I’ve never been to Ethiopia. With its rich cultural heritage, unparalleled archeological sites, and delicious food, it has long been on my list of places I’d love to visit. Meanwhile I’ve been in transit through Addis Ababa Bole International Airport 17 times. Clearly, that doesn’t count.
Even though I’ve never worked or visited, I’ve still been tagged on a lot of social media advocacy for the Tigray crisis in the last few months.
Pay attention! People are telling me.
I am paying attention. We all should.
And even though I’ve never been there — I still can do something. Let’s start at the beginning.
Ethiopia is strategic and important. Africa’s second most populous country has endured civil war, famine, and military rule for decades. But recently, Ethiopia’s story was changing. The economy has grown rapidly, along with its strategic importance in the Horn of Africa and the wider region.
What’s up with Tigray?!
Tigray is the country’s northernmost state, home to around 7 million Tigrayans — 6% of Ethiopia’s population. Since November of 2020, the Ethiopian government has been in conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Thousands of lives have been lost, and at least a million people have been displaced.
But we’re not talking about it. The outside world has hardly noticed, while the plight of the region continues to worsen.
How bad is it, you ask? We’re talking about 90% of the population of Tigray — over 5 million people — in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. In other words: bad.
How did we get here, you ask?
What does this mean for people?!
And – what does this mean for women and girls?!
Head here for the rest: https://linaabirafeh.medium.com/women-of-tigray-are-calling-out-are-we-listening-4bc87cb87092