What About Men’s Contribution?

I am for the change that is coming into our beautiful country, Ethiopia, because of our new Prime Minister’s, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali’s, unique and promising vision for the new Ethiopia. I am also for the movement to encourage Ethiopian women to get involved in all sectors of the society.

As we speak, Ethiopia has a woman president, President Sahle-Work Zewde. This is good news not only to all Ethiopian women but to all women of the world!

Dr. Abiy named 10 women among the new cabinet he appointed (means, 50% of his cabinet members are now women). This is amazing! Praise God!

It is also exciting for me to see the Ethiopian Television Network for standing alongside this amazing “movement.” Wonderful to see this change in Etv.

For the past, I will say, three to four months, I have been watching one particular TV show in the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) YouTube channel called “Welo adar,” hosted by an amazing and talented woman, Asekale Tesfaye. This TV show helps me and my husband to know more about different tribes and cultures of Ethiopia.

After watching one “welo adar” show, you will have much appreciation, honor and respect to the Ethiopian women, how they sacrifice their lives on a daily basis for their families’ sake.

However, after watching like 8 of these shows, I felt really sad and terrible for the Ethiopian women because the show is focusing on what the women are doing all day long to keep the family going. The only time you see the men is when they come to eat.

Since I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I am ignorant about another cities and cultures outside Addis Ababa. So, I blindly took that show at its face value and concluded that the men are just there to be fed and taken care of by the women and that thinking created in me bitterness towards Ethiopian men.

Fortunately, my husband knows this guy who was born and raised in the rural part of Ethiopia. He is the son of a hard working farmer. So, he told my husband and my husband told me that there are actually so many things Ethiopian men, most of them are farmers, also do to keep the family going.

After I heard that, I wondered why shows such as “welo adar” don’t show the men’s contribution to the family and I was a bit concerned about that.

I hope and I pray that Ethiopia won’t follow the path this great nation, America, chose to follow, the path that criminalized men for every problem in the society. What is the result of that?

Men are seen as enemies of women and children instead of their protector and provider. So, women encouraged to leave their homes to make life without the help of a man. Now the number of single mother is increasing by the day. (there are other factors contributed to this too)

I don’t think you want me to go in detail as to what could be the result of that.

Fatherless homes raise a generation that has no respect for authority and no value for life which is what we see today in America.

So, I pray that we Ethiopians as a nation won’t let go of our culture in its entirety and follow the Westerns’ example. We shouldn’t reject and neglect our men’s contribution to the society. Yes, women shouldn’t be treated as an object or as a second class citizen.

We women are created equally with men but we are created differently. Men and women are not the same even if they are created equally. Their contributions to the family and to the society at large are different and their individual contributions are complementary and equally essential and needed.

Disqualifying and marginalizing men from the family and the society or presenting them as nothing but burden can actually cost the society in a big way.

I don’t need to list the cost. Just open social media and you will see it all.

So, it is my prayer that Ethiopians won’t fall for that political game that many politicians here in the US are playing, convincing women that they are victims if they choose to stay home and raise the next generation and they are told that the men in their lives are their enemies.

Oh, please, somebody listen to me: What we need is education, to teach men how important it is for them to love their wives and get involved in their kids’ lives and to teach us women how we can be the strength to our men while we do what we always love to do, to raise up the next generation. ///

P. S. I am not blind to the fact that there are many Ethiopian men who abuse their wives and children. I believe that with this new change that is coming to Ethiopia, “law” will take its rightful place among the society and will be able to bring those abusers to justice.