Fact: By 1990, 40% of Eritrean freedom fighters were made up of women. Making the EPLF the highest percentile of women fighters than any other liberation army worldwide. Let that marinate for a second!!
When I sit back and reflect on this, so many things become clearer in my mind. I’ve always admired the grace that Eritrean women embodied. Couple that with strength, resilience, and a loving heart that’s the cherry atop this sundae. My God, this woman sounds like some sort of medieval sorceress who spends her days strategizing world peace, while cooking monster meals for her little ones before sending them off to school, which she inevitably does on the back of a unicorn. In short, she doesn’t seem real. I mean, how do these women make it all seem so effortless?? Tell me your secrets. Tell me, I say!
The beauty of all this magic is that when you’re born into this reality one doesn’t have to look far. I’m fortunate enough to be talking about the many mothers, aunties, sisters, cousins, & friends I have in my abundantly blessed life.
I mean, is it a wonder that I’m a strong-willed feminist? It’s forged in my make. It runs through my veins. The perception that a woman can do anything and everything a man can. Think about it! Eritrean women have been fighting since 1810. They not only held house and home, they fought on the field alongside their countrymen. At a time in the world where women (although the backbone) were brushed to the side without thought, their opinions dissuaded, it’s knowing the stock one comes from that can shape who we are.
Sorry mama. Sorry baba. I know of all the things that make the Eritrean woman, you wish I’d veer towards the domestic but that’s a no-go. Strap me up and send this jigna (warrior) to the battlefield (uh, hypothetical battlefield because you know…. I bruise easily 😔)
Jokes aside, I want to take this moment to thank the thousands of women who’ve paved the way for me. You’ve taught me that my abilities in life can exceed all my expectations if I just do it!
A’day Eri, in all my endeavours I carry your spirit with me. Blood of my blood. 💚❤💛💙
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