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Ethiopia

Middle East Has To Be Avoided

The Monitor (Addis Ababa)
November 2, 1999
By Mikre Sultan

Addis Ababa - Stories about the suffering of Ethiopian maids in Middle East countries have become rife these days. Some of the blood- curdling incidents involved rape and murder.

It is ironic that against such a background, there are still several Ethiopians wishing to go and "work" in these countries, especially Lebanon. I think Ethiopians who had escaped from these countries alive must come out and speak to save their sisters from potential suffering and even death.

Some people say that Ethiopia must have some form of diplomatic presence in these countries. While this may help in enhancing the safety and protection of Ethiopians to a certain extent, it can't stop the atrocities.

The cruelty suffered by alien maids must rather be seen in the context of the socio-cultural reality in these countries. We shouldn't forget that most alien maids are caught between men having unlimited power over their families, let alone house maids, and women languishing under male tyranny.

The men can rape them while the women can beat them. If evoked, the law is most likely to add insult to injury by indicting the alien victim and absolving the native culprit.

Diplomacy can hardly change this situation. Middle East has simply to be avoided.


Copyright (c) 1999 The Monitor - Addis Ababa. Distributed via Africa News Online (www.africanews.org). For information about the content or for permission to redistribute, publish or use for broadcast, contact the publisher.

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