Hyvää tätä vuotta rakkaat tukirinkiläiset! Viime vuosi oli aivan hurjan upea, kunhan saan vuosikertomuksen tehtyä, laitan tänne yhteenvedon kaikesta siitä mitä meidän porukkamme on saanut aikaan. Kiitos joka ikiselle hengessä mukana olleelle!
Tässä kaiken jouluhässäkän keskellä ehti jäädä hieman rästiin Elizabethin ja Bezuneshin raporttien julkaiseminen. Laitan niitä nyt tässä tulemaan postaus/päivä-vauhdilla suunnilleen. Tässä ensimmäisessä postauksessa Bezuneshin aivan ensiluokkaisen briljantti raportti. Suosittelen lukemaan sen loppuun asti, sillä hän on liittänyt mukaan luentonsa ja täytyy sanoa, että se on aivan mielettömän hyvä! Tässä ei pelkästään saarnata anti-FGM:ää vaan otetaan vahvasti ja kokonaisvaltaisesti esiin tabuasioita naisten oikeuksista. Hurjan rohkea ja vahva nainen! Meeri Koutaniemi on muuten ihan lähiviikkoina matkalla tapaamaan ja haastattelemaan Bezuneshia. Minulla on kutina, että näillä naisilla on paljon yhteistä puheenaihetta!
The work report to ours partners in Finland
Topic:- The challenges of Women in Ethiopia as well as in Kambata people
First of all, we excuse us for being very late to send the work report. We had shortage of internet connection. We say sorry, sorry and sorry. This work report focuses on different kinds of Women's challenges in all of Ethiopia's ethnic group as well as among Kambata people. So, we had a good time reaching this teaching to people from different churches at the same time. We found that there was more than 70 women at the same time and in the same days. We taught them for 3 day in Hego Dakeya Kela Hiwot church, they came from more than 8 churches and they are key women in each churches, which means they are a secretors of women Kifla Mahibar level. In another words they are leaders of parish women Damboya District area around in Durame Zone.
They were very teachable and interested to have more teaching. They gave thanks to God because of us and because we are interested to teach about FGM. Also they called us again to learn more about FGM and how they could to become free from the bondage of this harmful traditional practice of FGM. Among them some of decided to stop this practice from the lives of their own girls. Also some of them give hope and promise to reject and speak against this practice in the Christian community. So that, they need more recognition of our main teaching within biblical references. We must give hope to teach hem again and again. The following picture shows our learners.
Vaikka kuva on epätarkka, voi tästä nähdä kuinka vakavia kuulijat ovat.
We think it is important for you to know our teaching about what we taught the people in Ethiopia as well as among in Kambata. Our teaching was like follows:
The challenges of Women in Ethiopia society
The Ethiopian people respect others, and they are known in many appreciative practices. However, alike many societies in Ethiopia the challenges of women in the society of Ethiopia are tremendous due to low outlook of people for women. Women play an important role in the society, the people could be home to many bad experiences by using some biblical texts as pretext that lead to the oppression of women in the society as well as in the church. Some of the challenges are going to be seen as follows.
Culture as a problem for Women
When culture is defined, it is the total of inherited ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge which constitute the shared bases of social action. In Ethiopia culture, inequality between male and female is seen from the beginning of their birth. Many people are not happy when female children are born. A clear difference is seen soon after their birth. Women express their joy by ululation (laud shout) when they go to congratulate the mothers of new born. This ululation is done three times for female children, but five times for male children. This is the starting point of the inequality of women in Ethiopia. Females are believed to be lower than males.
The society is not seen clearly in favoring female children. They are not treating with equal opportunities with male children. Sometimes boys get priority for school over girls. Boys are free to play, study, discuss with parents and other people rather than females. However, some times women get these opportunities, but they are expected to be silent and do what is needed for family.
Women’s place in the Society
The cultural and social values of the people dominate women. Culturally, they are considered as lower classes. Women have no right to participate in decision making; they must be silent in every case in the society and even in the family. For example if women express some ideas courageously, she is considered as talkative and she is not honored.
Women in Ethiopia society are active in every aspect of life. For instance, in family career, in managing and keeping house, in child bearing, in nurturing and so on which are considered as their dignity. like many other Ethiopian rural societies, women in Ethiopia have much more work to do than men. Women perform all indoor activities and most of the outdoor work too, for example, assisting their husbands in farm.
In general, even if Ethiopian women have many roles in all areas of life in the society, no credit and recognition is given to them, but through their work husbands and families are honored. Any work done by a woman cannot be appreciated openly either by her husband or by other men. This is considered to be right because a wife can do her work in the name of her husband. Women are always considered as very important part of society but their right is not fully respected.
When the issue of power rose, many Ethiopian people put women under the authority of men. Women are always expected to obey their husbands in any circumstance. This creates psychologically negative impact in the minds of women to accept themselves as equal with men. Many Ethiopian people consider women as inferior, and they try to measure the power of woman in accordance with physical strength. The ability of woman should not be measured by physical strength. For example, breast-feeding, menstruation, lack of rest after child birth and other difficult circumstances which they are facing make women physically weak.
Most husbands consider their wives as their servants who are created only to serve them. Even they do not give equal place with their male children. In other words, some mothers are given less priority than male children. They do not get a chance to get what they need in a proper time. Husbands are always the decisive persons in women’s lives. Although women are responsible for all the domestic activities, they do not have the chance to be heads of their houses. Men have the highest place in the domestic economy.
In addition to this, the social and political organization of the Ethiopian society is patriarchal. Its believed that, the father’s line is more important than the mother’s line. Ownership and inheritance of properties and political and religious leadership are in male’s hands. Women are not allowed to play a leadership role in the Ethiopia adequately. It is natural to hinder women from taking position in religious and political affairs. In every aspect of life men have higher opportunities for power, and women are by default subordinated to them.
Some cultural practices of Ethiopia are known to suppress the human quality of woman. There are many proverbs that are known to dehumanize women in the language of the people.
For example: The following quotes are used to the dehumanization of women.
– Meniti daggu ketechi shinichi higanoba (Women do not know beyond preparing food or beyond kitchen).
– Mentichchiha haruchichiih dullu zaboa (Beating with stick is medicine for Women and donkey).
– Manna hoggohu menitin hossano (Friendless be friends with women).
– Meseleta illohuuo woani agamohu mexooti (Being a father to girls and being drowned by water are the same).
– Mentichu sajohu wo.a cu’imeihu lamunku matoti (Being advised by women is the same as holding water) and so on.
These proverbs in the Ethiopia language create a high psychological impact in the lives of women in the society. From these women accept their weakness as something natural and unchangeable. It forces the women put themselves in the lowest category.
The Workload of Women
The workload of women is one of the ways used to oppress women in Ethiopian society. Women have too much responsibility to work in household rather than men. For example, they are expected to take the responsibility for all food processing, other domestic activities, budgeting the household resources for constantly furnishing the society with labor, protecting children from any sort of danger, care for them whenever they get ill, caring for sick and the other older family members. When we observe women in the domestic role, they are responsible for society. The domestic tasks associated with preparation for wedding and other social meeting are the task of women in the society. There are other responsibilities for women which are mentioned as a workload, like fetching water from river, collecting wood, washing cloths and so on. They are overburdened by too much work during pregnancy time and expected to work even they are sick. Men do not share such responsibilities. Even though, women play a great role in the society, their contributions are unrecognized in society and in household. In these ways women are mistreated in the church and in society.
Women in Education
Women have limited access to education. In Ethiopian society many people believe that educating women is waste of time and money. The reason for this is that women are considered as someone’s property belonging to one man. They are not regarded as tomorrow’s leaders and decision makers. There are a lot of things that hinder women from benefits of education. Many wish to see their daughters to get a good marriage rather than education. Most parents or the society realize that completing the primary education is enough for the girls. The girls are also forced to see the suppressive situation of their eldest sisters and mothers. But there is some change regarding to women in education in present days, but it is not adequate, the attitude of some uneducated people is unchanged about women education until this day.
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the most harmful traditional practices that affects the health of women. FGM is common and acceptable norm in the Ethiopia culture. Many women are suffering from the health problems as a consequence of this practice. FGM puts extra strain on the women that are already burdened.
FGM is causing both immediate and long-term health complication that affect women’s physical and mental being. As it has been mentioned, FGM has short and long term effect in women’s lives such as severe bleeding due to extreme pain that takes a long time to be healed.
According to Ethiopia culture, many people believe that female circumcision is a form of initiation into womanhood or to ensure social cohesion and family integration. They do this practice to reduce females’ sexual desire as a means of maintaining chastity, virginity, and fidelity and as a way of increasing male’s sexual pleasure. Now days, although this tradition is publically discouraged, some uneducated people are continuing this practice in the lives of girls in hidden way because they accept it as culturally acceptable norm, but there is no evidences for it in the scripture. Even if there is teaching to avoid the practice of FGM from the Ethiopia people, it is not effectively implemented. Therefore FGM has been the one of several challenges and ways to oppress women in Ethiopia society as well as in the church until this day.
At last, we will do the best we to save our society from this harmful traditional practice and be strong to do with us. Thank you a lot.