PFDJ is a Male Chauvinist political organization: The case of Eritrean Women

A news report of November 20, 2017 published in the only existing Eritrean news has brought into my attention what I was thinking about the PFDJ nature of male chauvinism. The report, as given below, reports that a conference was held in Massawa to discuss about women in general and women students in particular about mesntrual cycle related topics such how to deal with psychological stresses and hygiene related issues during menstrual.

The conference was held based on a research findings about Problems and Challenges women during menstrual cycle. The research was conducted in 10 schools scattered around the country,

The conference was held in corporation with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders[though not mentioned, they are PFDJ members, Administrators, and Ministry of defence].

women in Eritrea

What strucked my attention is about the participants. It was not a surprise but a revelation about the nature of PFDJ control power. Though the objective of the conference was about women issues, those who participated in the conference are dominated by men. Only 13 women were present among 30 men. It is almost 3 men to 1 woman ratio.

This is not abnormal under PFDJ rule. No one has a power to talk about his cause. PFDJ appointed officers talk on behalf of everybody. What makes it disturbing is PFDJ has so many promotions on securing women rights.

Eritrea is accused of committing rape and sexual harrassement to its women citizens which may be amounted to crimes against humanity. Yemane Gebremeskel, Director of Presidential Office and Minister of Information, once said, “rape, like many parts of the world, happens here and there.”

Women are not free to fight for their rights. The only women association that exists in Eritrea is under full control of PFDJ political office. Even in high UN meetings, Eritrean women are accompanied by men who talk on their behalf. For example, in this photo, Ambassador Ghirma Asmeron and UNDP representative in Eritrean were talking on behalf of Eritrean women delegates.

eritrean women in UN

Eritrean women were the main actors during the armed struggle for liberation making more than 30% of the over all fighters. They were supposed to secure a right place by having equal power as men. Unfortunately, 26 years after independence, they are even unable to talk about their most striking natural issues.

On behalf, they are dominated by male chauvinists. Men decide what is right for them and what should do in their life, including their biological nature.

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