This website prides itself on being the most diverse. More than any other Eritrean website, it reflects the kaleidoscope that is Eritrea. While other websites were rationalizing the uniformity of their writers with sophisticated sophistry (how many times have you heard of “digital divide”?), we worked hard to make everybody feel welcome at awate. The result is evident: our contributors come from East and Western Eritrea; Northern and southern; highland and lowland; Christian and Moslem; young and old; with a viewpoint just as diverse: supporters and critics; and background just as varied (ELF, EPLF, none of the above.) But there is one huge gap that is prominent at awate as just another website: female writers. They do not grace the pages of awate.com, the front page or the forum, and we consider this dearth as an intolerable weakness which we do not wish to rationalize or justify.
We are hereby inviting female writers to contribute their thoughts. Women make up 50% of Eritrea and without their perspective, the country will be that much poorer. Issues that matter strongly to women—women’s rights, reproductive rights, literacy, maternity, children’s rights, workforce parity, glass ceiling—are seldom, if ever, addressed. It is not just “women’s issues” we are talking about, but general political issues from a different perspective: that of a mother or a sister. We do not believe there is a “digital divide” when it comes to Eritrean females: they are just as educated and articulate as their male counterparts. Perhaps they find the combative Eritrean cyberspace unwelcoming? Perhaps they have no interest in associating themselves with the mock debates which quickly degenerate into insult hurls? Perhaps, the culture of Eritrean cyberspace is off-putting? Perhaps our female writers, much like many of their male counterparts, do not think that their writing skills are good enough to be published?
Whatever the reasons, they are not good enough. And we will do what we can to accommodate the voices of women. If you wish to contribute, or provide an insight on this issue, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org