The women that triumphed over… us

Eritrean women gathering – Washington DC/USA
February 08, 2020

ይኣክል ዘይኮነስ እወ ንኽእል ይብላ አለዋ ኤርትራውያን ደቀንስትዮ።

Each Eritrean woman can tell a story of a strong woman that raised her and gave her a chance. Most of the time – in our society – that woman is a mother, a grandmother or a female Veteran.

Nowadays, Eritrean women are like a directory of people helping each other. Last night gathering in Washington DC/USA is a clear proof ! Their flawless work to organize and interview women in any field lifted a lid preventing unity and confidence.

We could never clearly explain what was it in our society, that told us “you are enough” and most stopped at the “enough” This gathering of women shouted that we are more than enough! Because the sweet “enough” left us – for many decades- scrambling to get more. Last night each Eritrean woman – be it our mothers, our godmothers, our aunts, the Adey next door, our daughters and granddaughters- we were lifted to a “WOW” moment!

They told our future Eritrea, that women rights will not stop at paragraph # 3 of our future constitution. Women rights and protection by law, will be mentioned in each paragraph of our constitution! Women are no more waiting for calls to be acknowledged for a job; they are no more disappointed by the zero call back of male leaders. Women will be first acknowledged by their brain and strength and no more by their bra sizes as comments of a job interview! The narrative until now is that women are commodities one can dispose at any time. Last night gathering told us that we are as tall as mountains, we control the rivers to flow because we are scientists and protect the environment in Eritrea and surroundings! Last night they told us that we are no more in search of agencies to represent us for a chance to hear our voices! We are no characters of a play in some – soon-to-be forgotten – drama. Our narrative we master and we focus on rationality. We never believed that femininity is awe-inspiring and masculinity is mystifying. One was slandered and the other one was venerated! How we should find balance, we saw it last night. Eritrean men were dancing to the power of Eritrean women. Veterans told us how they defeated the enemy in operation Finkil/Massawa and how women played a huge role by fighting side-by-side and never walking behind men! It seems that we found a balance now, let us hold hands so not to tip the weight one way or the other! Our actions inspire stories for the new generation that is walking college campuses or suffering in remote jails. Our young generation fragmented in pieces by dictatorship, women are trying to gather, to save and to hug. For, that is exactly all our society did while raising us with a sane mind! Last night gathering told us that the power defined by violence of war or domination by a wrong regime, we will conquer and set back the foundations needed in our new Eritrea!

Eritreans are good people! In the search for equal rights, men stand by women and future female leaders will never forget that! Our new generation joined last night celebrations in a heartbeat, supported the moderators comments and clapped and danced, never trying to take away the spotlight for the hard work women did to reach this moment. Eritrean men – far away and close to the area – felt proud. We reminded them of their mothers, the wife they buried in Sahel, the daughter they held and hummed a lullaby to help her sleep! Last night Eritrean women wow each other! In the past, if women were asked to mention few thing they did right -most – would quote family, children, faith…today women quote their own achievements without undercutting themselves! Moreover, we should be proud of each women in the gathering because nothing can stop Eritrean women now!

At present time in women lives, there is no more Cinderella story; we can buy our own shoe and become partner with a person of our choice; a person that is accepted, appreciated and realizes that it takes more than a crystal shoe to impress us! We look for a life of purpose where partners respect and support each other!
Pain in our lives made us realize the power of fulfilling our own destiny! Eritrean women today proved that a woman has value not because she was born to a wealthy or prominent family, but because of her self-confidence in realizing the brevity of life. Our beliefs tell us that we need to combat – in unity – any negative circumstance life sends our way. No matter if it is sickness, being trafficked by others, rejection or financial troubles. From unity, we can draw healing, acceptance and deliverance; and at the end reach victory!

By looking at our lives, we can summarize that we gained wisdom from pain and we are willing to share it with the world, and not only with our young generations be it females or males.

It is our time now to lead our own future and lead Eritrea! I thank all Eritrean women and I reach out to all Eritrean men to build a strong and just future for our Eritrea. We can do that only with unity! My respect I send to the women that organized this successful conference and to all that attended! I am grateful!
Kiki Tzeggai

February 09, 2020