Women in Action

As we approach the end of Women’s History Month,  we could reflect on any one of the numerous  events and programs we have held to promote the valuable contributions women have made to history, or raise the challenges they still face.  Many of you have engaged with us in thoughtful conversations that are important to advancing equality over the long term.  But today, we’d like to focus on one event in particular, the screening of the hit film “Hidden Figures”.

“Hidden Figures” is the phenomenal true story of how African-American women played pivotal roles in America’s greatest achievements in space.  The movie is important not because it presents even more evidence that women can do anything men can do, but it tells the story of women whose contributions went largely unrecognized for most of their lives.  In that sense they, like many women, were truly “hidden figures”.   Left to work behind the scenes, uncredited, underestimated, and underappreciated, these women nevertheless persisted in pursuing their goals and their commitment to serving their country.  Like so many women, their goal was not to gain recognition, but just to be allowed to reach their fullest potential without being held to different standards than their male counterparts.


This is the true purpose of Women’s History Month.  Not just to acknowledge that women are equally capable, but that they are able to demonstrate that capability despite the handicaps they are given by society.  In “Hidden Figures” we see how the women not only had to work harder in their jobs in order to advance, but they still had to bear the responsibilities of raising children and running a home – something that is often still true today even in America.  The movie also explored how the main characters were not only discriminated because they were women, but because they were black (although sometimes it seemed that being a woman was even more of an issue) , a reminder that discrimination takes many forms.

Perhaps more important than all of this is the fact that “Hidden Figures” tells us that individuals can make a difference.  We often focus on the most famous figures in civil rights history, such as Rosa Parks, or Susan B. Anthony.  And they are undoubtedly important.  But in this movie, we also see how by persevering and refusing to give in to discrimination, individuals can change the people around them, and the system as well.   These women succeeded in more than helping NASA to put the first American in space, they helped to change America itself for the better.  It should be an inspiration to all of us, man or woman, to know that we can each make a difference.

By sharing this story, we acknowledge that the issue of gender equality is not just an issue for Ethiopia, but something we continue to seek in the United States as well.  It’s an issue around the world and we will only tackle it by acknowledging the barriers that women face and commit to removing them.  We have to make sure that women are no longer “hidden figures” but are fully equal and valued members of society in every possible way.


ሴቶች በተግባር!

ሴቶችን የሚዘክረውን የሴቶች ታሪክ ወርን ስናገባድድ፤ ሴቶች በታሪክ ውስጥ ያላቸዉን ጉልህ አስተዋጽኦ ለማስተዋወቅ እና የሚገጥሟቸዉን ተግዳሮቶች ለይቶ በማሳየት ላይ አተኩረን ያካሄድናቸዉን ዝግጅቶች እና ሁነቶችን  መለስ ብለን እንመለከታቸዋለን፡፡ ብዙዎቻችሁ ከእኛ ጋር በነበራችሁ የተለያዩ ልውውጦች፤ የሴቶችን እኩልነት በዘላቂነት ለማረጋገጥ የሚያስችሉ ጠቃሚ ሀሳቦችን አንስታችኋል፡፡ የዛሬ ጽሑፋችን ትኩረት ግን “Hidden Figures” “ድብቅ ማንነቶች” በሚል ርዕስ በታየው ፊልም ላይ ይሆናል፡፡

“ድብቅ ማንነቶች” በሚል የቀረበው ፊልም፤ በእዉነተኛ ታሪክ ላይ የተመሠረተ እና አፍሪካ-አሜሪካውያን ሴቶች አሜሪካ በህዋ ሳይንስ ለተቀዳጀችው ስኬት ያበረከቱትን ጉልህ አስተዋጽኦ  የሚያሳይ ነው፡፡ ፊልሙ ሴቶች ከወንዶች እኩል መሥራት እንደሚችሉ ብቻ ሳይሆን ያበረከቱት አስተዋጽኦ ይሁንታን ሳያገኝ ዘመናትን ስለመሸጋገሩ የሚተርክ ነው፡፡ በዚህ እይታ በፊልሙ ታሪክ ዉስጥ የቀረቡ ሴቶች ልክ እንደ ሌሎች ብዙ ሴቶች ሁሉ ድብቅ ማንነት ያላቸው ናቸው፡፡  ከመድረክ በስተጀርባ እንዲሰሩ ተደርገዋል፤ ለሥራቸዉ እውቅና ተነፍጓቸዋል፤ ዝቅተኛ ግምት ተሰቷቸዋል፤ እናም ውዳሴን ተነፍገዋል፡፡ ነገር ግን እነኚህ ሴቶች ተስፋ ባለመቁረጥ አገራቸዉን በቁርጠኝነት አገልግለዋል፡፡ እንደ አብዛኛዎቹ ሴቶች ሁሉ፤ ዓላማቸዉ እውቅናን ከማግኘት ይልቅ፤ እንደ ወንዶች እኩዮቻቸዉ ሁሉ ያለምንም ገደብ ችሎታቸውን በመጠቀም ያላቸውን ለማበርከት ነበር፡፡

ይህ የሴቶች ታሪክ ወር እዉነተኛ ግብ ነው፡፡ ሴቶች በእኩል ደረጃ ማበርከት እንደሚችሉ ብቻ ሳይሆን፤ የሚደርስባቸዉን ችግር ተቋቁመዉ ችሎታቸዉን ገቢራዊ ማድረግ እንደሚችሉ ማሳያም ጭምር ነው፡፡ “ድብቅ ማንነቶች” ፊልም የሚያስገነዝበን እውነታም ሴቶች በሥራቸው ስኬትን ለመቆናጠጥ ጠንክረው መስራት እንዳለባቸዉ ብቻ ሳይሆን፤ በአሜሪካም እየታየ እንዳለው፤ ሴቶች ልጆችን የማሳደግ እና ቤት የማስተዳደር ሥራዎችን ጭምር ደርበው እንደሚሰሩ ለማሳየት ነው፡፡ የፊልሙ ዋና ገፀባህርያት ከሴትነታቸው በተጨማሪ ጥቁር በመሆናቸው የመገለል ሰለባ መሆናቸውም መድሎ ብዙ ገጽታዎች እንዳሉት ማሳያ ነው፡፡

ከሁሉ በላይ ደግሞ “ድብቅ ማንነቶች” ግለሰቦች ልዩነት መፍጠር እንደሚችሉ ይነግረናል፡፡ ብዙውን ጊዜ ሮዛ ፓርክስ እና ሱዛን አንቶኒን የመሳሰሉት ታዋቂ ግለሰቦች ላይ እናተኩራለን፡፡ እነኚህ ግለሰቦች ያለጥርጥር አስፈላጊ ናቸዉ፡፡ ነገር ግን በዚህ ፊልም ግለሰቦች በዙሪያቸዉ ያሉ ሰዎችንም ሆነ የአሰራር ሥርዓትን፤ ተስፋን ባለመቁረጥ እና መገለልን በመቃወም መቀየር እንደሚችሉ አይተናል፡፡ ታሪካቸው በፊልሙ የቀረበላቸዉ ሴቶች የአሜሪካ ብሔራዊ የህዋ ሳይንስ ማዕከል (ናሳ) የመጀመሪያውን አሜሪካዊ ወደ ሕዋ መላክ እንዲችል ብቻም ሳይሆን፤ የተሻለች አሜሪካን በመፍጠር ረገድ እገዛ አድርገዋል፡፡ ይህ ሁላችንም ለውጥ ፈጣሪ ስለመሆናችን ግንዛቤ እንድናዳብር እንደ ማነቃቂያ ሊያገለግለን ይገባል፡፡

ይህንን ታሪክ ስናካፍላችሁ፤ የጾታ እኩልነት ጉዳይ በኢትዮጵያ ብቻ ሳይሆን በአሜሪካም የሚነሳ ጉዳይ መሆኑን ማሳወቅ እንወዳለን፡፡ ይህን ዓለም አቀፍ ጉዳይ መጋፈጥ የሚቻለዉ ሴቶች የሚገጥሟቸውን እንቅፋቶች በመገንዘብ እና ለመፍትሔው ቁርጠኛ በመሆን ነው፡፡ የሴቶች ማንነት ድብቅ ሆኖ እንዳይቀርና በማንኛውም መንገድ የኀብረተሰቡ አንድ አካል መሆናቸዉን ማረጋገጥ አለብን፡፡