Date: Thursday, 29 November 2018
In December 2012 I interviewed Sanait Kidana, the founder of the Eritrean Women’s Community Center. Kidana has since emigrated to a Western country. We met following the murder of six Eritrean women by partners or family members between 2010 and 2012.
“The murder of the girl [Tsegai] by the mother’s partner is a sad and shocking case; we condemn all violence in our community and hope that the murderer will be caught today,” says Eden Tesfamariam, the new director of the Eritrean Women’s Community Center. “That sweet girl was magic, she was always friendly and was always happy and optimistic. This is a great loss for all of us.”
“Life in Israel is not easy for us,” says Tesfamariam. “We suffered a great deal during the journey and here in Israel. Because we were not accepted as refugees, we were left to cope alone. Many of the men who came to Israel experienced many traumas and never underwent any rehabilitation process, and if that weren’t enough, the government has exerted heavy pressure on us from the moment we arrived and did everything in its power to make us feel undesirable, with laws that restrict our freedom, that sink us into poverty with the deposit law. There is a great deal of frustration at the lack of an orderly policy regarding our asylum requests."
“Unfortunately, more than a few men turn to alcohol, which in many cases leads to violence, and the first ones hurt are us women, who must cope with all this at home. Many times we are left with nowhere to turn and are forced to again cope alone. Please stop exerting this pressure on us and instead institute an orderly policy so that we can make use of our rights as women, so that we can get proper solutions in the realms of welfare and health, to prevent other painful cases like this one,” she said.