition organization that is against the full woman participation in politics and so forth. The opposition is far better at boasting high profile women doing great work. But, if one starts to scan social media or street corners to sample attitudes, well that may be too hard to satisfy. I like to invite women and still keep men, I hate to win one by sacrificing the other.

Sara: We are all busy and have work and family, I mean kids to look after too, I am wondering how those brave men in this forum could afford or squeeze their time to write such wonderful articles keep on debating–a day has 24 hours and definitely most work 8 hours and spend 3-4 hours going and coming from work then 6-8 hours sleep … forget daily choirs… where do we have the time?

haileTG: My life happen to include many women (most Eritrean) and can’t help to notice one or two things on their preferred cyber experience. They do spend a lot of time in social media (who wouldn’t and haile would be the last person who should point that out:). It is just that Eritrean politics isn’t high on their selection list (probably not on the list at all). Their cyber trending includes socialization, shopping, personal care, movies, music and the likes. Their longest comment on Eritrean issue (for many) happens to be “elelelelelelel…” and you can never run out of an “..el” to make it even longer.

This is why I disagreed (OK had a different take – with a clenched fist, when they tried to blame us here for their willful absconding! Please go around this website and point me the closest thing a woman would wish to spend time looking at? Give me the eastafro of the opposition camp, opposition doesn’t have movies, no fashion, kids don’t exist, nothing, cold, cruel, argumentative politics from Eritrea going as far back as the Axumite kingdom!! Gosh, I am even wondering how we attracted you here.

Like anything else, in the real life political opposition work, there are large numbers of women. Many are also in leadership, decision making and also making big headlines. But, so are in many other areas of our lives. The HGDEF supporter woman is under a different set of pressure that I have firsthand knowledge in and she is unlikely to ever muster to speak the truth because of a cosmetic change in here or other opposition websites.

Serray: Please allow me to correct one thing you wrote regarding women in the opposition, you said, “But even the women that are celebrated as the heroines of the opposition do so because they act like men they “bend it like Beckham”. I don’t think so, our women in the opposition are trial blazers. What Elsa and Meron are doing is a refreshingly first. None of the old men with grudges do what these amazing women are doing for the Eritrean people in the field of human rights and human trafficking.

Amal: Our society suffers from tokenism politics, in both the opposition and regime. It does not affect women only, but covers, region, tribe, religion etc, creating the appearance of inclusiveness of all groups but in reality it’s only to deflect any suspicion and accusation of discriminations. Women have been the victims of tokenism for a very long time and have created ways to push their agenda forward within the frames and restrictions patriarchy have put on us. If anything that’s what I was trying to allude to in my comment.

So far women are mentioned as a collective, you singled out two “heroines” and boom, they are now individuals. It kind of brings back memories of childhood and how a girl is daddy’s girl when successful and her mother’s daughter when she is naughty. Interesting!

Mahmud Saleh: Eritrean women were poised to assume high offices thanks to their real contribution and sacrifice. However, PFDJ has made Eritrean women’s association, like other associations, a tool of oppression. I called upon our young women and their brothers to rise to the occasion, to wrest their prominence from the grip of PFDJ. Justice, in addition to its “rule of law” concept, calls for equitable distributions of resources, equitable participation of women and other marginalized social groups. You can’t beat the well-oiled machine of PFDJ unless you realize that you have so far failed to appeal to the majority of them; and coming out of your little world to recognize that it was all your fault, my fault and other opposition groups fault for not mobilizing them; for not drawing a strategy that include them, a strategy that makes them the center of political discourse. Remember, they are smarter and more sensitive than men when it comes to social issues. They also beat men on the one area men consider their turf, military. I would not waste the reader’s time to list the contribution of Eritrean women in our struggle. It’s recorded for those who want to study it. Our women are still part and parcel of our struggle for just Eritrea. All you need is to be patient and just think for a day:
1. why we could not attract many of them? Remember, the problem is always in the strategy or the method the parties/organizations choose. Women like all other social group aren’t inherently defect; if your strategy is not working evaluate it. Make sure they get in the decision making organ, they should not be considered as crowding mass, or augmenting numbers only. Do you see any deficiencies in your average opposition groups? You bet.
2. Once you evaluated that, then you ask yourself “what can I do better to make my message appealing to them?”

Semere Andom: “Starting in medda women were the house maids for leaders and the trend has worsened after independent, all the façade of equality of women has crumbled when tegadalti in droves divorced their wives who were not members of their religion and even their region. It is fact now that women are the prime supporters to the regime that enslaves them, this commenter does not blame them, the root cause was slavery in the field and, they have been hoodwinked by the sweet words in their mendaciously gilded and giddy personality during the events that woman has for generation was the beacon of hope and sanity in the Eritrean household.”

Mahmud Saleh: Mieda wasn’t something you could romanticize, it was full of all challenges, some of the challenges included what some of our young sister-comrades faced, not all of them, some. Like in any undemocratic society, there was struggle there too, in many cases abusive commanders were confronted by the fierce Eritrean tegadelit and her comrades, but as a male dominated society, the struggle or “Jihad” was ongoing. I am not happy of present situation of our women, and that’s why I said women’s issues should be at the center of our political discourse; we have to include them and stay away from blame-games.

ናይደቀንስትዮድርብጭኮናይበሃልነይሩ። In mieda you wouldn’t want to be accused of belittling women or speak of them in bad manner. They were teachers, doctors, military commanders, technicians…social workers..name it. You try to debate me based on what disgruntled ex-tegadelti had said! There was one guy known by the nick pilot. Once, he is reported to have said that tegadelti were concubines. Well, you know what the backlash was; and you know he was compelled to correct himself. Ex-teg may say there were abuses, but they will never tell you tegadelti were house maids, never. However, there is a grain of truth in your long message, albeit you stretched it to fit your notion of Eritrean tegadelti; and that’s it wasn’t all that good. There were opportunists, rapists, abusers, etc, and they were dealt with according to the law of the land that prevailed at that time.

1. We agree women weren’t totally emancipated and we recognize that the emancipation of women is a process, a long process… no country in this world could claim it’s emancipated women, even your little Canada. So, women’s issue will be an ongoing issue, in Eritrea, USA…Sweden, India. Just because women became prime ministers in India Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia doesn’t mean they are ahead of us in women’s issue (To the Habeshinos and liberals: three moslum countries have been ruled by women, and India, a country with the most number of Muslims was also ruled by women! How about the liberal democracies? Can we say those women became prime ministers because women in their countries were emancipated?). This is to demonstrate that emancipation means changing the belief systems of societies and not cosmetic changes brought in by some sort of intervention, like upheavals, short lived social movements or ghedli.
2. You may have seen women doing domestic works (mostly from the refugee camps) in rear areas (in offices,and hospitals.) but recognize that women constituted 30% of combat force and almost 60-70% of logistic and other support departments. Ghedli was a de facto government and as such it ran almost 75% of Eritrean land. As a governing body it needed cadres in agriculture, medicine, construction, education, mass media, administration, etc. And women constituted a big chunk of that force. You are forgetting that like in any other society, EPLF was full of abusers, but it wasn’t so; it had layers of defenses to combat sexual exploitation. The first defense line was the women themselves. All of them left their families volunteering for their nation, therefore, it wouldn’t be a big deal for them to kick the abusers, some of them put bullets into their heads. Second line of defense was a strict law that protected them. Of course, there were commanders who would outmaneuver this, but in many cases they would pay dearly. The punishment for rape was death, it stayed like that throughout Ghedli, sexual harassment was blurred, but if you were accused of it, it would not be a joke, consensual sex between combatants was strictly forbidden, if you were caught in that act, you would have 3-6 months hard labor. You were allowed to have good moments only if you had established a legal relationship, in that case, the whole unit would treat you like a king and a queen.
3. Whatever women achieved, which they earned, it was not a gift), PFDJ took it away.
4. Now what do you do? Do you accuse them and pray your blame-game somehow it will make a miracle in mobilizing the silent majority, or recognize the fact that women issues should be an integral part of your new Ghedli? If you see them flocking to PFDJ festivals, it only shows the weakness of the opposition. We need to look ourselves in the mirror, face the reality, and redraw a new strategy. Unless you win women, you’re not going to win society. That was the core of my argument.

Tzigereda: I hope you will not be the guy who will write the history of “the participation of Eritrean women in the resistance”. Men like you run denying our role of yesterday, today and tomorrow. You see what you only want to see, but that doesn’t reflect the whole picture. I am not going to defend those Eritrean women (who by the way are only metaqa’ati, and have never belonged to the group of decision makers, sure no excuse though!) who still support the brutal regime and still, they don’t represent the majority of US, Eritrean women. In case you don’t follow the activities of the Eritrean women, I can provide you with so many clips for the whole week. Beyond those three comrades you mentioned there are hundreds self-made Eritrean women, doing fantastic jobs, give credit where credit should be given. I would have expected more encouraging words from somebody who belongs to the elites. No wonder that many women have the feeling that nothing will change for them, whatever the promises seem to be. Please be respectful and stop belittling and using women only as bad examples (“women who were dating the afagn at the darkest hour of the nation…”). The attitude of either victimizing or “vulgarizing” women should have an end! The “dembe deleyti fithi” is still full of conservative attitudes, it has more to go before it becomes “attractive” to for women. Work on it, that would be helpful.

Serray: I don’t deny the role of women of yesterday or today. Here is what bothers me, in every society women are anticlimax to the stupidity men but Ghedli turned women into an extension of men. Growing up I always felt uneasy about the toll Ghedli was taking on our women. Mind you, in medda or Asmera the role of women didn’t change, Ghedli just added guns and battles to the roles of women. This silence of mothers (forget the fathers) in the face of a near extinction of their children is attained by first turning women into fighters and then shoving into them an unnatural role as mothers of slaves. To see how far Shaebia regime tries to repress their motherly instinct, see how they tried to force them to celebrate (not mourn) the death of those who died fighting Isaias’s war.

I think the extent of social dismantling that is going in our country cannot happen without this sickening “equality in death” that started in medda, this sickness cannot be traced anywhere else. Talk to any ghedli worshipper about women and he will tell you how proud he is that women were just like men in medda. Ghedli generation women who didn’t go to medda compensate by looking the other way when their children are taken from them before they became men to be slaves to shaebia warlords. Well, when a society repressed the role of mothers in favor of warriors, then when you need the mothers to be mothers, you get Eritrea where mothers act like a lioness with a new mate who showed his dominance by killing her cubs.

I don’t deny the role of women, I just don’t like the fact that it is blurred in medda Eritrea and imported to Asmera. I don’t warship sacrifices, I worship life. I think if women didn’t imitate men and become warriors, we would have women standing up to the regime when your comrades turn our youth into slaves with guns. Eritrea is hungry for a humane touch not the value system of endless sacrifice, heroism, perseverance, valor that your former comrades try to shove down our throats.

Here is a sincere request, I only know Hibret Berhe, the former ambassador, in the resistance. I heard her speak once and she made more sense than the men in the room. Do you know any other tegadalit in the resistance because none of the giants were tegadelti?

The call for more women in the forums is for you to positively influence the discourse. Please don’t ask us to treat you with kid gloves as a condition for you to join us.

Conclusion by Saay:

Since today is (spontaneously) Women’s Day at awate.com, and since some of our more belligerent menfolk seem intent on ruining it, I thought I would share with you the works of a great writer who, with almost every article, shows his abiding love and respect for women in general, Eritrean women more specifically, and even more specifically women who look like his wife–whom he calls affectionately “the good woman”–women of Eritrean Kebessa.

The author is Aklilu Zere*

1. There was, of course, the one everybody knows: “What Italian Colonialism Did To My People of The Eritrean Kebessa” where he shows the Eritrean woman as the engine of Eritrean society in the highlands.

2. There was the one that showed the Eritrean woman’s handling of colonialism.

3. There was the one that showed Eritrean women as the guardians of culture and etiquette.

4. Difference between men and women in Eritrean kebessa written in total affection for both, but more so for the Eritrean woman:

Enjoy: if you haven’t read them, read them; if you have, read them again:)

About awatestaff

Check Also

The Abiy Phenomenon

How volatile human affairs are!   A couple of decades ago, who would have thought the …

  • Shum

    Awate team,

    Have you considered diavlogs like the ones at bloggingheads.tv? Or have you considered appearing on that site to highlight The opposition’s cause. Awate could go mainstream and who knows, possibly pop up on some important American news site or station.

    In addition to using it for the aforementioned purpose, it would be nice to see discussions and debates with this format. Here are a few topics

    1. Weed them out vs Internal coup (minus IA)
    2. Opposition strategies and tactics

    The first one can be conducted between Saleh Gadi and Saleh Younis assuming I’m right about where they stand.

  • Shum

    Hello everyone,

    Is it me or are we a bit too amped up these past few days? Let’s step back for a moment, take a deep breath and re-engage. Welcome to all the women who have been contributing recently. Awate is an important forum for all of us. Many of us are passionate and over stressed with what we see coming out of our country (I know I’m repeating myself). Whatever hostility you think you have encountered is minor to what our people face. Stay engaged and share your perspective. If you back off now, you’ll continue to live in a constant loop reaffirming your prejudice. And what’s more, your perspective will never be heard.

    To everyone, it’s easy to blow people off in forums. Most of us are faceless with an alias. May I recommend we greet each other with Dear, Brother or Sister in whatever language you find meaningful. Also, ask yourselves, if this person (especially if they’re your elder) were in front of me, how would I speak to them.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear sara O.
    Yes, I agree. I have very limited memories of independent Eritrea and the demobilization or ምጥያስ process; Whatever I remember of independent Eritrea particular to tegadelti isn’t pleasant at all. I remember families of tegadelti facing stiff resistance based on religion, region, economic status, ethnicity,etc.from society. I remember our female comrades disproportionately being laid off (demobilized); I remember opportunities of scholarships being given to cronies mostly males; I remember tegadelti being kicked out of the campus of Asmara University just for being tegadelti/ just for continuing their volunteer services and sacrifices. (I often remind my readers of my limitations). So, everything I say is in memory of those gallant fighters I had known in mieda and our society within which ghedli operated. Conceptually, your take would be ideal, even during ghedli era. I am sure you know the ideological history and demography of tegadelti; our understanding of gender was quite different then. It was equality on steroid; there were times when female tegadelti would literally try to prove they were equal to their male comrades in all aspects including physical. ማዕርነት ብስራሕ ተኻፋልነት was the prevalent slogan of the time. If I had to relive it, my understanding and, therefore, my handling of gender would be different. Our mentors took the word “equality” literally. Many women got hurt in operating heavy machinery, and in doing other physically unsafe jobs. I also remember those who left behind nursing infants and rushed to front lines. Now, I would take everything that had happened in ghedli as the result of an abnormal situation. However, what has been happening since independence is very sad, ሃማደኤ has failed Eritrean women; instead of being an agency advocating women’s policies,like other similar unions, it has been playing an active role in sustaining PFDJ policies. Your points are very important, and they should be seen within this framework. Women’s issues are men’s issues too. So, it’s essential we men see it as our own issues; well, they are our associates in life. Here in the Diaspora, the picture is not so good either. I want to remind the men to recheck their participation in running their families- hours they spend with their spouses, their children, hours they spend in the kitchen, in assisting their kids in homework, in their kids’ activities,etc. The emancipation of women takes generations, all we can talk about is the trend- is the trend positive or negative. For the trend to move towards and along the positive direction, it involves both sexes, it involves the whole society, it involves meaningful policies and their transparent executions where women are at the center of the process. This should not be seen as an affirmative action; it’s imperative for societal development. Politically, the opposition can’t win without winning women. Women know they have been mistreated in PFDJ Eritrea; they just are not sure if the opposition is that different. They are knocking doors, in some cases they are taking their own initiatives. Dr.Almaz was bold enough to shed light on this area. she said that women should tell the opposition that if they don’t get their acts together, they (women) won’t follow them. “Then, they will be cautious (conduct themselves appropriately),” she said. So, dear sara (Dr.), we need more of you dear Awate ladies, our society has undergone little change, be it in diaspora or back there. Just look at this forum and what few women have brought to it! It’s amazing.

    • sarah ogbay

      Mahmud
      ‘Women know they have been mistreated in PFDJ Eritrea; they just are not sure if the opposition is that different. They are knocking doors, in some cases they are taking their own initiatives.’

      How true!!! Indeed we are not sure if the opposition is any different! They refuse to acknowledge that the current Eritrean issues are women’s issues as well and still are patronizing Eritrean women. They fail to realize that unless we are empowered and our voices and cries are heard and we are included in the whole democracy and justice movement, they will get nowhere. As for us, we are not going to sit and wait around for them to wake up. while shaking them to wake up we will move forward and do what we should and can. However, it will be a struggle to herd all women towards right path.
      But we still are grateful to have enlightened and wise men like you.

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Sara,
    When you say the “women association” are you refering to the NUEW? Otherwise it may confuse..

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Awatistas the great

    OK, HTG, I think that title could be shared with the whole family, so allow me to use it for all Awatistas TG;

    Well, there was this youtube that saay posted of NEW. I was so happy to see women discuss and strategize their role in society and in the movement for change. I watched Dr. Almaz ( I have seen her in other posts, too; but it was my first time to watch that youtube. Apart from the historic perspective she mentioned, there were a couple of important things she raised.

    1. On the historic perspective, she mentioned that ghedli helped change women’s role and attitude, but did little to change men’s attitudes and, hence, women were faced with grim choices when they entered Asmara. During her presentation, Dr. Almaz posed a question to the audience and left it for discussion. The question, paraphrased, was: Does enabling women to do men’s tasks mean an emancipation. She was referring to ghedli era where most people who are unfamiliar with it associate it with guns only. I wish Dr. Almaz did some more elaboration as to what ghedli entailed. Obviously, combat was central, but there were all types of roles in Mieda. Women had equal access in those activities/roles. They were educators, journalists, musicians, technicians, administrators, doctors…researchers, diplomats..combatants. It would also help if she described ghedli’s efforts as encompassing all areas under its control and not merely combatant tegadelti. However, Dr. Almaz raised an interesting point in relationship to this area: While women gave everything in the overall drive for independence, the societal understanding of what emancipation could mean did undergo little change. I agree. I also pointed out in my previous comments that whatever women had earned through their real participation and sacrifices were squandered by PFDJ Eritrea, and its women’s association.

    2. Women bear the burden of conflicts and messes created by men-world (all characterizations mine) and that women should take responsibility in fighting for their roles, and that they should endorse organizations which make women’s issues central; she mentioned the hurdles women face whenever they involve in political activities; she mentioned disparaging comments activists women encounter just for being women activists

    3. My favorite is this: many of these organizations are hurling “stones” at each other instead of putting the nation first, and agreeing on minimum political agenda which should include the removal of the dictator, stopping endless military service, constitutionalism, and a transparent mechanisms of ensuring women’s real participation. She adds that the removal of the dictator should be number one goal of these organizations; the rest should be left to the people.

    4. This is even more important: Dr. Almaz says that women are the owners of their issues. ” They ( the opposition) should ask themselves why we are not attracted to them. You can’t blame women who have been neglected of (educational) opportunities for the last 50 years ( for not fulfilling your expectation).”

    ** comment: For the organizations and individuals who are obsessed with “puritanism,” Dr. Almaz seems to say ” Women should not invest in organizations which display undemocratic tendencies even worse than PFDJ!! Enough of mudslinging and accusations, get to work..show us…you spent too much in battling each other than battling PFDJ.”

    Her concluding remarks in Tigrigna: ” እቲ ኣእማን ይጽናሕ ኣብ ገዛ፡ ምናልባት ተስፋ እገብር ሓሙኹሽቲ ክኸውን…ዘይሓዝካዮ ዘይብልካ ብደናጉላታት ኣይትተሃረምን ኢኻ። (ናይ ተቓውሞ ውድባት) እታ ኣነ ሒዘያ ዘለኹ መገዲ ጥራሕ እያ ቅንዕቲ፡ እታ ኣነ ሒዘያ ዘለኹ ውድብ ጥራሕ እያ ልክዕ…እናበልካ ነቲ ካልእ ሆእ ክትብል ትውዕል። እዘን ውድባት’ዚኣተን ናይ ሓባር (ረቓሒ) ኣለወን ‘ዶ የብለንን? ሓንቲ ናይ ሓባር (መራኸቢት) ኣላተን፡ ኢሰያስ ኣፈወርቕን ጉጅለኡን ካብ ስልጣን ክወርዱ ኣለዎም። እምነት ኣለኒ። ንሕና እዚ መንገዲ እዚ ክቕየር ኣለዎ፡ እንተዘይኾይኑ ኣይንስዕብን እንተ ኢልና ሰጥ ክብሉ እዮም።”
    Dr. Almaz seems to highlight what has been missing. No blank checks to whoever pretends to play the role of opposition. We will scrutinize you, flash you out…we will endorse you on your real acts and not on your purported brouhaha. We own our agenda!! There you have it.
    Thank you Dr.Almaz Zerai

    • Tzigereda

      Dear Mahmud,
      As far as I have seen it (again now) she mentions the contributions of ” tegadelti” in many other fields ( up 43:53), beyond being combatants.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Tzigereda;
        Yes, indeed she mentioned that fact, and actually underlined another fact that our ghedli defamers want to skip: ghedli was part and parcel of Eritrean people’s revolution/resistance; ghedli and its people including women acted in partnership, as in hand-and-glove, “ከም ኢድን ጓንትን።” Thank you for the correction and an apology to Dr.Almza.

  • Tzigereda

    As such, we are talking about one aspect, namely the role of Eritrean women in Diaspora and not about the “emancipation of Eritrean Women,” which includes many areas, requires several articles and discussions. Well, I’ll stay here and would again pick up on the dismissal of the eritrean women as “Koboro junkies” again. My view is still that they mostly belong to the so-called “silent majority”. My reasoning is an empirical one and can not provide statistical data.
    I am of the opinion that the PFDJ has increasingly lost its long-time supporters ( including the women!), which is not yet translated into a strong, representative opposition. In contrast, the share of those who oppose the regime (and that of the women’s ) is much higher than years ago (demonstrations, Paltalks, FB, movements). And still many women belong to the “silent majority”. Why? The simple answer ( gender neutral) is, because there is no united representative opposition. Who and where are these women who belong to the “silent majority”?
    1.Disapponted former fighters from the ELF / EPLF, who are busy “organizing” their lives, trying to catch the missed opportunity, educationwise and so on..( blessing “Amlak yihagiz).
    2. Former “Hafash widibat”, many abondoned the regime, some still loyal to.
    3.daughters of “non- EPLF” sympathizers, some of which have little relation to their land and their history (I call them the “disadvantaged”, since they don’t even have the opportunity of visiting the land of their parents ),
    4. daughters of former EPLF, some of them became “victims of PFDJ propaganda”, (now YFDJ).
    5.”New comers” (former “hagerawi agelglot”), the least able to demonstrate good education and can continue. They make at least 1/3 part of activists! Not undermined should be that those women who arrived Europe via Libya, are victims of torture and rape, who laboriously try to get their lives under control. Many of them are in Italy, and live a miserable life.
    6.women who crossed the Sinai to Israel, being those with the worst experience and have not yet got the chance to lead a dignified life.

    Yet I don’t see that “Koboro junkiees”!

    I prefer to stop here, and will come the next days to the question “where are those women activists”.
    Till then, let me share this clip, you might know, No Koboro junkies!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EW8gFiRlGEU

    • Tzigereda

      Dear Haile TG,
      The above comment was “adressed” to you, I forgot to put your name, sorry.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Mr. Secular,

    Since you have said “There were also no women in the vanguard Labor Party”, I will set the record straight, and that is there were few women in the ranks and files of ELF’s Labor party. Though I wasn’t a member of LP, I am aware about the presence of few women in the Labor party. Just small correction. Otherwise, I will agree with the premises of your argument with slight differences.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    There is no hard and fast evidence for me to provide you, but what we are witnessing is nothing a back door ploy by the reformist camp. They have no single interest in dealing with the real “women” issues in contemporary Eritrean ordeals, their attempt is to discredit, undermine and bait the opposition camp that is rooted in the belief that PFDJ needs to be weeded out. They my have made a backdoor deal and what is being rolled out is preposterous arguments to claim black s white.

    “The opposition has been around for 23 years with no tangible result”

    “The opposition is addicted to antagonizing its own”

    “The opposition is beholden to the interests of outsiders”

    “The opposition is run and represented by outsiders”

    “The opposition is against the rights of women”

    Are the types of carefully choreographed attacks being mounted to denigrate and invalidate the the opposition group. Yesterday you’ve all seen them how they were drawn out in a frenzy to agitate gender conflict. They have no new approaches or ideas to transform the lives of women. Their arrogant denial of what HGDEF sports in its koboro junkies poster and falling over each other to give away their unsavory intent to senselessly attack justice seeker by repeatedly launching an all out, albeit ill fated, attacks of cheap politicking has exposed what their true intention was, definitely not to create the ambient conditions but to bait the opposition camp.

    So, all of this is a reformist agenda desperately trying to cut deals with a dying regime. They have no evidence to suggest otherwise that the opposition has done any wrong that is outside of what our general social ills present.

    Regards

    • Amal

      haile,

      Hope for your sake that they have a translation service on here because all I could think of when I read your post came in Arabic: تمخض الجبل فولد فأرا

      Regards

      • haileTG

        Thanks a bunch Amal, needless to say that I neither understand Arabic nor which of my post you are referring to. Yep, keep us guessing…

    • Ermias

      Hailat, I was following that debate late last night but I did not have a good opportunity to chime in. You are right on brother. Keep doing what you are doing. Everything you said is correct, accurate, right, justified, and honorable. If they accuse of denigrating women or if they try to look more appealing to women, don’t mind it. If anyone takes you as an individual bashing women or whatever else, then they are lying to themselves and the whole world. You have been at the forefront of fighting of justice for women. The Lampedusa tragedy and how lamented is a testimony. Don’t worry Hailat. I have a sister exactly as you described, a koboro junkie and she knows it. You did NOT in any way say ‘ALL’ Eritrean women or ‘ALL’ diaspora women. You said the face of PFDJ in the diaspora is the koboro junkie…what the proportion of those women in relation to all the other women silent or otherwise is for someone to do statistical research. But I can see through the smokescreen and I hope many people can see that too.

      Let me add one more thing here to SAAY. When I first read your essays in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, I couldn’t believe there were Eritreans who could write like that. I followed your writings ever since then but since you embraced this PFDJ reform plan, you are looking less and less convincing and more defensive and reactionary. I apologize for being blunt but I am expressing my disappointment because I would have thought and would have loved to have you spearhead the PFDJ dismantlement battle. But you are showing more and more sympathy for them in the form of ultranationalism and deep suspicion of habesha movement. There is no such a thing. That is a diaspora reference to Eritreans, nothing more than that. The truth is, rightfully or not, Tigrinya speaking Eritreans are suspicious and resentful and hateful of Amharas and Tigrayans to almost unhealthy levels. Again sorry for being blunt but YG had said one time a very shocking thing but I will just keep it close to my chest for now. Really disappointed reading last night’s exchanges back to HTG.

      • haileTG

        Thank you bro 🙂

      • Nitricc

        Ermias
        I don’t know what reactionary means but how could you hold SAAY for adjusting his views; believes and opinions? Is not what responsible and smart humans do? I am sure you have changed your believes and opinions over the years; does it mean you are being wish washy? No what it means is you are growing up and things changes. Say what you want. The biggest problem with PIA is that he failed to adjust and change with time and with the needs of the real time.
        If SAAY once believed at a complete annihilation of PFDJ and then changed his mind looking at the impossibility of the idea; what is wrong with that Ermias?
        To SAAY credit; when he came up with reform idea; he challenged every forum participant in ways and methods to remove PFDJ completely and everyone; went to “SHETAHTAH-VILL”
        So, Ermias, your take on SAAY is uncalled for but the good news is you are starting to think independently and I have been waiting for that. Good jib out of you. Keep it up. Now do something I could not get it done. Ask Amanual H if he support YG or no J
        I will be stunned if Aman answers you. Don’t accept if Aman tells you to read his past pots. That is his exit strategy of that question lol
        by the way thanks to you for druging us on this worthless topic.

        • Ermias

          Ignored!!!

          • Nitricc

            stupid! you just responded. lol

      • Abinet

        God bless you! I always say majority of Eritreans hate Amhara more than they love their country and countrymen . And the hate is coming back to bite them.
        In HABESHA culture of Ethiopia ,if there is death in the family,we do not eat any kind of food before the burial.the mourning lasts at for a year.weddins will be postponed ,no music,and so on. Here in Eritrean diaspora people were dancing the nights in Boston ,Atlanta and other places days after the incident in Italy as if those who died in the Mediterranean Sea are all Amharas.very sad.

        • Funny you got it on the reverse.
          The main reason we beat you every time dispit your larg numer and huge weapons is …. get this…..
          Your hate to us will never excead our love to Eritrea. NEVER! And that is the secret we keep kicking your azz anytime. Get this fact to your head.
          Or else how do you expline 5 million people whoop 70million prople keep them land lacked? Go a head figure it out or you can listen to worthless people. Like erimias. Your choice.

          • Abinet

            May be the 5 million people were enemies from within.when they are clearly identified and uniformed and when they are not using the citizens as human shields,it is a different story.
            Of the 5 million knowingly brainwashed (according to one professor at this forum) people,how many are ripping the benefit of their blood and long sacrifice ? How many of them are still in the country they died for? How many of them will do it again if the enemy comes back? Are you going to be there to defend your country or bark from the west?
            Sir,you see how many opposition parties there are ? They will NEVER come together as long as they do not have that common enemy.(the Amharas ). Good news for you. Actually nothing brings Eritreans together than their hate towards Amhara .is it still 1960 in Eritrea ?

    • Thomas

      HTG – Unequivocally true! If you don’t like the color of the food, don’t eat it. We are stronger and smarter than anytime before, they need to stop their cheap shots at us, the real oppositions. Focus just on PFDJ, the real and dangerous enemy of our people and our hard earned beloved nation.

    • Nitricc

      Haile, if you attack the reformists; then you must sagest the alternative. If you oppose in reform then what is the alternative? If you opposed to reform then you must believe in eradication of PFDJ. What is your plan to completely eradicate PFDJ?
      Opposition was tried and you have listed the result. I don’t have to tell you.
      Siding with weyane was tried and nothing worked.
      People shouted in every street and called every names to PIA nothing worked.
      People wrote endless articles on internet forums just like what every one is doing in here; nothing worked.
      Maybe you people should try praying. That is it. that will do the job.
      Come-on Haile, you could do better.
      Again my question to you is this.. if you opposed to the idea of reform, then what is your alternative? And how is to be accomplished that alternative?
      how?

      • haileTG

        hey Nitricc, a bit pressed for time, but just to clarify to you that the list is what is being harped on by the reformists. It is not my list and it is a list cooked to undermine the gathering momentum in opposing PFDJ.

    • saay7

      Hailat the great and Ermi:

      Hailat, what you have posted sounds like the typical self-congratulatory, messiah-complex postings (with a dash of paranoia about backdoor deals) I have been reading from OUR opposition for the last, oh, 13 years. It is also a clever change-of-subject (what you meant by the following sentence:

      “The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.”

      Because of the great admiration I have for you (hey, I gave you “the great” title:) I tried to give you the benefit of doubt by making it gender-neutral and koboro-neutral, such as:

      “The face of the HGDEF sports junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora man.”
      “The face of the HGDEF Eri-TV junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora grandpa”
      “The face of the HGDEF mekete junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora man.”

      And it means exactly what I thought it meant. And because it came on the heels of a series of postings you did which were all in the “we don’t have time to baby you: we are going to be ourselves, take it or leave it” I find no other meaning except what plain English tells us it means.

      Now, what you are doing is what you and others have come to specialize in in this forum: using the power of moral outrage and fury so people can shrink back with, “well, I really don’t want to anger him more; he seems upset already.” But anger can’t substitute for strategy and that’s what was, what is, what has always been lacking in the opposition.

      I often find that somebody’s ability to articulate an idea is inversely related to his ability to listen. One of the most visible absences in Eritrean opposition activism in the US and Canada is women. (The other, which we won’t get to in this discussion is: Eritrean Muslims.) If you consider the question of “why” offensive and the attempt to find answers an assault, why then the opposition will not get much beyond “I am mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore.”

      Ermi:

      I am not interesting in fighting the Isaias regime and going home to say, “I put up a good fight.” I am interested in defeating the regime. The strategy that has been pursued by the Eritrean opposition so far has no, zero, nada, nil, sefer consideration for strategies. If you doubt that, just remove the ‘accomodationist’ and the ‘reformist’ from the opposition. Ask all the “weed them out, destroy them, smash them” what their strategy is. I promise I will sit back and listen and not have a word to say.

      saay

      • Thomas

        Hi Saay – you seem to have become like the Endargachew Tsige of Ethiopia: stating I am tired. Where is the inspirational part of your logo in you:))

        • saay7

          Hey Thomas:

          Our tagline is: “inform, inspire, embolden, reconcile.”

          So, I am failing in the “inspire” part? Let’s define it:

          in·spire verb in-ˈspī(-ə)r
          : to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create
          : to cause (something) to happen or be created
          : to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)

          I am trying to inspire the overwhelming majority of Eritreans who consider the existing opposition infrastructure as too toxic and too archaic to join in. I am trying to inspire the existing opposition (including me) to buy an HD camera and look at ourselves, warts and all. All because I want to be part of an opposition that can win, not just oppose. A broad-based opposition that can bring about results.

          The existing opposition infrastructure (in North America and Europe at least) doesn’t have women in sufficient numbers; it doesn’t have youth in sufficient numbers; it doesn’t have Eritrean Muslims in sufficient numbers.

          I don’t say that to demoralize you, me, or the entire opposition. I say it to prompt us to action. There is nothing more inspiring than telling the truth:)

          saay

          • Thomas

            Saay – So, I say bring in the Ethiopians, so what is wrong with me:) EPLF asked TPLF’s held and they liberated our land, not the people though. The regime believes in isolation and self reliance because they don’t want intruders. They want to put too much pressure on our people so that everyone escapes the nation. It is not what you think, our people will assume you are the same sheep with a different color, just dancing the other way around, like “wecho ente gelbetayos wecho”. Remember, the Ethiopian military trying to topple Mengistu H and I was in Asmara back then. The reformers were defeated before making any progress after 4 days of show down. So, the talk about reforming the sick/infected regime is simply a bluff. Sorry, to be harsh on you, but that is the reality.

          • saay7

            Hi Thomas:

            You are the second person (after Ermias) who has characterized me as a reformist. Could you explain what you mean by that so we can a dialogue/debate instead of a monologue?

            saay

          • “So i say bring the Ethiopians so what is wrong with me”
            People do you really wanna really want to know more about this person?
            Do you? The good news is he is out of the country. And thanks good he is nothing but lowly drunk organazer.
            What can you expect from people who are aready dead
            It is scary Ermias and white wanna be Thomas went school. They could do the eritrean community a great deal of favor ;tell us which school they have atended ;wait,we do know where thomas went and we closed the freaking university. Now you know why the university has to shut down.

      • haileTG

        hey saay,

        Truth be told, you are getting ahead of yourself there. You “women” agenda was exposed for what it is yesterday, a cheap ploy to bait the opposition movement and scuttle its momentum. I own my statement and I have explained and re-explained to you what I meant by it, the listening expert that you make yourself appear to be, you are still desperately holding on a broken ploy by listening only to yourself.

        Your so called “woman” agenda had nothing to it, other than you so called “assessment” that told you the men in the opposition are so rude that they are turning away women. This comes on the heels of concerted effort to legitimize PFDJ – IA. You are as entitled as anyone to aspire political settlement that makes sense to you, but please DO NOT shove it into peoples throat or try to go over others head with it. To suggest that the diaspora youth can be substituted the the face of the koboro junkie of PFDJ goes to show your almost manic level of sense of entitlement to issue your own fact. Everyone is acutely aware that PFDJ dance clubs are severely short of youth (ask Lingo about what he noticed in Bologna or ask Wedi Tkabo as to what he said to redio assenna). Yet, you have no qualms lording it over. In fact, the only specific point that you seem to have about your defunct “woman” agenda is “opposition bad”. Yesterday you thought you struck your luck and run with it. Accusing the opposition of being “addicted to putting down their own” and many plug n play nonsense to score cheap points that the men are really as bad if not worse as you make them out in your make-belief narrative. I am in total control of my own statement and I would absolutely not be allowing someone else playing the mind reader.

        The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman. You are entitled to entertain your select few with whatever you wish to shower them with, this was your game in the first place anyway. But you will NEVER be able to recreate the last 23 years and write your own phony narrative. I am your average Eritrean man of all the traits and characteristics of an Eritrean from the highlands. I am not your expert in woman issues but treat the women in my circle and life with the way I expect to be treated. I am not into manufacturing falsehoods and that was what that got us into all this mess in the first place. When I scan social media it is pretty typical of those situations and I am not into manipulating it the way you seem to be doing irresponsibly.

        Tzigereda disagreed with SGJ, who actually did nothing more than to copy and paste what I said.

        “The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.”

        – Gossipy: go into many households and communities Hamieta or gossip is a big issue that is undermining community cohesiveness. I don’t think it concerns you because your agenda doesn’t appear to be what you manifestly purport it to be.

        – Pretentious: they all know the calamities befalling our people (since you are talking about women, I am focusing on them – but go ahead do your manipulation thing)

        – They have done poor job in controlling communities because I believe (I am a traditional man not well versed in all these feminism lesbianism or hairy legism) they as mothers and primary care givers have a lot to lose from a weak community. I gave my view and would humbly accept other’s view too if they point me on other issues. But, it wasn’t lost in me as to what was being played any way.

        Instead of advancing the conversation, Tzigereda asked a give away question that alerted me that she has got earlier point wrong and she was in hot pursuit of the last man who is holding out against saay’s great “women agenda”. Well an opportunity lost and a lesson learned.

        On the other side there you are, couldn’t believe your luck!!! Making all bizarre statements, hoping your bait paid off. Sorry, you were actually munching a big chunk of it. The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman. Be honest and admit it or insult everybody’s intelligence and lecture us with your gobbledygook pontificate of grandpa, barbie doll…. It is your take. Since you’re the listening type too, I would hope you have the curtsy to understand “the face of the Hgdef koboro junkie” to mean “the face of the hgdef koboro junkie” and nothing else except that which is “the face of the hgdef koboro junkie”. It does not mean “the face of the Eritrean diaspora woman”, no I repeat that it does not mean “the face of the Eritrean diaspora woman” and just in case, I repeat that it doesn’t mean “the face of the Eritrean diaspora woman”. There you are. You know so much about articulation and intelligence, you wouldn’t miss that now, could you?

        Haile

        • Abinet

          Haile
          Great one as always.but,as great as you are ,I don’t understand how you missed the trend . The trend is:
          First deny it as long as possible,
          Second,ridicule the challenger,
          Third,cover up as much as possible,
          Fourth,pretend to be angry and tell you they know it all so shut up.
          You need examples? Read as to what happened when we discuss the burning of the Tigre books. They tried to deny it first and then cover it up until Ato Amanuel told us what happened to the books.
          Another one? OK.
          When we discuss the victims of lampedusa ,Saay brought the demography the victims and conveniently forgot that almost all were from the highlands.he gave us every detail except this info until challenged by Eyob . If you only read his excuse for withholding the info as important as it was for the ongoing discussion .
          Last weekend I and Eyob challenged Ato Saleh regarding his suspicion of abesha chauvinism,although we quote his own words he didn’t want to accept it rather he pretended to be angry . It was a simple question in my part. I asked him if he is still suspicious of abesha chauvinism since the majority of Eritreans are abeshas.but he used the same trick on me and Eyob .
          These are some of the examples I just remember. I have noticed the trend long ago.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Abinet,
            Oh yea. The burning of the Tigre books was denied and purposely discounted so that important information is buried for good. That was big for me.
            .
            The side comment sometimes made as to how minor is the contribution the Arab countries made toward the chasm between Eth. and Eri. Have you noticed that some of the top leader’s eulogy and bio.
            These leaders were recruited and trained for Military and Political Education at an early age. Some of these students meet the presidents of those countries. Sometimes it is presented as if it is a generic type of support that is given to other African countries. Such is the world we live in.
            .
            Thanks for remembering it.
            .
            K.H

          • Amde

            Hi Kim

            That is one of the big topics that gets quickly shushed. There is a latent sensitivity for being labelled “ye arab qitregnoch (mercenaries for arabs)”. It is fair to say they are right that the cause most of them left the confot of home for was for liberating the land of eritrea for themselves.. i have no problem wih that.

            But it is still taboo to ask what was in the interest of Damascus or Baghdad or Kuwait to send arms by the shiploads for Jebha and Shaebiya. It is for sure not out of the kindness of their hearts – read up on what Hafez Assad did in Homs, or Saddam’s history.

            There is no free lunch in thisvworld

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam amde.,
            .
            Thanks for being here.
            Yes indeed, victims of geography. It is heart breaking. You see the picture or graphics at the top of this article. They have counterparts on the outer skirts of Addis Ababa, and the GIFF that is being done to them in their names.

          • Abinet

            Hi Kim
            Yes don’t go far just read the eulogy of Ahmad Nur (rip) the former leader . Read also his interview with Saay(?) .very long interview . You will find that he was not allowed to go back to the country he sacrificed since age 16(?) . However,he was allowed to go back to Ethiopia ,to a poor but loving mother he helped bleed to death .You also find he worked very hard in lobbying the Ethiopian government to reduce the number of deportees from Ethiopia . He was boasting that he saved 80% of Eritreans. I imagine him saying “DO NOT let my people go they love slavery”. I am sure he was one of the book burners.
            I wait until Ato Amanuel tell us more .
            Thanks

        • saay7

          Hailat the Great:

          This would ordinarily involve me doing something really cruel –quoting your words back to you, in context, so I can show the readers you were going after the Diaspora Eritrean Woman in toto because, dammitt, you were no longer just angry but really, really angry (which means every bad behavior is justified. But that would have been a “men’s agenda” and my new “women’s agenda” (which, sadly, has no renumeration) requires me to abstain because women don’t like it when we go after each other.

          You are really cute when you get angry.

          saay

        • Amal

          Haile,
          Seems your comfort zone was shaken a bit these past few days? I won’t apologize that my gender exists, welcome to 2014. For the past few days I have been intentionally avoiding any interaction with you because from day one on here, I could sense you would get to this point where you will have to get in a “battle” with another man/men, cause surly women can’t talk for themselves and there must be a man with an agenda behind them for this to be happening to you, for holes to be found in your argument.

          “The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.” Fine!

          But you are not bringing any solutions to us as an opposition movement by just stating the obvious (that’s what the PFDJ wants you to know) without even trying to deconstruct, analyze, find cause and effect and most importantly without at least hinting at a possible action on how we can take steps to win these women on our camp. No no, that’s not the point of your statement. According to you women are:

          Gossipy, Pretentious, poor job in controlling communities. ***

          Basically, if we control these women our problems as an opposition will be solved..right? Since, in your post here women are the root of all evil in our society, How do you suggest we get rid of them? Gas chamber? Lynching? Stoning?

          I don’t have psychic abilities to read your intentions but I have been reading for days all that you wrote on this topic, And to just state “The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.” Is in my view pointless unless one has a deeper understanding of how women are pressured, used and manipulated in the PFDJ. It’s also evident that you don’t know the enemy you claim to oppose because simply you have criminalized the victim.

          But your post is not really about PFDJ is it? Your post talks about a defeated man, a man that couldn’t defend his land, his honor, the only little power he thought he had is to control women so that he can feel a bit of a fake sense of dignity. Of course this is not to you personally but like you said, you are an average Eritrean man so you represent many!

          Dear Haile, set yourself free it’s a new day and none of us need to control another person to feel valid. We have huge problems in our homeland and we won’t solve them by pointing fingers at each others. But by raising up to the challenge and it won’t be easy!

          FYI:
          *woman
          ˈwʊmən/
          noun
          an adult human female.

          *feminism
          ˈfɛmɪnɪz(ə)m/
          noun: feminism
          the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

          *lesbianism
          lez-bee-uh-niz-uh m
          noun
          homosexual relations between women.

        • NMS

          This temper tantrum is actually very helpful in understanding why women are seemingly not present in the opposition movement–part of the original topic, I think. Your comment reads like a passionate diatribe in a (insert favorite opposition org here) meeting. Deviating from the message and demonstrating paranoia that has no bounds is exactly what happens when someone offers a different idea. I guess today is show&tell day at Awate. I’d still like to address your concerns in the context of the topic.
          The women in leadership and decision making roles in Eritrean politics and the current opposition deal with extraordinary societal and cultural expectations and obstacles but still manage to accomplish what men haven’t been able to–public figures and local activists alike. If we’re serious about finding ways to attract MORE women to be vocal and oppose the regime we may have to face that this challenge is two-fold: the old guard opposition orgs, the not-so-young male dominated youth movements and the social media warriors are not tackling the issues women face that prevent them from participating AND they have not been successful at removing the regime–one can conclude this failure is because women are not as active as they were during Ghedli. Forums like this should allow us to collectively focus on the root cause, share insight and debate fresh ideas.
          Such as unpacking this from Sara Ogbay:

          ‘Many women fighters were let down immediately after liberation by both ‘Ghedli’ and by the rest of the society. With whatever level of sense or better call it feeling of gender equality they came, in the liberated Eritrea they were not absorbed by the government and they were not as supported as they should by the whole society. They were frustrated. If they were really [not] emancipated why not fight for their rights?’
          It seems we are still facing very similar issues, with an added bonus of an ineffective movement to operate in.

  • Beyan

    I want to take few moments to reflect on the demonstrations that have been going on by African American citizens in Ferguson, Missouri before I get to the subject at hand. It is safe to say that African Americans have paved the way for millions of immigrants to rip the benefit from their sacrifices, Eritreans are no exception. If it were not for African Americans’ endless sacrifices and their arduous fight to exist and resist extinction, we Africans would not have been welcomed in this country. As a person who calls the U.S. home, I am grateful for their sacrifices and the path they paved for me to live in peace. Yet, the system continues to exact undue burden on African Americans. Ferguson, Missouri is ground zero now, which shows in how the legacy of slavery, perpetual oppression, and the perpetuation of it by the mainstream power structure is playing out on our computer and TV screens. Now, blaming the police, the systematic and increasing militarization of its system would be tantamount to assigning an arsonist to put the fire out as these are only symptoms of the larger problems. Race, class, and power are at play, and these would not be solved by force but via deeper understanding of historical contexts, sociopolitical, cultural, and economic prisms.

    Similarly, seeing Eritrean men, as Eyob aptly put it, addressing women’s issues is akin to that arsonist being assigned to put the fire out. Joan Soctt’s “Theories of Patriarchy,” might best illustrate and proffer a bit of a context in understanding gender roles in Eritrean context: “the study of historical subjection of women by men;” and that “how gender inequality
    structures all other inequalities. Given Eritrea’s historical context, the social, the traditional, the religious, all conspire and are stack against Eritrean woman. For example, the unflattering references, the demeaning and condescending way in which Eritrean women are being touted here is only the symptom of such long held machismo tradition to which we men uncritically accept and unhesitatingly perpetuate; it is easy to see why the collective denigration of Eritrean woman continues unabated when contextualized in such historical narrative.

    In order to fully engage Historians into writing about new history, Scott advocates the need for gender, class, &
    race as a category of analysis. […] An interest in class, race, and gender signaled first, a scholar’s commitment to a history that included stories of the oppressed and an analysis of the meaning and nature of their oppression and, second, scholarly understanding that inequalities of power are organized along at least three axes. […] While “class” most often rests on Marx’s elaborate […] theory of economic determination and historical change, “race’ and “gender” carry no such associations (1054); the nature of “dialectical materialism” that Marxism advances allows no room for “consciousness-raising as feminism’s method of analysis” (1058). Marxism, according to Scott, subordinates gender under the rubric of class in a generic sense.

    At the root of any social, class, gender, religious, political and any other stratification, there rests mode of production impacting it or having causal relations to it. Take for example, Eritrean women’s experience post-independence in that how it was subordinated by the way she earned her living. Therefore, such crucially important subject must be broached with very cautious note and in its proper historical context and heeding Scott’s suggestion might be one constructive way of dealing with gender roles in Eritrea: “Historians need […] to examine the ways in which gendered identities are substantively
    constructed and relate their finding to a range of activities, social organizations, and historically specific cultural representations. The best efforts in this area so far have been, not surprisingly, biographies”(1068). So, the challenge to Historians continues on by the day; now gender and its agencies are being used to analyze history through the feminist lens, a lens worth appropriating as it clearly enriches our grasp and understanding of historical
    account.

  • Beyan

    I want to take few moments to reflect on the demonstrations that have been going on by African American citizens in Ferguson, Missouri before I get to the subject at hand. It is safe to say that African Americans have paved the way for millions of immigrants to rip the benefit from their sacrifices, Eritreans are no exception. If it were not for African Americans’ endless sacrifices and their arduous fight to exist and resist extinction, we Africans would not have been welcomed in this country. As a person who calls the U.S. home, I am grateful for their sacrifices and the path they paved for me to live in peace. Yet, the system continues to exact undue burden on African Americans. Ferguson, Missouri is ground zero now, which shows in how the legacy of slavery, perpetual oppression, and the perpetuation of it by the mainstream power structure is playing out on our computer and TV screens. Now, blaming the police, the systematic and increasing militarization of its system would be tantamount to assigning an arsonist to put the fire out as these are only symptoms of the larger problems. Race, class, and power are at play, and these would not be solved by force but via deeper understanding of historical contexts, sociopolitical, cultural, and economic prisms.

    Similarly, seeing Eritrean men, as Eyob aptly put it, addressing women’s issues is akin to that arsonist being assigned to put the fire out. Joan Soctt’s “Theories of Patriarchy,” might best illustrate and proffer a bit of a context in understanding gender roles in Eritrean context: “the study of historical subjection of women by men;” and that “how gender inequality
    structures all other inequalities. Given Eritrea’s historical context, the social, the traditional, the religious, all conspire and are stack against Eritrean woman. For example, the unflattering references, the demeaning and condescending way in which Eritrean women are being touted here is only the symptom of such long held machismo tradition to which we men uncritically accept and unhesitatingly perpetuate; it is easy to see why the collective denigration of Eritrean woman continues unabated when contextualized in such historical narrative.

    In order to fully engage Historians into writing about new history, Scott advocates the need for gender, class, &
    race as a category of analysis. […] An interest in class, race, and gender signaled first, a scholar’s commitment to a history that included stories of the oppressed and an analysis of the meaning and nature of their oppression and, second, scholarly understanding that inequalities of power are organized along at least three axes. […] While “class” most often rests on Marx’s elaborate […] theory of economic determination and historical change, “race’ and “gender” carry no such associations (1054); the nature of “dialectical materialism” that Marxism advances allows no room for “consciousness-raising as feminism’s method of analysis” (1058). Marxism, according to Scott, subordinates gender under the rubric of class in a generic sense.

    At the root of any social, class, gender, religious, political and any other stratification, there rests mode of production impacting it or having causal relations to it. Take for example, Eritrean women’s experience post-independence in that how it was subordinated by the way she earned her living. Therefore, such crucially important subject must be broached with very cautious note and in its proper historical context and heeding Scott’s suggestion might be one constructive way of dealing with gender roles in Eritrea: “Historians need […] to examine the ways in which gendered identities are substantively
    constructed and relate their finding to a range of activities, social organizations, and historically specific cultural representations. The best efforts in this area so far have been, not surprisingly, biographies”(1068). So, the challenge to Historians continues on by the day; now gender and its agencies are being used to analyze history through the feminist lens, a lens worth appropriating as it clearly enriches our grasp and understanding of historical
    account.

  • Nitricc

    I have a question for everyone who are shooting their mouth.
    You can say whatever you want but I have a strong reference to judge about Eritrean women, my own mother so, I don’t need the likes of Serray and Semere to tell me about the Eritrean women and Gedli. What do they know? when it mattered the most, they left the country like a little girl and they lied their to qualify to be the burden of a socity. The end of story!
    My question to you people shooting your mouth is this…
    When you say the Eritrean women are oppressed or emancipation by the Gedli; what is reference? Who is the measuring mark?
    The Ethiopian women?
    Sudanese women?
    Kenyan Women?
    Indian Women?
    American Women?
    With whom are you referring to come up one way or the other?
    I can tell you my own story and why I positioned the way I do. What I wanted to know is With what are you comparing the Eritrean women?

  • Hayat Adem

    Hellooo friends, waving my hand to you all. Gaps happen. But the good thing about AT is they always keep their door open even for the ones who went awol without hinting.
    This discussion would have been great but we are not in a normal situation. The two most effective accessing points for any sort of independence and emancipation of individuals or group of citizens are income and skill. Women would have focused on building their capacities regarding those two through education and through impacting favorable policies had the entire nation had not been in a rather speedy nosedive crash. If we have to ask of women at this time, it has to be about saving their kids, families and their country, not really about securing their gender equality rights which can be addressed once normalcy is restored. First give their kids and their family back because nothing is more urgent for the mothers. For the ones that are not yet mothers, give them the opportunity to stay at home with their family until marriage, education and career lands them somewhere else. Please shout out for demobilization and normalization! The rest can follow.
    Hayat

    • The secular socialist republic

      So you’re basically saying: “hey women, stay at home ! Let the big men take care of getting ride of Isaias.
      No need to go to school now, you can go later ! And if we never get rid of Shaebia, then you’ll never get equity”
      I’m totally speechless !
      Welcome to the 21st century

      • Hayat Adem

        No, that is not what I’m saying. For women to seek their rights, the field has to be normal. If a plane you are flying in is in trouble, you would be stupid to be concerned about getting a good seat and a nice meal. When I say “staying home”, I mean they should be freed from forced national service and agitated migration.

        • Amal

          Salam Hayat,
          When I read your comment my heart sunk, I too understood your comment to mean that the struggle for the emancipation of women is secondary, in the right setting, when all the planets are aligned sort of.
          Isn’t this what all revolutions told our gender? Where did that leave us? Also, the sooner we accept women as an intelligent being and outside the biological box the better.
          If women are gonna get the respect and their natural position in society as vital stakeholders, it’s women that have to set the time for the initiation of that struggle not be reactive to whatever else is happening around them. After all, nobody is gonna do it for us.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Amal,

            Spot on. How Hayat misses that, I don’t understand it. There is no definite time to fight, women for their emancipation. It should be fought all the time along other issues side by side.

    • Thomas

      Welcome back Hayat! We wish we had millions like you. We reject debating about issues of less priority.

      Some people do not understand the urgency of the situation we are in; and are acting like Marie Antoinette, Queen of French, “Let them eat cake, if they can’t afford bread”. Some women just care more about social aspects; and they can be opportunists at times, so what? Back home, we have a total disaster which has non to do politics, but some subhumans being beasts hunting our people and devastating the nation/culture/value we love.

      If they want to understand each other, they need to read books such as, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” and use it to understand relationship or gender behavioral differences.

  • haileTG

    Dear Shum,

    I think you make a very good point and it is very much likely that what you hold is in fact true. I have a point of view as regards the older generation that is consistent to yours. One of the biggest failures of the diaspora Eritreans in general is our lack of viable communities other than PFDJ cash cows. Our women have not done good job in wrenching back control of this centers because they are used and abused by PFDJ in those centers for cooking, political propaganda, phantom project fund applications…that I only know too well.

    Instead of dealing with this core issue that I touched on my first post, some readers decided to engage in frivolous issues of men vs women that we have little control to influence unless we interact. If the issue at hand is to improve the participation of women, then all views need to be taken on board in good faith. PFDJ spends thousands and thousands of dollars towards its koboro junkies, the face of which is made to be the image of the dominant Eritrean diaspora woman. Now, how to counter balance this image is a discussion and I don’t have the monopoly of wisdom on it.

    Thanks for your balanced feedback though.

    Regards

    • Shum

      Hello haileTG,

      Thanks for your reply. Here are the items I agree with you on and I think I get your message now.

      1. Men and women need to engage each other and not in engage in frivolous issues.
      2. We have failed, overall, to take ownership of our communities and to focus them on the people for our needs

      Where I think we differ is that we’re focusing on the women. I’ll grant you this, the original IM the woman sent to Saay was off-putting to be quite frank. How are we supposed to process the message if we are being insulted? However, what followed in tone was even worse, I have to tell you. It’s not specifically your message but when looked at in totality, it didn’t sound inclusive.

      I have no numbers or conclusive facts to go on, but I think Eritreans in diaspora, by large numbers, are very unhappy with what is going on in their country. But there are many holdouts. Some of it is what I mentioned before about time, energy and resources invested in it. But I think a large part of it is they don’t like the alternative or at least what they perceive as the alternative.

      To your point about the communities, here is where we royally screwed ourselves into a quagmire. We allowed our communities to be too politically tied to PFDJ. Communities should focus on family events, culture, extra-curricular activities, sports, immigration/refugee services, seminars, etc. It should be a place where politics is not even brought up or considered when engaging each other, especially amongst the leadership. And yes we failed to do it. However, it’s not too late. I’m hearing some positive news around the country regarding communities, such as Atlanta, that are taking their communities back. But we still lack trust in each other and this makes very difficult.

      What i’m getting at is we can undo the damage. We need to provide alternatives to our problems. We can’t afford to have more and more people jumping off the Eritrean Enterprise.

  • Amal

    I Agree 100% with your comment. Especially regarding the discussion on this forum and that it’s men discussing the emancipation of women. Much like ” the west bringing democracy to the Middle East” we know how that went.

    Yet again why only Elsa and Meron are the standard that other women in the opposition should be compared to? Does this mean that all women in the opposition should just do what these two ladies are doing to be acknowledged? If so, wouldn’t it again be a case of our society telling women what is expected of us?

    Women are the backbone of all the big oppositional political parties, women are in the forefront of fundraising and charitable work for refugees and orphans and much more. This is before 2001, this is when opposition was not as fashionable as it is today. Are those activities valueless? Sure, In decision making and leadership there is an apparent big gap but that’s hardly women’s fault.

    • NMS

      Thanks Amal, absolutely agreed. I only referenced Elsa and Meron because they’re the most recognized. The reality is that women in the opposition are rarely ‘benched’ and more often than not doing great work like the Stop Slavery Campaign, One Day Seyoum and NEW–all led by amazing young women. The lack of recognition, encouragement and support is an Eritrean syndrome not exclusive to women led initiatives. Hopefully discussions like these help to decrease this.

      • Amal

        Glad you clarified NMS, because I don’t think as women on the same camp, we should give the opportunity to be put against each others.True, the Eritrean syndrome you mentioned might not be exclusive to women but trust me, it’s extremely sensitive and hostile to THINKING women. Women as stakeholder who’s participation is much sought after, only if they follow, cheerlead, dance and of course smile to the camera! A woman that knows what she wants, is a threat not only in politics but in society at large. Unless of course, there is hope that she can be manipulated. By the way, there is nothing wrong with men discussing gender issues. But the problem here was that for some it seemed like a women bashing fest. It’s a social issue like any other and we are ALL responsible for it and as such we should discuss responsibly only then maybe we begin to see eye to eye.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Gash Sale, Sal and everyone (Especially to the followers of Orthodox Tewahido Church)

    Enkuan Aderaschihu

    In case you haven’t remembered. Today is buhe (hoya hoye)

    On Buhe, once the bread is given out for children (us) This is what we say,

    For the women (since this particular article is concerning them,

    The children would say on buhe,

    ይሄ የማነው ቤት የደራ የኮራ

    የመቤቴ ነው የዚያች የቀብራራ

    የኔማ እመቤት ሰጠችኝ ብር

    የብርቀርቃል እዩት ስያምር

    For Gash Saleh and Sal, we would say,

    የወር ፋፋ የወር ፋፋ

    የወለዱት ይፋፋ

    ከበር በስንዴ ከበር በጤፍ

    ምቀኛህ ይርገፍ

    እንደ ቆላ ወፍ

    For everybody else we would say, we would say..

    እንዲሁ እንዳላችሁ ሆ!

    አይለያችሁ

    እንዲሁ እንዳለን ሆ!

    አይለየን

    P.S Gash Saleh, please help with the translation for those who are short in Amharic… 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWRPkpH_Dw

    • Saleh Johar

      Eyob, You better do it in English Eyob.

      Let me try the first one:

      Who lives in that splendid, glorious house?
      It’s for my glamorous gentlewoman
      My gentlewoman who gave me a silver dollar
      Behold, watch its shine and glitter!

      Nice 🙂

      • Eyob Medhane

        Gash Saleh,

        Wow. Pretty Good….Now take your virtual bread… 🙂

    • Tesfu

      Hi Eyob,
      halfway through listening to the beats I thought I was in Old Areport”/ Sarbetotsh’ Thanks, a lot of memory sprung for few minutes

  • saay7

    Selamat Awatistas:

    In its March 2014 symposium, the newly-formed Network of Eritrean Women (NEW) discussed, among other things, the role of women in the Eritrean opposition and the culture of Eritrean opposition organizations. Here’s an address by Dr. Almaz Zerai as presented by Smerrr-TV. You can hear a pin drop: It starts at the 40:54 mark.

    http://youtu.be/lHUAnseNUFA?t=40m54s

    saay

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Saay:
      Before recovering from what you said afflicted me lately, I had the pleasure to attend this weekend a fundraiser event for a newly founded women’s group called Snit. The founders are diverse. One of the founding members a former NUEW organizer spoke passionately lamenting that how for decades they were stifled subltly from conducting activities that advanced women’s issued and how they were reduced to funder raiser machines for the regime and “koboro” dancers. Attendants were from as far as NY, Winnipeg, Calgary, Ottawa. But men outnumbered the women in attendance
      This awaking by Eritrean women must be encouraged as it heralds the ultimate breakage of the shackles of PFDJ that we debated for the last few days. My friend Ghezae Hagos was in love with name of of this group so much that he spoke about the meaning and its etymology all night, he can explain why 😉
      Sem

      • Tzigereda

        Dear Semere,
        Thanks for the good news that you participated! kematenin, kemakhan yibzhu!

    • Rahwa T

      Wow ! great presentation. Nice flow if ideas.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista and AS (awate staff)

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to have a sober look back at the stuff we said last week 🙂

    In a serious side, it is really nice to unpick all the relevant comments and present them in a stand alone format that can be read without distraction.

    Some people think that the feminist movement was built on exaggerations of a patriarchal society. And wit a visible levels of “misandry” here in the western world, new migrant communities (including most Eritrean refugee families) are adversely impacted. They may not be aware of the fact that the system favored (by design rather than intent) divorce over family and it may not also yield to perpetuating the traditional status qou mentality of maintaining a family unit.

    The Eritrean woman of the post 90’s is totally different and can no longer be seen in the traditional ghedli inspired picturesque settings. The modern Eritrean woman is very much the product of the embattled situation we find ourselves in. Most marry for visa and unceremoniously divorce after arriving here and others have challenging skill and educational levels and hence instigate becoming single mothers for housing and welfare benefits. Still many spend single life till their early forties or late thirties and the men’s perpetration of such by going to Eritrea to marry half their age shouldn’t be overlooked.

    The modern Eritrean diaspora woman has, overall, did a poor job in controlling community activities to advance the interests of her family and children. Many became PFDJ disposable koboro holders, their kids have long abandoned their language and culture and she seems very proud to show off that her kids and family are more westernized than the westerners themselves. As I mentioned above, the prevalence of misandry in contemporary westernized environment and the tired, weak, traumatized and softly spoken Eritrean man has also a lot to blame to the current situation of a failed Eritrean cultural values in the diaspora.

    Hence, let’s not simply jump into the established theories to explain away what is ailing us. Let’s examine ourselves and then use theories to validate or reject our findings.

    cheers

    • Ermias

      HTG, if anyone is worried is that we have a collapsing nation, that’s not all. We have a much more distressing problem and that is exactly what you described – a very confused society of men and women from all walks of life, be it born and raised in the west, FOB, former fighters, professors who were sent to the US by janhoy in the 60s. Everyone seems suspicious, insecure, and worse yet we now have a culture of deceit, double standards, and back stabbers. Who is to blame? PFDJ? This is a continuation of the contradiction of the Eritrean mind.

      I find Ethiopians much more content and proud. I used to work at a grocery store back in my teens. Nearly every Ethiopian searches for me to simply say hello, come through my line. With Eritreans, specially the middle aged women completely opposite. If you notice, if you ran into then accidentally, they automatically think you are following them and hitting on them. It’s a crazy and confused world of Eritreans. That’s my opinion and that saddens me!

      • Nitricc

        Ermias say what now? lol
        you said
        “specially the middle aged women completely opposite. If you notice, if you ran into then accidentally, they automatically think you are following them and hitting on them”
        The middle aged women thought you were hitting on them? Lol
        Seriously! Ermias? Well, it is easy to see from what you have posted; who is confused.
        Why are you a follower? Just to agree with what Haile had to say; you run-over Eritrean mothers? Dude, you got a problem. You don’t have to agree with anyone; say what you think. What the….

      • haileTG

        Selamat Ermias

        Let’s consider this: there root causes and there are symptoms. Now considering the what you are perceiving, as described above, what are you looking at? The root cause is the stifling of normality in Eritrean life (be it at home or abroad) by PFDJ. We were set develop like any other people but post independence ushered a sickened mind at the helm of our country. That was later to be an open madness all the way to the current orgy of mass killing. Yes, the root cause is the entity that was trusted to spearhead nation building. Instead Eritreans were shown to be what they are today. Let’s admit it, we have a tough job ahead of us because most of our people have lost hope and are quietly, quickly and en mass jumping off the Eritrea enterprise.

        30 years of diaspora experience has gone down the drain and there is nothing that the earlier migrants can pass their offspring born here, no community for them to fall back in the fast approaching old age and some of them are beating that stupid hgdef koboro in the hope PFDJ will resolve their grim prospect. The diaspora was rendered a PFDJ cash cow with the full aiding abating of the Eritrean diaspora woman. Many of these women lived for the day and never acted in any enlightened way than their male counterpart. They danced all this decades in rented PFDJ halls and still doing so, irresponsible to some extent but lack of skill and inspiration to the most part.

        The Eritrean diaspora woman culture nowadays is atrocious, viciously gossipy and pretentious. The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman. The few courageous once are heart warming and reassuringly inspirational, but truth be told, HGDEF has played them to the hilt and is about to leave them hanging high and dry in their twilight years. They never insisted to put the interests of their children ahead, interests of their people and the rights of their husbands and brothers and sons. They know Eritrean youth need permit to enter Asmara, they know the rape issues of Sawa, they know the men and women raped and losing their minds is Sinai and Libya… yet they crossed over the bodies of dead Eritrean children, to do their sick koboro addiction. That is the hard and cold fact, I got pictures and videos to prove it too:-)

        Our saay here is is saying certain forms of talk is discouraging them, but he is not saying:

        1- What proportion of the problem does his “assessment” constitute

        2 – On average, do more justice seekers or more pro regime use foul language here? If his theory is to be taken for a test drive, then one would assume the flow of women be in the opposite direction than what he is implying.

        Regards

        • Saleh Johar

          Selam HaileTG,

          “The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.”

          I love the above quote from your comment so much that I am going to use it. And I am not asking permission 🙂

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Saleh.
            I disagree and prefer to say that the majority of the Eritrean diaspora women belong to the “silent majority”.

          • haileTG

            Dear Tzigereda,

            Silent of what? and most importantly why? It is my understanding that I am discussing the role of the Eritrean diaspora woman vis-a-vis the situation of our country. I am not discussing the general virtues of woman and matters of gender politics. PFDJ is enabled to the brim politically and in kind by the diaspora Eritrean woman. The image of Lampedusa is a woman, she was personified in Michael Adonay’s depiction. It didn’t move the Eritrean diaspora woman in huge deal. Independence days and Festivals came and went telling pretty much the same story as ever. I value justice seeking women, but if there is women politicking is the order here, I am on the sidelines 😉

          • Tzigereda

            Dear HaileTG,
            And what is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora men?

          • haileTG

            Dear Tzigereda

            Our dominant image is : gutless, weak and talkative 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Tsegereda,
            Indeed, we can have different appraisal of what the perception is. Regardless of the reality, Haile’s statement captures the perception. And I believe it is the observation that we need to address more than the reality. The silent have chosen to be silent, and little can be done to make them “unsilent” more than what everyone is doing. Unfortunately, those few Koboro Junkies are defining Diaspora women more than any other.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Hailat,

          Oh man! I don’t know whether you study sociology or not, but this comment has a lot of sociological prowse and ingredients. The way you read the socio-political activities of Eritrean society is amazing. your linguistic choice to explain your core message is so simplistic and crystal clear to stick in the mind of your readers. Keep up. But don’t forget your promise…….you know it.

          regards,
          AHT

        • saay7

          Haile the great:

          Hmmm. You say the face of the Eritrean diaspora woman is the “koboro junkie” PFDJ woman (you don’t need stats because you have videos don’t you know) and you say that my assessment that our discourse influences our appeal (or lack of) to women (based my admittedly small and unscientific survey) is not quantifiable.

          So the face of the Diaspora woman is the PFDJ koboro junkie (Haile TG), the face of the Diaspora youth in is self-centered and uninterested in Justice (Semere A), the Ghedli generation is confused (Serray), the Christian highlander is suicidal (YG).

          And, oh yes, it is futile to try to win them over (Haile G, Serray)

          To paraphrase the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons: Worst. Posting. Ever.

          saay

          • Papillon

            Dear Sal,

            The Diaspora Eritrean woman is like the moon. She has a dark side and a bright side as well. The former dances the night away in a festival ad infinitum and the latter wails and grieves the death of her brothers and sisters in the Sinai and the merciless High Seas.

            Haft’kha.

          • saay7

            Papillon:

            Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, begs to disagree. The last line from “Eclipse”:

            Eclipse
            (Waters) 2:04

            All that you touch
            All that you see
            All that you taste
            All you feel.
            All that you love
            All that you hate
            All you distrust
            All you save.
            All that you give
            All that you deal
            All that you buy,
            beg, borrow or steal.
            All you create
            All you destroy
            All that you do
            All that you say.
            All that you eat
            And everyone you meet
            All that you slight
            And everyone you fight.
            All that is now
            All that is gone
            All that’s to come
            and everything under the sun is in tune
            but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

            “There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”

          • Mahmud Saleh

            saay;
            So, let’s have some tea break.
            1. Who is your rock band? Why?
            2. Is there any other band that rivals Pink Floyd’s stage performance (acoustics wise and lighting)
            3. Who is your favorite guitarist and why? Where would you put David Gilmour? in comparison to his peers (clapton, keith R, Pete T, Joe P…Santana…) * Hendrix is out for now.
            4. Who is your favorite Eritrean Guitarist and why?

          • Papillon

            Dear Sal,

            I sure don’t want to bore you with philosophical ጋዕገልጠም but at least part of the moon’s side is willing to receive and reflect light—-a metaphor for the good-Eritrean-woman. Again, the question abounds: is the burning ball (read: Sun) a thing in itself or a reflection of our perception? Or is it a reflection of Aristotelian Forms? How do we known with an absolute certainty that it actually exists for the only certainty is Cogito Ergo Sum.

            P.S. Hope you will go easy on me.

            Haft’kha.

          • Shum

            Maybe the Moon is a fitting symbol for these Koboro junkies. Their motto seems to be “Zibereqe Tzehayna”. Sounds like the Moon to me. Saay, the way you summed up Haile, Semere and other’s themes is very concerning. I feel our people have lost faith in each other. We seem to be saying these people will never learn without trying to figure out how to reach them.

            I don’t want to defend these women at these functions because it bothers me too. That being said, I know for a fact that some of them are there due to pressure from their friends and immediate circle. A lot of them are afraid to speak out. For them, this is all they know. It’s hard to give up on something that you have invested so much, especially if you don’t see a good alternative. We can choose to win them over or we can write them off as lost souls. I personally don’t like writing them off as lost souls.

            But why are we focusing on the women? There are plenty of men in these festivals and celebrations. We don’t call them out for their BS. Of course, you’ll see women doing the dancing and playing the drums. That’s how it is in our culture and in a lot of cultures. We don’t scrutinize the men this way. The women are put on the posters for a reason. PFDJ knows what Aklilu Zere knew in his article when he wrote:

            “The best friends of the monks were the highland women, who embodied Christianity by body and spirit and carried the Cross in their heart and boldly tattooed it in their forehead for everyone to see and witness. The monks were always suspicious of the highland men and did not trust them. They considered them weak spirited, less committed, wanderers and ignorant.”

            I’m not equating the monks to PFDJ. I’m saying institutions like religion and political cultures like PFJD make their case on similar moral grounds: sacrifice, martyrdom, steadfastness and faith. They are two institutions with rigid hierarchies and unbending rules. For traditionalist cultures like ours, we become susceptible to this authoritarian mode of thinking and do things that we would not normally do.

            The question is how do we delegitimize PFDJ? If we just focus on the supporters as the target, then I’m afraid we won’t see change. We have to chip away at PFDJ’s legitimacy. Like it or not, they have the legitimacy amongst a lot of people even though their actions and policies are reckless. This legitimacy took years to cultivate. Meanwhile, I see people trading insults on EYSC page, bashing women and losing hope for a better tomorrow. It reminds me of Miriam September’s posting when she said, amongst other things:

            “We listen to the reports on betrayal and crimes committed by Higdef, we take in stories about the imprisoned, the impoverished, the tortured, the drowned, the shot, the family tragedies, the pain, the tears. Some talk about the uselessness of the liberation struggle into which we invested 30 years, others about the hopelessness of the opposition, or the ineffectiveness of the youth.”

            Even with the gains we have made as a people in terms of exposing PFDJ and convincing others to abandon it, we remain stuck on bashing each other.

          • saay7

            Shum:

            Bingo bingo bingo bingo bingo. Did I say bingo?:)

            The Eri opposition is addicted to antagonizing its own members by taking turns to pick random and completely senseless fights. But the “koboro junkie” attack by Haile TG has to be the most senseless of all. He managed to outdo Semere As even more random attack on the youth he met in Italy.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Dear saay

            “”The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.”

            I am not responsible for what or how people read.

            Thanks

          • saay7

            Hailat:

            Is this sentence the same as : “The dominant image of the Eritrean Diaspora woman is the face of the HGDEF koboro junkie”? when Tzigerade said “I disagree the dominant image is the face of the Silent Majority” and not the koboro junkie, you didn’t ask and what does that face, the face of the silent majority look like? You asked silent why?

            What am I missing Haile the great?

            saay

          • haileTG

            Saay

            1 – No it is not the same thing, please read my other entry.

            2 – My first impression was that she is saying they are “silent” and not in the image that is discussed. The why and what were meant to follow up the discussion but I later understood that Tzigereda was dealing with gender politics instead. I was alerted to this with her next give away question that followed.

            You and Tzigereda wanted to read ” The dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman is that of a HGDEF koboro junkie”

            I am not in a position to sample the “entire” women but fully aware of “the image of the HGDEF koboro junkie”.

          • Amal

            A breath of fresh air!!

          • haileTG

            Merhaba saay,

            Here is an interesting formula:

            1/2 (Truth) + 1/2 (Truth) = Lie

            Reality is not negotiable, but what people wish to fake as real is. The story of a silently weeping diaspora Eritrean woman distraught by the plight of her people, the death and abandonment of Eritrean youngsters, the wailing of a desperate Eritrean mother crossing inhospitable terrains to find a place to raise her kids away from the terror of the and what have you may be true of many justice seeking women, nonetheless a half truth. However, it may help to whiten the stained conscience of the HGDEF koboro junkie who jumped over justice seekers coffins in Boston and the others who swarmed the dance floor minutes after being told the Lampedusa incident in Atlanta (with the PFDJ operative leading the show who said it was too late to cancel the show because the bodies of 366 Eritreans crammed in sunken ship wasn’t big enough to shock him).

            A desperate opposition telling rosy story to entice is half truth and a gender pride refusing to see the dark reality is also a half truth. Together, they are telling hmmmm a negotiated version of the reality. For me, things are beyond politics now. So much has happened in a short while and it is imperative for me to keep my hands clean in the midst of things that are happening and I never imagined they would ever happen. It is a matter of shielding my loved once from generational curse by bearing a false witness for thirty pieces of silver.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hailat:

            The oppositions favorite all time slogan is: “Betrey habuni zeHmqo aleni.” Let’s identify the gender of the keneHmqom zeyka’alna:

            1. Isaias Afwerki and his
            2. Security chiefs
            3. Military chiefs
            4. Kbur Zebegna
            5. Human traffickers
            6. Organ traders
            7. The People who sentences the G-15 in the “National Assembly”
            8. The prison wardens
            9. The guns for hire
            10. The official and unofficial spokespersons

            And the “abo gwyla” at the PFDJ fundraisers and the ones with the giant pics of Isaias Afwerki…

            saay

          • saay7

            From the PFDJ festival in Oakland, CA last weekend.

            My lying eyes say the person carrying the pic of El Bruto is a guy.

            I think we should now initiate a discussion about why do guys carry Isaias pictures and dance at parties. Wink.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Saay, I bet I saw somewhere in the PG we were supposed to discuss the article we’re commenting under??? You are now asking us to discuss men instead? OK, one brownie point off your basket 🙂

          • saay7

            Haile TG:

            I am? I thought the topic was “why aren’t voices of Eritrean women heard in the opposition?” And what u are arguing is the equivalent of “because they are too busy being PFDJ koboro junkies.”

            Am I missing something? I mean you said it then you repeated it to Tzigereda.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Dear saay,

            You are ABSOLUTELY misrepresenting the view as I stated it:

            “The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman.”

            HGDEF invests tremendous amount of resource and organization in KOBORO enterprise, the image of this koboro is “dominated” by the image of the Eritrean diaspora woman. Women are the dancing ushers when PFDJ bosses arrive, almost every image is distributed by PFDJ itself and for a reason.
            For why the women aren’t in the opposition, my take is that they share a big portion of the blame and yours is that something wrong with the opposition takes the blame. So far I haven’t read a substantive evidence to think that your take represents the bulk of the problem. I haven’t gone overboard in my assessment, but so far you made sooo bizarre conclusions and I am just saying to me…doesn’t saay know me better than this! That I actually get extremely tenacious in the face of those who like to have it roughshod 🙂

          • saay7

            Hailat the Gr8:

            I will pause to let others point out the difference between what u r saying and how I am reading it.

            We will resume the discussion after we put it in context. As far as whether it’s perception or reality, I did share a video of NEW, and 100% (ok, 4 of 4:) of the women who have commented find fault with the approach of the orgs.

            Now as far as the “koboro” image: is it unique to PFDJ or is it endemic in all parties that women are over represented in the dance floors? And the corollary to that, are men over represented in the hang-out-in-the-parking-lot and smoke and do anything but dance?:)

            For example, here’s one I saw from a “Keren lovers reunion.” Yep, apparently somebody loves that mountain-island (mou-land) enough to celebrate it. Guess where all the men are? Out in the parking lot smoking is my guess:))

          • haileTG

            Hey saay,

            NMS has just referred to the Koboro junkie image as “pfdj tactic to inspire a festive mood”. All I am saying that HGDEF has painted a face for it and this face is the “dominant Eritrean diaspora woman” -the flag draped mothers, flag bandana wearing woman… The patronizing tone of NMS aside, there is nothing wrong that they think most women are silent (not only NMS thinks that but also considers it “obvious”). That is fine, but no amount of self serving would suffice, the fact that I can live and breath what (to the best of my knowledge) I hold to be true, is the biggest blessing of fully distancing my ways from that of PFDJ. I will never enter a world of lies ever again, regardless of what is promised. I live and work among Eritrean women, some are exactly the way you describe them and others extremely disheartening. I can assure you that I am not isolated and trying to figure it out by following cyber info. I am not ashamed to fully agree many “older men” are also shamefully a good accessory of the HGDEF koboro junkies. I have no hard data, but majority of male youth have long deserted the koboro junkies and Bologna 40 is a living testimony.

            regards

          • NMS

            It’s disingenuous to take words/phrases out of context. I was referring to the few images of women being circulated and rejecting the false claim that they represent the entirety of diaspora (silent majority) women–a claim you introduced. Maybe this is not so obvious? To state another pesky obvious detail: the silent majority is comprised of both men and women, young and old….party/festival goers and those that don’t attend these events. Choosing to discuss the absence of women in the opposition by labeling them as ‘koboro junkies’ completely eliminates the possibility of any thoughtful discussion. I don’t understand how clarifying this is an indictment on the ‘real opposition’ (as per Thomas).

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Just an observation. I didn’t mean to get into discussion of ‘Eritrean women by Eritrean men’. The dude, who was carrying Isayas’ picture is surrounded by women, who I assume all of them are Eritrean. I think that makes Haile’s argument pretty clear. Quite a lot of Eritrean women dance to El Bruto’s parties. Just on the picture that you provided his picture happens to be carried by a guy……Just saying….Carry on…

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            No, sir, I don’t understand Haile’s argument; nor the difference between what he wrote and how I was reading it. Here it is in context:

            “The Eritrean diaspora woman culture nowadays is atrocious, viciously gossipy and pretentious. The face of the HGDEF koboro junkie is the dominant image of the Eritrean diaspora woman. The few courageous once are heart warming and reassuringly inspirational, but truth bt told, HGDEF has played them to the hilt and is about to leave them hanging high and dry in their twilight years.”

            This was doubled on in his reply to Tzigereda:

            “I am not discussing the general virtues of woman and matters of gender politics. PFDJ is enabled to the brim politically and in kind by the diaspora Eritrean woman. The image of Lampedusa is a woman, she was personified in Michael Adonay’s depiction. It didn’t move the Eritrean diaspora woman in huge deal.”

            I believe that people make mistakes (I make them often) and those who write more stumble more. But in this particular case, Haile TG is insisting he is misunderstood. What am I getting wrong? Help! Maybe you can translate it to Amharic because my English is getting rusty? 🙂

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            I largely stayed away from this discussion, because it specifically designed to discuss Eritrean women in Eritrean politics and generally Eritrean women. A subject I can’t elaborate confidently other than having a general opinion. However, in my ‘observer’ status, I noticed Haile’s description of how he sees Supporting role of Eritrean women to Isayas. I would like to focus on your response without supporting or opposing his position. You provided a picture of a guy carrying Isayas pictures to oppose Haile’s argument that many diaspora Eritrean women slavishly adhere to PFDJ politics on the face of their kin death and destruction of their country. You seemed to bring up that picture to refute that fact and to say ‘no Haile. Guys do that too, and here is the proof. A guy is carrying Isayas’ picture just last week’. What I as an outsider observed was that, by providing that picture, you proved his assertion that huge proportion of women are dancing to the tune of PFDJ. Because, on that picture, even if it was a guy that carried Isayas’ picture, he was surrounded by very large number of women, all of could be safely assumed to be Eritreans. So by providing, such a feeble ‘evidence’ you have strengthened Haile’s argument, instead of refuting it… That is my take, sir…

            P.S How did you like my ‘Hoya Hoye’ video? 🙂

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            Andandye doro neh ebakeh:)

            Haven’t seen hoyona hoye yet. I thought our video sharing schedule was on Saturdays?

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Today is buhe..it is a special occasion, and if you want your bread, like Gash Saleh received his, go and look at, and in the song there is a special stanza for you spelled out in Amharic. So go, scroll up a bit and look at it and get back to me… Your ‘mulmul’ is waiting for you… (You don’t know what mulmulis? Well, watch it, then you will know… 🙂

          • Abinet

            Eyobe,
            What if the women brought a man to carry the picture because they consider it as TABOT . It is filseta anyway.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abi…

            That was hilarious….You are something else… :-)………By the way, I never miss your posts, brilliant!!!!!!

          • Abinet

            Eyobe
            Thanks.where is my mulmul ?melkam awde amet .
            I never miss your posts .you are the best.

          • haileTG

            haha…nice one saay,

            albeit logically flawed. So let me follow the logic:

            No point going after Women when there are “abo gwyla”

            10 – No point going after abo gwayla when there are official and unofficial spokespersons

            9 – No point going after official and unofficial spokespersons when there are the guns for hire

            8 – No point going after the guns for hire when there are the prison wardens

            7 – No point going after the prison wardens when there are people who sentenced the G15 in NA

            6 – No point going after the people who sentenced the G15 in NA when there are organ traders

            5 – No point going after the organ traders when there are Human traffickers

            4 – No point going after the Human traffickers when there are kbur zebegna

            3 – No point going after the kbur zebegna when there are military chiefs

            2 – No point going after the military chiefs when there are the security chiefs

            1 – No point going after the security chiefs when there is Isaias Afewerki !!!!

            See how it resolves itself into your central argument that IA is the only problem and reformed HGDEF can come in a piece meal 🙂

          • saay7

            Hailat:

            But that’s exactly the point isn’t it? We can’t go after Isaias so we go after his perceived strong men. In this process of continuous diminishing challenges, we have gone after women (for dancing.) with that mission accomplished I think we should go after their daughters and after that their Barbie dolls. Onwards and forward!

            saay

          • haileTG

            hey saay,

            I think you’re designating a pattern for an argument’s sake. Otherwise, the absconding/silence/outright dancing for hgdef of our women is evaluated for its own merits. Doing so neither validates the others nor diminish the need to hold them to account. We are talking the role of diaspora women and instead of appraising it for its own merits in good faith, it is being manipulated to create a non-existent relationships with other entities. It is perfectly normal to go after all 10 of them and for one and only one objective, rule of law. Polemical prescriptions can’d do the trick here. There is no valid justification to show that all are not interconnected and dealing with one undermines the whole of PFDJ proportionally. Cheers

          • NMS

            If I may, I think you’re grasping here Haile. It’s my understanding that this male dominated discussion of the emancipation of Eritrean women is not an invitation to make blanket statements for the sake of discussion, but to contribute thoughtful and constructive ideas. Writing off an entire segment of a population as ‘koboro junkies’ because of an obvious pfdj tactic to inspire a festive mood is lazy and unhelpful. If you were going for shock value, it worked. But the reality is that most diaspora women are ‘silent’ and most of the women festival attendees do not pose for pics to be distributed on social media so you are reducing all diaspora Eritrean women to a few viral pics and distracting from the value of this discussion.

  • saay7

    Selamat Awatistas:

    When we discuss emancipation, we have to ask “from what?” The promise of Ghedli was that it wouldn’t just emancipate Eritrea (and all Eritreans including women, of course) form Ethiopian occupation, but it would emancipate different social clases/segments from their oppressors. In the parlance of Marxism-Leninism, that meant (whether that existed in Eritrea) that the landless peasants were going to be emancipated from the feudal lords; the poor would be emancipated from the exploitation of the rich; the serfs from the aristocrats; the workers from the bosses; the women from the men.

    Leaving the textbooks and going to reality, what does emancipation of women from men mean in Eritrea? It meant having:

    * uniform policies for boys and girls (as it relates to, for example, school enrollment; military service)
    * uniform policies for men and women on land ownership
    * uniform policies for men and women on civil codes: marriage, divorce, inheritance
    * empowering women to make decisions on issues that affect only them: abortion, female genital mutilation (FGM)
    * economic empowerment with micro-loans

    Dr. Sarah has already addressed the Eritrean regime’s report card on women-in-the-workplace (failing grade.) The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) consistently show that primary enrollment for females is significantly lower than males. The issue of land ownership has become a moot issue: rather than empowering women, it disempowered men: both are now dependent on the kindness of the government.

    The civil codes (marriage, divorce, inheritance) are a tough issue and they will remain tough for any government. How far does a government push to advance equality when customs, religion say they are not equal. So, the regime has gone back and forth on this: it pushes hard, then retreats, then pushes hard, then retreats.

    As for abortion (illegal in Eritrea) and FGM (Eritrea was the last country in Africa to ban it), I don’t know how high that is on women’s issues. Whenever I have referred to NUEW website for guidance, I never see a white paper, a policy that is any different from that which is espoused by other mass orgs.

    The economic empowerment of women by extending credit for small business was very promising in the mid 1990s (around the time Hillary Clinton visited and wore her zuria) but it appears to have fallen through the PFDJ crack of no-follow through.

    One thing I did observe is that anytime Eri-TV is giving a report that has any figures (stats), it always discloses what percentage of the total are women. Something like “1200 graduates of whom 300 are women…” This tells me that there is a policy somewhere: either mandated by an external funding source, or via internal policy.

    What I find stunning is that the stats for “delyti fitHi” (again, you folks insist on using this phrase just to annoy me:) are horrible (at the civil society and political organization level) and the assault on women-on-opposing side is as horrific as personal as PFDJ media used to be in the first decade of 2000. The boys are saying “boys-will-be-boys”, except that their drivers license says they are not boys but men:)

    saay

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Ahlen Saay,

      In your last note of your comment and the link you provided us, you brought it to justify why at certain point did support the PFDJ. The character of our people – the can do attitude, can’t in anyway make you to support the PFDJ regime and its governing institutions. The Link you provided us only represent to the instinct of Eritrean mind set, on self-reliance in the struggle of survival. It has nothing to do with PFDJ. But the “can do attitude” in itself alone doesn’t take you anywhere, unless you know what you need, how to interact with the world community, how to build a nation, and the rules of commerce and economic interaction with world community. What ever government comes and goes, the character of Eritrean people remains constant and is independent from what a government can and can’t do. A government can or can’t be supported by what it did and didn’t do to its people.

      Olga only represent to the “can do” Eritrean character. The Eritrean character and the PFDJ character are different things. By that I mean the governing character and the society character are not the same. It doesn’t go side by side all the time. For instance the existing government (PFDJ) doesn’t give the freedom to exercise the creative and imaginative mind of Eritrean people, while the desire of our people persisting.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Ambassador

    Women fought like men;
    Women in ghedli;
    Women in opposition,
    Women’s sacrifice

    Do we really need battles as a context to show how emancipated Eritrean women are? Don’t you see the logical incoherence of calling severed or dead women emancipated? “Fought like men”…. Seriously; all we can do about women emancipation is turning them into men warriors? Or, was it considered an upgrade from EPLF’s women characterization as a fierce animal (haras nebri)? Taking men as standard towards which women can be emancipated to scale is subjugating from the get go. You can’t think of women emancipation as such without first accept their perceived inadequacies. There you have it….the moment you think of emancipating women towards men, you are born as big time misogynist.

    Emancipation has to be about opportunities, leveling the playing field and removing institutional and cultural discrimination; and you will see how adequate women are to play it right.

    Serray has gotten it in this regard….Kudos to you brother/sister!

    • Nitricc

      “Emancipation has to be about opportunities, leveling the playing field and removing institutional and cultural discrimination; and you will see how adequate women are to play it right.”
      Talk about contradiction!!!!
      Whenever this guy posts; his posts are very shallow and superficial.
      If Emancipation is an opportunity to leveling the playing field; then, if women supposed to not fight like a men and turn out to fight as such; is not an opportunity for the women in leveling the playing field? If women are institutionalized to serve and obey to men unconditionally and women say screw to that due to Gedli experience; is not Emancipation to an opportunity to change and remove any cultural discrimination?
      People just stop beating around the bushes and come out; say it!
      what you fools trying to say is this; Gedli Liberated Eritrean women i.e. we, Eritrean ignorant men; miss the unconditional obedience and absolute control once our father had. That all your freaking point! Guess what; those days are gone bye-bye and go screw your self. You are 2014; when are you going to wake up and face reality?

      • saay7

        Ah, Nitricc:

        Based on my very unscientific survey of a small sample, I can tell you that the language you used in this post is a turn-off to the very women on whose behalf you are advocating. So, you have your own contradiction too.

        Related to the issue: years ago, we wrote a piece here at awate about how Sawa had become a rape and concubine camp. The issue was so pervasive that the regime went on its own fact-finding and several policy revisions to minimize the risk of sending young women to predators. But, in the meantime, Dr. Mussie Misgina (whatever happened to him?) wrote a piece for Alenalki or Biddho (I forget) saying that there is no merit to what we wrote: the only reason we wrote what we did is that we are Muslim fundamentalists and we don’t believe in women’s rights.

        So, to use his logic, to be advocates of women’s rights we had to be advocates of their right to be placed in an environment with predators.

        Don’t use MM logic please.

        saay

        • Nitricc

          SAAY:
          I have no idea what you are talking about? You got expline my contradiction with what i have posted. You should have known by now that i am fanctioning with a single donated brian cell. 🙂
          For real i have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Semere Andom

    Awate staff:

    Good call. I guess this was harvesting week-)

    The picture depicts it all about how tenacious Eritrean women are. In Kebessa country at least they do double the work, playing important supporting role to the man outside the house and then tending the never ending house hold chores with a smile on their faces, with humor, love and faith. And it is Ghedli that depict the Eritrean woman personified in the Askalu’s and Amna’s, who betrayed the women and decided selfishly to be the subservient of the enslaver of women

    As if I questioned the running stamina of the woman listen to what Mahmuday told me when he defended Askalu: “even in her fifties, she will chase you ….”. note he did not say she will chase your arguments and destroy your debates with facts, he did not say she will articulate her points to win you over how EPLF has elevated women, he said chase you as what she did to the women languishing in jail under her coward watch. I am sure Askalu will bring some example of how in the filed men were cooking food along side the woman, but it was a Freudian slip from Mahmuday, that deeply embedded warrior and chaser mentality “tseblel zble”

    Taking credit of others sweet and blood is the hallmark of Eritrea’s rulers and to address our emotions they preach to us that women were in the front lines, making 30% of the EPLF fighters and so on, please do not preach us we believe in what the Eritrean woman accomplished we are not converted we are the brothers, cousins and loved ones of the women you are enslaving and defending their enslavers, we are saying you did not elevate women from the what this picture is depicting as before they were doing double of the work in Ghedli and now after independence you, the supporters, sanitizers are have added an other dimension to their suffering when your striped them the power of their femininity by supplanting them with the Sophias and buried their bravery along with them. It is even evident in your language when addressing the coward enemy you say, “zgedflanlen yblan, wedi memhir, belen , belen”

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Sem A
      You chose that line from all those comments I made? ወይ ኣነ!! Come on, wedi Andom, you’re getting better, you’ve already reported your participation in Snit’s women’s workshop. That’s commendable. Well, I don’t really judge you wed Andom. I sense deep down you’re a gentle man who wants to see his mom, sister and friend emancipated. I know your ghedli memory is screwing things up; that happens to me too sometimes. Engineer nitricc is working on designing a carrier device that can fool your selective memory so that you get a much wider panorama. Awate Staff did a wonderful job for organizing the comments so readers can have their judgement and not the one you selected for them. Well, how about the report? With all due respect from your friendly friend; and awaiting your Tigrayt poem/humor.

      • Semere Andom

        Vet Mahmuday:

        No need to go to memory we have the product and the process,I chose the most telling line from your comment 🙂 but that is for a next discussion. Here is a Tigrayat , please translate it

        ቲግራይት ምን ብዲር ፍተክዋ

        ላክን ሕብሽታይ አና ትግራይት ሰኒ ይኣምርክዋ፣

        ሓብሽ ፋቲ ኣንታ በለኒ ሳልሕ ሞዳይካ

        ዲብ አስምራ ሓዝክዋ ውዲብ መንድፍራ

        ዲብ መንሱራ ሓዝክዋ ዎዲብ ክሰላ

        ጽብታ ልጣ አምርኮ ዲብ አርትሪአያ፣

        ሕንኮቶት አመርኮ ዲብ ክስላ ፣

        አኺራን ዎ ለይሳ አኺራን ዲብ ካናዳ ረክብክዋ ዲብ ዓድ ኽዋጃ 🙂

        PS. Sorry Gadi and others loves of Tigayit, I know I have mutilated it here, but I have comply with Teg Mahmud for fear of sending me to Halewa Sewara 🙂
        ሓብሽ ፋቲ= Habesha romantic

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Sem A;
          Gadi will let you pass as a serious Tigrayt speaker at least based on this word ሕንከቶ/ሕንከቶተት you get those type of words from native speakers, good job. This will cover all the other unfortunate shetaHtaHat ( terminology not mine, blame it on SAAY) of the past weeks.

  • Ermias

    Alright now. I have earned some bragging rights. Nitricc for certain and probably many others think Ermias (first time referring myself as a third person) is good for nothing. Well think again. This article or awate collection of comments was inspired by none other than yours truly when I wrote a memorandum to the peace club part of which read:

    “As part of our peace club manifesto, we need to have some strategies to retain every woman that shows up here. ወላ ብጌጋ ኣብዚኣ ዝዓለበት፤ ከምታ ናይ ሻዕብያ ኩላ ማይ ጥብ ዝበለት ከነዕቁራ ኢና እሎም ዝፍክሩ፤ ንሕና ድማ፤ ጥር ዝበለት ሰበይቲ ቀርቀብ ኣቢላና ክንሕዛ ኣሎና፥”

    After that, we heard from all kinds of minds about women and emancipation.

    While I am at it, let me give myself one other credit. It is Monday and it helps the week go by faster for me.

    When AT made the switch to disqus, I suggested early on that on the ‘Recent, most popular…’ tab, they put more comments than just four, like 8 – 10. There you go, I saw this morning major improvement 10 of the most recent posts. You will see how much it will help you from scrolling down what I call ‘a mile.’ Okay enough for me. Peace, justice, and prosperity to all Eritreans and Ethiopians!!!

    • Tzigereda

      Dear Ermias,
      No question, you deserve the greatest credit and respect for initiating this discussion. I think AT’s Intention was making a short summary of the controverse opinions.
      Thank you again!

      • Ermias

        Hi tzigereda, I like to add a little humor and lightness to the discussions here occasionally as they get really hardcore and tense. That was my intention in the previous post. I deserve no credit whatsoever. The AT and the quoted commenters do.

  • Nitricc

    “Here is what bothers me, in every society women are anticlimax to the stupidity men but Ghedli turned women into an extension of men. Growing up I always felt uneasy about the toll Ghedli was taking on our women. Mind you, in medda or Asmera the role of women didn’t change, Ghedli just added guns and battles to the roles of women”
    The Supreme, Serray!
    Do you want him; the coward, Serray to say anything more? Here you have it, he put out there for you naked for you to see. Yes, to see if you have eyes, mind and integrity. Now; what more do you want from Serray? He told you!