Happy 2014 to all!
The past year has been quite a year of learning for me. My engagement with a local women’s association for the past two-years and leading it through 2013 has been quite insightful in understanding more about female leadership – the opportunities and the obstacles that exist for women in Ethiopia. The trials and victories of many a woman i have had the opportunity to engage with give out the scent of resilience. Resilience in the various roles she plays – as a mother, a wife, a daughter, an employee or employer, a community agent. Each role riddled with its own bitter-sweet encounter with culture and expression of gender asymmetry.
It’s not the norm for me to develop wish lists for anything yet on this front i have the need to express a few i hope will materialize in some form or other over the next year. My wish is:
- more Ethiopian women and men will claim the label ‘feminist’ where their ideals are informed by feminism but they fear assuming the label.
- more Ethiopian women based in Ethiopia will increase their blogosphere presence and share their reflections.
- more women begin writing and documenting stories of women’s experiences – HERstories.
- more Ethiopian women and men adopt a feminist curiosity and ask the question ‘why’ on a number of gender status quo issues.
- less of gender mainstreaming as a tool-kit approach by organizations taking on these issues as a way of donor funding and more of addressing root causes of gender asymmetry.
- more discussions about sex and sexuality.
- media agents are gender aware in how their position of power affects a gender issue.
- a younger generation of women in Ethiopia create and sustain a women’s movement that is spearheaded by a feminist curiosity…where are the next generation of Meaza Ashenafi’s?
Let 2014 be a year of more ‘Why’s’ rather than ‘Okay’s’ where the rights of women and girls are concerned and in rectifying gender inequalities.
Love & Light