maanantai 23. marraskuuta 2015

Successful anti-FGM teaching in Funto Lamach

This time Bezunesh and Tesfaye have been givin strong teaching about women's rights. They are a rare couple in Ethiopia, because they work together and the wife is the boss while the husband is the supporter. They are showing people a great example and their teaching is worth a read trough even for us in Finland, because that helps us to understand the circumstances they deal with in teaching against FGM.

Eli, Bezunesh ja Tesfaye on tällä kertaa opettaneet naisten oikeuksista. Pariskuntana he ovat hyvin harvinaisia etiopiassa, he työskentelevät tiiminä vaimon ollessa pääasiallinen opettaja ja miehen antaessa sataprosenttisen tukensa vaimon opetukselle. Tässä ote heidän opetuksestaan, kannattaa lukea, sillä siten meidänkin on helpompi ymmärtää kokonaisuutta ja millaisia haasteita heillä työässään on.


First of all, we want to apologize because we are very late to send the work report because of shortage of internet connection. We say sorry, sorry and sorry. 

This time we focused on different kinds of challenges for women in all Ethiopian ethnic group as well as among Kambata people. So, we had a good time to reach people from different churches at the same time. We taught them for 3 day in Mizane Kale Hiwot church, they are key women in different churches, youth group leaders and Sunday school teachers in Damboya District area and in Durame Zone. 

Our listeners were very teachable and interested to learn more. Also they called us to teach more about FGM and how they could to become free from the bondage of this harmful traditional practice.  After our teaching many listeners decided to stop this practice on their own girls. Also many of the listeners gave a promise to reject and teach against this practice in the Christian community.

We were teaching for example following things:

1) Culture as a problem of women: 

In Ethiopian culture inequality between male and female is seen from the beginning of their birth. Many people are not happy when female children are born. Female are believed to be lower than male. Boys are free to play, study, discuses with parents and other people rather than females. However, some times the women get these opportunities, but they are expected to be silent and do what is needed for family. 

2) Women’s place in the society

The culture and social values of the people dominate women. Culturally, they are considered as the 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. 

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 their 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. 

3) Power imbalance

When the issue of power rose, many people of the Ethiopia 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 of Ethiopians consider women as inferior, and they try to measure the power of woman in accordance with physical strength. The ability of woman should not measured by physical strength. For example, breastfeeding, menstruation, lack of rest after child birth and other difficult circumstances make women physically weaker. 

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 (for example in health care). They do not get a chance to get what they need in 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. It believes 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 Ethiopia adequately. In every aspect of life men have higher opportunities for power, and women are by default subordinated to him.

Listeners with Bezunesh on the right in pink dress.

We taught strongly in these issues for our learners within three days. For teaching time we prepare for our learners coffee, tea, bread and kolo and they were very happy about our teaching.

We will have a teaching time with these same people in next time because we have other points of women challenges issues. For example: dehumanization, women in education, FGM and the workload of women. So we will continue our teaching with these kind of issues according to our teaching plan in the month of November because we have a appointment within the same people. Please support us in every way because  we can not be successful without your supporting money.

Kiitos jokaiselle joka voi tukea Bezuneshin työtä, tavalla tai toisella! Jos haluat ja pystyt tukea taloudellisesti, löytyvät tiedot täältä. Yksityishenkilöiden jäsenmaksut ja lahjoitukset ovat toimintamme tärkeimmät mahdollistajat.