A Weekend of Women

Men. Every where we go in Ethiopia to visit our projects, we see men. We talk to men. We stay with men, and they show us how our projects are making a difference in the lives of their communities. Most often, the men are not camera shy.

And I have to admit they are a colorful, charismatic, captivating lot. And for hairstyles and head gear they are unequalled.

We saw women, of course, but we had to work a bit harder to meet them and talk to them. They were often inside, or working, and reluctant to talk or be seen, modest about the camera.

And if I was honest, I had to admit that I had a bias towards the lives of the men we met. They seemed bolder, more interesting, with their outdoor lives–their animals, weapons, gear, clothing. The lives of rural women seemed to be more confined, harsh, limited.

I began to realize that for all the time we spent with our beneficiaries, I didn’t have a good idea of what life was really like for a rural Ethiopian woman. How free were they in their own households? How hard did they work? What was a typical day like for a village woman?

I thought I should go and find out.

Yerus Aklilu, MCC’s office accountant, me, and Shimeta Ezezew, founder of partner AEID, hiking back to a village where Yerus and I would spend three days.




4 thoughts on “A Weekend of Women

  1. Not hard at all to understand a fascination with the menfolk who declare themselves in eye catching fashions which your pics portray so well! I look forward to the unveiling of strength that is behind the outward appearance of shyness and reticence of the women.


  2. Wish I could go find out with you! Truly enjoying your stories and pictures, Rose, and can’t wait to hear them in person this summer. Keep them coming!


  3. Rose, I so enjoyed reading this post and the following one. How valuable to spend time with rural Ethiopian women! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I imagine that as a woman, you have more access to and therefore insight into the lives of women–half of the population!–compared with the men in your family. What an opportunity.


  4. Rose, you captured it like it is, your days with the women, revealing their stamina in labor intensive chores with relaxing interludes of tea times, their sharp- edged livelihoods softened by community with each other, their daily lives interwoven with tough simplicity and tradition that carries them along, from short-lived childhood to arranged marriages and responsibilities of adulthood. Thank you for taking this journey into our sister’s lives and sharing it so well with us!


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