Where Do Women and Girls Go?

                                                           Aberash Hailay

The Case

With the news of what happened to Aberash surfacing and spreading like wild-fire as of yesterday, her wounds and her pain are symbolic of a dysfunctional society stained by the tears and blood of countless women whose cries and plea have often gone unheard and silenced by the taboos of culture. Aberash, an Ethiopian Airlines flight attendant whose ex-husband, Fisseha Tadesse, stabbed both her eyes out with a knife last week, now lies in a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand receiving medical attention to retain sight in one of her eyes, although local medical experts have ruled out the chance of survivability. According to the Amharic newspaper, The Reporter, Aberash was married for seven years before the marriage amicably ended a few months ago. Her uncle says that the night of the incident both Aberash and her ex-husband were invited for festivities in his house and they appeared to be in “good condition”, whatever that means. What the article did not express however was that both her eyes experienced multiple stabs from various directions which made it near to impossible for surgeons to even sew shut the gaping socket which once housed beautiful eyes. According to close sources, Aberash also had choke marks around her neck, stab wounds on her hands and legs and bruises on the back of her head which indicate impact to the area. However, damage to her brain has been ruled out after CAT scans were performed. The accused, Fisseha, turned himself in to the local police after having committed this heinous crime and leaving her in a bloody mess.

As I write this, I sit with two contrasting feelings bubbling within me. One is that of a deep-seated anger towards the opposite sex who are often the perpetrators of such inhumane acts and the obstacles to the advancement of women’s human rights. The second is idealism that the brutality of this case may ignite a platform for male allies to initiate the campaign and express their disgust with such acts and expressions of masculinity – an outcry against VAW that Ethiopian men can sustain beyond the emotionality of reacting to current events. It is a very far and removed idealism, disconnected from the reality on the ground, but one I secretly nurture because a fantasy escape is all one can revel in when in such depressing moments, because for all the information I and those like me may have, we have no clue then where else women and girls can go.

Violence Against Women on the rise

I spent three hours of this afternoon sitting in an emergency meeting convened by concerned individuals and interested stakeholders at the office of the Network of Ethiopian Women’s Associations (NEWA), to discuss the way forward in bringing a screeching halt to the violent acts that are increasingly being sustained by women and girls all over Ethiopia. The discussions turned into revelations of many other cases of violence perpetrated against Ethiopian women and girls passing away without the raising of multiple red flags by concerned authorities. Since the enactment of the 2009 CSO Law (Charities & Societies), which prohibits local organizations working on human rights and women’s issues from receiving international funding, the ability of these local women’s organizations to mobilize funds and campaign vigorously has been severely hampered to the point of rendering all the advancements made useless. A decline in women’s activism on the issues of women’s rights can be witnessed within the past two years with the heads of relevant organizations reporting that their institutional capacity to address and tackle issues of violence against women is timid because of the uncertainty and the climate of fear induced by this law. For all the progressive goals that the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) had accomplished over the past decade, today it chugs along like a train out of steam unable to cater to the overwhelming demand with its financial limbs dismembered. Where then do women and girls go?

The Personal is Political

“The slogan first became popular in the 1970s, (second wave movement) as a way to convey to women who were suffering in silence that their individual experiences were, in fact, instances of widespread sexism.” Understanding that some issues concerning women which are relegated to the domestic sphere usually are stifled to silence, the “personal is political” slogan calls to attention the many facets of life which are often dismissed by men as “personal” are in fact relevant areas of political action.

Pieces of Peace

One of my favorite TedTalks is by Zainab Salbi, founder of Women to Women International. In her talk entitled Women, Wartime and the Dream of Peace, Zainab speaks of the need to understand peace from a toenail’s perspective. She tells the story of a South Sudanese woman who walked great distances for years to escape sexual servitude to soldiers and lost her toe nails as a result. Later on when asked of what peace meant to her, she replied “Peace is the fact that my toenails are growing back again.” For me, this is a classic example of understanding that there are pieces of peace. That in Ethiopia, we are a society witnessing horrendous crimes and violence committed against women and girls on a daily basis and that these crimes are ignored is the epitome of the absence of peace. For Aberash’s sake we need to understand peace from the perspective of light.

Where Do Women and Girls Go?

In a culturally stifled society, where do women and girls go? Where do they find redress in the face of mounting attacks to their person? What is the role of men in tackling these issues? In redefining the prevailing and ill-conceived masculinities?

I have no doubt that the question in most people’s minds upon hearing of Aberash is “what was his reason for doing this?” “What did she do to him?” But does there have to be a reason? Does our fixation on finding that “credible” reason justify his barbaric acts?

I leave all these questions to you because these and other hot questions beg a collective discussion. Aberash’s case is the last straw in a pile of injustices being committed against women and girls in this country. Her story should not be a coffee break gossip line but a serious call for action to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

Aberash, means “you (she) lighted” in Amharic. And last Thursday she lost her sight to cast light upon ours.

Keep tuned as I follow-up on the activities that will be undertaken over the next few days and weeks in seeking justice for Aberash.

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Love & Light

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51 thoughts on “Where Do Women and Girls Go?

  1. I saw this article yesterday – I just cried! Felt really helpless, I was saddened not only by what happened but also by the victim-blaming comments written about the article. I hear you. Thanks for promising to update us on the developments of this case and I hope justice would be done.
    In Sisterhood,
    Nisan

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  2. This is a sad thing to hear… the case of Aberash is not the first barbaric crime committed against women and girls of our country. The fact is, these sorts of crimes are mounting up and every year the cases are getting worse. No women deserve to suffer this much, in fact no human being does… and No reason can justify this kind of brutality. May justice be served!
    Biluye, thanx for the update and Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I could assist you in any way.

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  3. Thank you for sharing Billene. I have been thinking about the case and I couldn’t find any reliable justifications for the act. It is the exception of human being, which lack human senses. Nobody deserve to suffer!!!…It is getting worse so that it needs serious attention…May justice be served!!!

    Demelash F.

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  4. I hope justice will be served in this case. I pray for her family to find peace and comfort in the Lord. It is very sad that a human being does this kind of horrific acts towards another human being.

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  5. This is the first time I came across your blog, so glad I did. The way you captured the core issues that contributed and still nurture such acts of violence against women and girls is so insightful. As an Ethiopian women I am sickened that we are still not valued as human beings and that our society is unacceptably tolerant and indifferent to acts of violence against women. I pray for Aberash and am so saddened for what she had to go through. I absolutely agree with you, we must work to stamp out violence and I believe we can. F.Y.I there is a press conference organized by NEWA to voice our appeal for justice. The venue has not been set yet but they will be by tomorrow. Please get in touch with them to get the info.

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  6. Thanks for the update,good writing I might add……. standing by to get involved/ help in any way. I don’t know what justice is for such an act but I pray that she finds the strength to get past this.

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  7. i used to work at women for women – zainab is one of my heroes as well! while working there, the stories – letters upon letters – of the kind of violence women endure can overwhelm – their stories being of war-time violence… but this kind of domestic violence is no less of violence!

    men are definitely key partners, CRITICAL partners in ending violence against women! women need to raise their voices louder and LOUDER and in UNISON no matter what – whether it’s in organizations or just as concerned citizens of the world. i’m willing to do my part and use my voice to this end!

    thanks though for your time/effort/words/action on this matter!

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  8. Am with u, tank you for declaring your support and i do understand what you want to say. You can make a difference within your sphere of influence encouraging men to join the movement against VAW. I have no doubt and know that there are men of quality!!!

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  9. As a husband,a brother, and as a man, I feel sick reading this. NO excuse in the world can justify what he did to her. And as for you (the blogger), not all men are so weak (as it is the case with this monster) that they raise their hands on their women.

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  10. As I read this I could not help feeling that the sponsorship of feminism, hence the feeling of outrage towards what happened to Aberash, as an exclusive club, standing against the opposing “Maleism” class. And exclusivity is based exclusion, with no guarantee to what we exclude as a problem could not bear the solution too. Sadly, I feel, most of the world’s problems emanate from such dictums thinking: male vs female, west vs east, Christian vs Islam, you vs me, us vs them……..In this we fail to see that there is always that gray area created the black on top of the white (or vice versa) , more appropriately we prefer to ignore it. May be because it is easier to work alone than in groups, especially with one of the “them”. Or the minute that we accept such things do bear the fruits of our own destruction, anxiety feels us or we lose sense in our purpose. All “May be”s. But history has shown us that the “US vs THEM” leads only to decay. Did, still does and will do.

    Can we find cases where woman abused men? Mutilations, murders, mental abuse? Do those men deserve the things that happened to them? Did that guy deserve his genital being cut off? Should we pass them the same criticism saying “what did he do to her to derive that?” or the same sympathy for him and curse for her. Or should we make this the problem of the “Maleism” movement. In the US (wish I had stats for Ethiopia), 40 out of 100 domestic abuses REPORTED is against men. The Department of Justice seems to think, every 37 seconds a man is abused by an intimate partner. Should we draw the same conclusion about women in the US? Or anywhere else for that matter.

    What happened to her is beyond sad and there is no reason in this world that would justify the act. I am a guy and I am outraged. I have friends and they are fuming about it, my colleagues could not stop cursing the guy. But he did this, not all men, as women kill too. As any other civilization in this world, we have a justice system, and government institutes to enforce the law. What he did, proven, is equally criminal as much as a woman killing her husband. Our civilization set penalties for crimes and he will get that. Or Should we think the justice system would go easy on him because he is a guy? Or because most judges are guys and they would ask “Did she had what was coming?” may be as much as the husband had what was coming when he cheated with Secretary.

    I believe, “Men of quality” is not a small subset of an evil group. They are not the “SEND’E” in a pile of “INKERDAD”. Rather, it is the other way round. And that is true for any sort of classification you could come up with for any sort of world even or fact. Until we start seeing this and share the pain, the joy, the fruits and frustrations, we will remain feminists against Maleists, locked in a class struggle of an endless kind.

    Enjoyed reading your post.

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  11. BM, Thank you for taking the time to engage in the discussions. You brought up interesting and valid points. Personally, i feel that there are various types of feminisms and i do not consider myself coming from a radical camp which is segragationist, male-bashing and isolationist. I always make a point of making out my call for men to join in the campaign. I gather you are not in Ethiopia, but from what i can tell you about what is happening within the campaign here right now, there are men involved and women involved who are calling upon other men and women to work together towards the realization of ending the increasing levels of violence against women here. This post is not a call to hate men or become anti-men. Rather this is a call upon everyone, male or female to become engaged in the issues of gender based violence and violence against women. The sad thing being that most of the brutal attacks in Ethiopia are perpetrated by men against women. This is not to say that there are no cases of violence against men perpetrated by women, but until these cases come forward beyond the curtain of taboos, the visible violence being manifested on an individual and institutional level right now is against women.

    You and other male readers who have commented on this post have indicated that all men are not like him. And I am not assuming that you are. However, we have a justice and policing system dominated by men here in Ethiopia and when cases of gravity against women and girls go unanswered and it becomes a cultural norm for domestic issues to remain domestic, it makes one wonder where the middle ground is. Refer to the case of Woinshet where the judge had concluded ““I don’t think she was abducted or raped. The health report did not specify that she was a fresh virgin. No one wants to rape anyone who is not a virgin. Maybe they were just in love. This case has no evidence.” (http://ethiopianfeminist.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/the-girl-that-moved-a-mountain/)

    I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you and other male readers to contribute as my guest bloggers on this and related issues. My aim is to get a discussion going on for mutual understanding not a rhetoric of isolation along the “us” versus “them” lines.

    thanks,
    Billene

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  12. HI People just wanted to say That am sorry for Aberash and may God be with her we all will pray for her.

    I heard some things from some people who claim to be friends with both Aberash and Fissha but am not sure whether its true or not but this Guys told me That “Aberash married this guy for money seven years ago and she was preventing herself from having a child from him since she marry him for many then when he found out that she is not having a child on purpose and she was cheating on him even before their marriage they fought and she filed a divorce the she appear on the court and she asked not to share the wealth and she said to the court she deserve it all with out giving him a penny. They mentioned that she was planning the past seven years how she can take all his wealth and dump him she made him to put all property,business and cars to put it under her name and by she make sure by the time she file a divorce there was nothing left for him”.

    if this side of the story is true don’t know what to say but still she did not deserve to lose her eyes .
    At least he was supposed to look for a way to get back his wealth in a legal way .

    We all know that some of our sisters prefer the shortcut to wealth like by marrying the person they don’t love and taking half of his wealth. These kind of sisters have to change they have to work hard to earn money. We see some successful woman who work hard who do not want to rip off some ones lifetime saving by pretending that they love them. Let us all say STOP to this kind of sister let them learn from the ones who have bad experiences when they try to rip off some ones lifetime saving. SISTERS LETS ONLY MARRY A MAN WHO WE LOVE NOT WHO WE LOVE HIS MONEY. HIS MONEY BELONGS TO HIM HE EARNED IT BY WORKING HARD SAVING FOR DECADES LETS NOT WANT SOME THING WHICH IS NOT OURS LETS WORK HARD AND LETS EARN LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO GOT MONEY PLEASE SISTERS LETS STOP ITS ENOUGH LETS GET OUR OWN MONEY

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    • …even if she took his money deliberately and married him for his money and never wanted to have children from him, and cheated on him or even married another man over him…..what she did would be cheep, immoral. unethical….maybe illegal…. whatever still what he did was INHUMAN, he took her sight…. he almost took her life…

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    • Dawit sounds like a typical Ethiopian man. A man takes her eyes out and people are talking about what she did wrong. Does it matter. God gave you all strength but he gave us all of the mental, emotional and spiritual power. In the end, us women will prevail. Especially those who are oppressed, because they are the strongest of us all. Ethiopian men…..with your unearned egos and uncontrollable emotions…..get a handle on yourselves. Tasafiralachu.

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    • Dear Brother, never judge without seeing! Seeing is believing!!! Never say or assume, just because people said so.

      1. Wasn’t Aberash a flight attendant only for 7 years?
      2. Doesn’t the Law of Ethiopian Airlines tell the hostesses not to have kids before serving 5 years minimum?
      3. And as a flight attendant why would Aberash need other people’s money, with all the privileges her Company provides her with????

      Please for God’s sake, let us be honest to ourselves. Let us have a clean consciousness. Let us not say something just because we feel like saying it. Let us reason like normal and reasonable human beings!!! Please!

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    • Dear Brother Dawit, never judge without seeing! Seeing is believing!!! Never say or assume, just because people said so.

      1. Wasn’t Aberash a flight attendant only for 7 years?
      2. Doesn’t the Law of Ethiopian Airlines tell the hostesses not to have kids before serving 5 years minimum?
      3. And as a flight attendant why would Aberash need other people’s money, with all the privileges her Company provides her with????

      Please for God’s sake, let us be honest to ourselves. Let us have a clean consciousness. Let us not say something just because we feel like saying it. Let us reason like normal and reasonable human beings!!! Please!

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  13. Billene, Thank you for the offer and may be i take you on being a contributor one of these days.

    I am sorry if I came off like that, but I am right here in Addis, born and raised :).

    I am not blind to the fact that Ethiopia is a male dominated society, most nations are. I am quite aware of the increasing violence against women, the sudden influx of acid use on women being the most shocking for me. Yet, we have to be careful as a society in using our cards, hence equally being a woman. I had my share of experience in women pulling that card only when it fits their bill. This would only worsen things.

    Sadly, your example yet makes my point. The judge stating that, at least from a commoner point of view like myself, is thinking in “US vs THEM”. I am not familiar with the case and evidence in it, but is not he telling us that he is a guy (as compared to a woman) and he knows that no guy would rape a non-virgin. I am sure he is not thinking in those terms, but he has a sub-conscious shaped by our culture at work.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Cheers

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  14. No one is to be blamed but us WOMEN.First it was with acid flashing the the face and body.Almost nothing was done and another one used the same style to destroy his so called lover.Now it has changed to “taking out eyes” What next ? What are we waiting for ? Are we waiting till all this happens to us all? To our daughters ? CAPITAL PUNISHMENT is what we have to ask for !!! Ethiopian saying goes “MINEW BE-ENQULALU GIZE BEQETASHIGN” Action before it is too late.

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  15. i am shocked by the story of Aberash, i can’t even imagine how can a human do that to another human, what’s more shocking is that nothing will happen to the guy who did it …like usual, and what’s worse is that his acts will trigger and feed other sick minds….

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  16. Dear Feminist,

    The multiple questions you raised should not stop there; in fact should we address such issues we need not to go an a case by case basis rather establish the mode of engagement that should be there especially between both genders in the ’21st century’

    Blaming the men or establishing the innocence of the female does not guarantee that such issues will not recurre.

    I urge that all of us look inside/ourselves and see what we can do in our respective communities.

    I also strongly suggest we listen to one another without being carried away by emotions so that we all take our share of the responsibility in addressing the issue of women rights as human beings. In my view that is where the process should start to generate the solution. Listen to the men. Listen to the women. Be it young or old, living in urban or rural areas, high or low income group…..you name the diversity

    Let us welcome diverse views to solicit sustainable solutions.

    The issue is a cross cutting societal matter.

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  17. God bless you for shading light on Aberash’s case. My heart is still heavy and I am too emotional to say anything but just hope she regains her sight at least with one eye. God is the God of miracles!

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  18. Don’t know what to say, don’t know where we shall go…this world is becoming so cruel & frustrating for women. Leave alone the day-to-day demotivating factors, here we are feeling the depth of Aberash’s pain…can you imagine her pain at this moment?. When are men going to see in depth that they really need us & can’t live without our support? When do they stop thinking like animal? Sorry I don’t mean the very respectful & innocent men. Don’t blame me tho…whom shall we trust

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  19. he has to go through what she is going thruogh….some one has to choke him, poke his eyes, stab his arms and legs and brouse his head…he is a f***** idiot. what ever she do to him he can never do this kind of inhumain deeds to her….eshoken be eshok

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  20. Pingback: Saying NO to VAW – Follow-up on Aberash Haileay’s Case « EthiopianFeminist

  21. There is an event at Sheraton Addis ON the 23rd at 10am to adress the issue regarding the excalating violence against women in Ethiopia. Those of you who are interested in fighting this, please come and get your voice heard.

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  22. This really goes back to a bigger issue of a trend of looking away and not addressing issues in a normal manner at the time. He most probably didn’t get this psycho overnight. the Ethiopian society, similar to numerous other societies has an issue of looking away and pretending it’s not there until things like this comes up. I am sure there were unusual trends of wrongs involved while this was brewing.I’d start there as the root of the problem than gold-digging. Plus the looking-away trend has resulted in these crimes not being taken as seriously as they should be by the justice system. The justice system is not promoting public safety: it’s neither making Ethiopia safe nor just so in all honesty, before we point fingers at women marrying for money, maybe we should look at a justice system that’s failing everyone: it didn’t protect Aberash and it sure as hell didn’t protect her ex and the society from this monstrosity. At the very least, it should be deterring this kind of actions and it’s failing to do that and women are paying the price.

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  23. Billu,

    I don’t understand why and how a person can do that to another humanbeing. I would have understood sth like “he was jealous and he killed her ” but this is just …… Simply , its a reflection of unequal and unjust society.

    I say if you get the time and the chance go talk to this guy.

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  24. Billene
    What happened to this young lady is tragic in its true sense. i am sure however, that this attack was not the first! Every abusive man, Ethiopian, or from anywhere for that matter, does so simply because he can. Such abusive men get away with it and become emboldened to do even worse things because society allows it. Not just men but women too!

    I am sure also that at least one person in their extended family and friends circle has known of a previous episode of abuse, either physical or psychological, at some point in the past against this young lady by this same ‘husband’. Knew about it and kept quiet because ‘its accepted’! or did not ‘want to interfere’! This is true of almost all abusive relationships.

    Out of the 85 million people in Ethiopia, about half are women! millions of women suffer daily ensconced in their homes . They suffer in silence.

    The only way to stop such things from happening is if we get society to accept that it is NOT ok! That it is simply unacceptable! To do this, we need a grass roots approach, involving men, women, young and old as well as children. We need to be able to excite discussion in public and at home, at church, mosque, school or even in the coffee shop and bar. Public opinion and social standards must be raised in order to mandate law enforcement to become pro active and prevent such things from happening. Prosecution after the fact, which is necessary, is of little benefit to a victim.

    A rising consciousness means that even the individuals working with law enforcement agencies, such as the police, will have a low threshold for any form of violence no matter how trivial it may seem at the time. The saying ‘once bitten, twice shy’ must become a motto for every woman. Reaching out for help at the earliest signs of violence must become a norm.

    Personally, I abhor violence! In all its forms. Knowledge and action directed by knowledge is the only way forward!

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  25. While you’re at it:

    http://ethionetblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/infected-man-kills-hiv-wife.html

    http://nazret.com/blog/index.php/2010/07/21/ethiopia_man_accused_in_the_stabbing_dea

    http://ethiopiaforums.com/a-man-accused-murder-his-wife-sought-help-from-priest

    http://ethiopiaforums.com/a-man-killed-his-girlfriend-and-killed-himself-in-las-vegas

    http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/28412

    http://www.jimmatimes.com/article.cfm?articleId=32036

    weather it is in Ethiopia or abroad, Ethiopian men are becoming animals. Remember, there are many more devastating stories than this on Ethiopian women. And these days the rate is increasing but it’s under-reported. Nice blog, keep it up. It won’t be too long before we hear “she cut his manhood because he cheated on her…” and stuff like that.

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  26. So sad…’Ehiten’ what a cruel heart could do such a thing…this is not just a physical abuse…he ruined her future..’Yehig yaleh’…’yemengist yaleh’…Ye fitih yaleh’ justice….. justice…..justice. May God give her the strength to move on.

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  27. A very sad thing to hear.Hope God will give her the strength to pass the very tough time of her life.We all have the responsiblity to assit her@least to make her feel there are individuals who care about her.Can you imagine how empty she will be feeling right now?

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  28. I am glad somebody as courageous as you took the initiative. The message now is to all ladies out there, -especially in Ethiopia- who tolerate abuse, domestic violence and crime: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? U’ve got to come forward or one of you might be the next victim!!

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  29. Blen Yayne
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us all imagine / place ourselves right at Aberash’s situation … What happened to her, where she is now, and what the doctors said about her … Dear Brothers and Sisters, Someone has taken from Aberash Something without her permission… This Person must return to Aberash what he took from her without her permission. This will only be the first step. The second step should follow. Let us STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

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  30. The text by Dawit makes me sick! He wrote just 1 line to be sorry about the situation and 18 lines on what he HEARD about the couple! And also HIS ADVICE to ALL WOMEN at this crucial moment which is the SADEST TIME OF ALL OF US… Most of all, what was he trying to tell us?

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  31. No words ….. She lost those beautiful eyes !!!! Specilally for those who knew her like i do …. Will hurt so much 😦 And Only god can serve the justice!!!!
    My dear my heart and prayer is with you always… May god give you the stealthy and your light back!!! Nothing is impossible for him!!!!

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  32. Extremely sad this has happened to our sister. Let all of us (men and women) equally feel if these was occurred to us, and someone your fellow human has caused it to you. Let you close your eyes and imagine this for a moment. What you might feel? If you were given a chance and have the physical fitness to pass judgment by your own to the abuser, how you might react?

    As I read from comments in the link, the responses of majority is arrowed into one direction, though I found few deviating. I am not sure how many of those giving their comments as well as heard the news rationally geared their thoughts and feelings.

    By any measure this act is inhuman, it emanates from the satanic behavior of human being, and it is not from human beings innate, natural, rational and God given behaviors and characteristics. Unfortunately, this is one demonstrations of that fact human beings are not yet grown to that level of maturity.

    Having said this, I want to forward few lines of thoughts where I want every one having future looking mind to consider. Such abuses and violence has been happening and will continue happening unless we openly and frankly discuss and lay out micro and macro level suggestions and solutions. Otherwise, as usual in many other cases, it will be a talk of a week and then forgotten.

    Why such things happen? I am not trying to say the cause justifies the end. But in my view in depth investigation and analysis of causes, and establishing proper mechanisms identifying and then curving those causes prevent them from reoccurring and then the eventual effects avoided or minimized.

    So what are the possible causes? What has the women done?

    1. Was abusing/misusing their resources
    2. Took over all their resources and the man left bare handed unfairly.
    3. Was not willing to give birth ( for whatever reason)
    4. the man couldn’t get the love he expected from the women
    5. Was committing adultery by seeing others for sex

    Ok let’s say one or a combination of any of these is committed by the women and that derived the man to dig out her eyes. Again, mind you the man might or might not have tangible evidences for alleged wrong doings. Also don’t forget the degree of importance of these thing vary from one to another. The greater bad feelings a factor creates on one, the higher the damage s/he inflicts, I suppose.

    It is not uncommon to witness such causes from happening. Both men and women indulge in committing such ‘treason’ on each other. If we take statistics, I am sure high numbers of men commit such things than females. But we have to admit, most of the time women face serious life damaging consequences than men because of men dominance culture we inherited.

    Hope with education our sisters and daughters will gain the confidence to say no and resist for any wrong doings aimed at them. Education and support from society, justice system, and their fellow brothers will free them from this bondage circle.

    Returning back to cause analysis, I am sure anyone feels bad if our other wing (either man or women) causes that damage on us. It will drive one crazy. The emotionality might overwhelm than rationality. The mental setup might be imbalanced and as a result things from madness might follow. This is the extreme scenario. All those factors might not lead such status. From what I observe, absence of love and seeking sex with other while seemingly in love with one leads to such extreme behavior.

    Again, I assure you I am by no means justifying the end. Human being is created good, s/he can control his mind, has the potential to behave rationally, so s/he can follow that path. First of all, he should not react on basis of suspicion. Then let’s say he has good ground to say those treasons are actually happened. I will say for those causes mentioned under #1 and #2, he has to use every legal means to regain what is right for him/her, because somehow it should be possible to find and present evidences the legal system demands.

    In my view, among the purposes of marriage, one is to bring forth offspring that believes in God.

    As written in Baha’i scriptures, “The key purpose of Bahá’í marriage — beyond physical, intellectual and spiritual companionship — is children. Bahá’ís view child-rearing not only as a source of great joy and reward, but as a sacred obligation.”

    Those who married and have kids can witness how life changing experience is when children appear into a married life. But it should always be with the consent and full agreement of both wife and husband. If there is difference on this, it should be given time and discussed amicably. I believe it will be solved through time unless there are other health, trust, absence of love, or other problems evoking the difference. Anyways, couples should understand that it should not come out of impositions.

    Absence of love is a bit serious in my view. Then rationalizing it from points why it happened and how it can be addressed smoothly should be the logical subsequent questions both parties need to answer. If can be addressed, that is preferable. Marriage is a very big, sacred, and spiritual institute. Rushing to break it is not advisable by all means. All efforts should be just to keep it on going. But if there is no love and peace between wife and husband and they can not resolve their difference, there is no reason why amicable divorce can’t be a solution.

    The last cause is extremely serious be it caused by either a wife or a husband. I can objectively speak many husband commit it as wives do. And it is done in secrecy. It is rare to red-hand such misbehaviors. But I admit, it will drive many mad. Ok, even in this case, is it acceptable to cause life threatening damage on the one who done it? I don’t align my self with those who answer, “yes”.

    My stand is that society and justice system need to adopt serious punishment systems acknowledging it is done in secrecy with understanding that it will be extremely difficult to substantiate it with enough and concrete evidences. For instance, permitting divorce without any share of wealth in light of very minimum level but credible evidence systems. But the issue of demanding and presenting minimum and credible evidence is my dilemma. But all I believe is whatever sign is obtained of adultery; it should be seriously penalized and should be considered as willful breakage of companionship or marriage.

    If this is a law, then it will protect people from going mad and hinder them from taking life damaging actions.

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    • ‘going mad’ is not a reason! no matter how emotional or ‘mad’ he became, he would not have done such a thing if she was stronger than him. this is a power play. he did this because he felt he had power over her! No matter what she did, he made a choice to be violent. there are any number of alternatives he could have taken but he chose violence!

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