Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Millennium African Challenge: African Mothers Abusing Their Daughters

Dear Patriotic Ethiopians and Friends of Ethiopia/Africa;

African Mothers May need Mothers Day to Change their Abusing practice!

There is a clear distinction about the role of mothers in the West and East as well in the Developing world.

Overall, the media in the West portrays Men, brothers, fathers and grandfathers as a source of violence and abuse as it relates to women and children. Perhaps this is true in the East and Middle East where suicide bombers and militant fighters and terrorists are by and large men. However the phenomenon in Africa is quite different.

The recent report from Africa shows a different epidemic and gender profile of abusers. The attached report about females, mothers and step mothers and grand mothers as the main girl abusers is very interesting. It is always considered the worst offenders are those who have the closest contact. Here mothers and step mothers have the closest contact and turns out that they are also the main offenders and abusers of young girls. Mind you this is looking at by and large the obvious physical abuse, if we cosider the emotional and psychological abuse alos, perhaps the damage is even more pervasive.

The question is what should be done? Awareness, education, behavior modification as well as legal protection of children and especially young girls is critical. Perhaps to establish a regional data base of at-risk girls and registry might help

All the same this is a very interesting challenge! Should African Men be excused from the challenge? Are they enabling the women to be abusive? that is another question that needs to be addressed. Why does the culture allow mothers to abuse their daughters instead of protecting them as they should?

Please read on and make your own judgements and may be give us your perspective as well.

Belai Habte-Jesus

Ethiopia: Ethiopian Mothers Among Greatest Girl
Abusers - Report

The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)

16 May 2007
Posted to the web 16 May 2007

Endale Assefa
Addis Ababa

Ethiopian parents- either biological mothers or
step-mother-are among the "high level girl abusers"
next to Uganda and Kenya, according to a new global

The report, which was launched here yesterday, said
women parents, or step mothers in those countries
abuse girls under their custody by canning, slapping,
pinching, burning and overworking.

The report Because I am a girl: found that 85.5% of
girls in Uganda, 80% in Kenya and 71.1% in Ethiopia
have undergone such types of abuses.

According to the report which shows the state of the
world's girl report 2007, Sub-Saharan Africa in
General and East Africa in Particular showed
persistence in complicated socio-economic problems.

"Even if the world has achieved to decrease child
mortality in the past two decades, the situation in
Sub-Saharan Africa is rather increasing," the report

Girls according to the report are the most victimized

Two-third of the newly infected youth aged between 15
and 19 with HIV/Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa are girls,
the report has found.

The region also continues to be worst hit in child

One in five child still die before the age of five;
based on which the report generalized saying that over
40 countries in the region are not on the track to
reach the goal of two-third reduction of the under-5
mortality rate by 2015.

According to the report, Neuronatal, Diarrhea and
Malaria art the three most causes of child death
registered in 2004 with 37%, 17 %and 8% respectively.

Speaking at the launch of the report Tiruwork Tizazu,
Women's affairs head with the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development (MOFED) said due to socio-
cultural reasons, the gender difference in Ethiopia
which she said starts form the early childhood.

where girls including women are denied of the benefits
of education and health, she added.

She noted that poverty leads many families to withdraw
their daughters from schools and arrange marriage for
them at a young age and hence become the victims of
different types of abuses.

Tiruwork indicated the Ethiopian government recognized
gender as human right issue, a poverty reduction and a
development goal in its own right and has committed
itself to promote gender equity across the country's
development processes and agenda.

She noted that such a commitment has been clearly
stipulated by the Ethiopian 1994 constitution that
emphasizes the equality between females and males.

"The country is facing structural and persistent
poverty that affects around 40% of the populations."

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