New York, New York – (March 8th, 2014) The panel discussion took place in New York in commemoration of International Women’s Day. It was attended by Native American performers, Beth Lamor, Pam Timmons, UN woman group, caravan TV representatives and all invited guests arrived at 12:30 PM at 310 East Forty second street New York, NY on March 8th, 2014.The panelists were Ms. Nancy Solomon, Ms. Helen Afework (who directly came from Ethiopia who is a student researcher on immigrant domestic workers), Mrs. Velma D. Bank and Dr. Georgina Falu (who is a board member of ESAC and the moderator of the event).
Dr. Georgina Falu- the moderator in red
Dr. Georgina Falu, as moderator, started the program by introducing the chairperson to give the remark for the event.Ms. Zewditu Fesseha, founder of ESAC, welcomed the attendees and gave a remark about the international women’s day by saying ” there is a long way to go in the women struggle especially women from Ethiopia trying to find a job in the gulf states who are experiencing hard times and a lot of abuse”. After Ms. Fesseha’s opening remarks, Dr. Falu brought other guest panelists on stage to elaborate on general Women’s issue.
Guest Panelists from Left to Right: Helen Afework, Bizu Riki, Velma D. Banks, and Zewditu Fesseha.
With this in mind she invited the first panelist Ms. Nancy Salamone. Nancy Salamone is an author and former Wall Street Executive who is an advocate against Domestic Abuse because she was victim of it. Due to her experience, Nancy spoke about women’s issues being very complex and she stressed that we have to work together to address the issues. She also spoke about how saddened she was when she watched a video showing an Ethiopian woman being beaten by Saudi men. She said, “is it a game to show their bravery? I’am astonished by how they could post this video on Youtube for everyone to go and see this horrific activity.” She continued saying” The women in the video was hanged upside and beaten viciously until she lost conscious and it’s saddening to see the world we live in and the abuse of these Ethiopian women. “. She also added ” let’s stand beside ESAC in addressing the issue of Ethiopian Women Domestic workers Violence in the Gulf countries. The beating of these woman in Saudi is a barbaric thing and this has to be stopped and the people there should be taken responsible for their actions. ESAC is working to address the issue and finding a solution for it.”
Next panelist, is Ms. Helen Afework who spoke about the abuse of Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker’s in the gulf-states and how brutal it is. She spoke about these Ethiopian Women not having legal rights, and to consider their way of reaching the Gulf-states (whether it was through illegal or legal channel), no matter what both are being abused. She also showed images and presentation on her thesis regarding Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker Abuse by the international media. With this observation, Helen added “the Ethiopian Government must educate these Ethiopian women/girls before they think about leaving. Even though, at this moment, the legal channel itself, it does not give these Ethiopian women enough support and education to endure the challenges ahead of them in these gulf-states. These women rely on influences of friends who may be lucky and their experiences.” She continued by saying “there is not enough resources for these women and girls to stay in Ethiopia”. Ms. Afework concluded by suggesting that ESAC work with local NGO to help for these women that desperate need and deserve.
After Ms. Afework’s presentation and speech, Buzu Rikki, who is an Ethiopian Jew from NY and founder of Chassida Shmella, gives her perspective of Ethiopian Women of Israel who are also facing women issues (on the international level). She explains that Ethiopian Jewish Women in Israel are abused by their husbands because the man (as the head of house) could not find a job in Israel and provide for his family. For the women, it is easy to find a job as a domestic worker and this changes the dynamic because she ends up being the head of the household and becomes the provider for the family. The situation creates conflict among the man as he feels he didn’t fulfill his duty and abuses his wife as a result of it. This is one scenario of Ethiopian women issues faced in Israel and Ms. Rikki concluding by saying “the abusers end up in prison and it took a lot of work to make that happen”. Often, coming from Ethiopia, with no education, this is the problem these Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker’s face.
Dr. Falu then presented the final panelist, Miss. Velma D. Banks who has organized and developed support groups like the Advancement of Colored People, Urban League, Black Solidarity Day and many more. Miss. Banks spoke about women’s issue being a human rights issue. She elaborate and explained how the two areas overlap one another and how we must recognize this issue. As the International Women’s Day 2014 ESAC event culminated, the floor was given to the audience to ask questions and give suggestions. Many great ideas and suggestions were discussed and ESAC is continuing to create awareness about the Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker Abuse in Gulf-states. Based on the first resolution, ESAC is still trying to initiate dialogue with hosting Gulf-states until a lasting solution is created. ESAC is anticipating it’s next annual International Women’s Day hopefully with this problem being resolved permanently.
Native American Performers
Click here for this event’s flier:
Contact: Zewditu Fesseha
Adress: 310 E 42nd Street, at 12:00pm New York, NY
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Ethiopian Social Assistance Committee will held its annual event on March 8, 2014
The Panel discussion is focused on advocating for the right of domestic workers in the Middle East who are suffering from horrific act of various human Right violations. For long time, women have remained invisible in various sectors across the world. Their socio-economic contributions and unique experiences have not been taken into account. Furthermore, domestic violence is one of the deep-rooted problems of women that hinder socio-economic empowerment.
The abuse of domestic workers is a human right issue. It needs an in-depth understanding of the issues that is related with the domestic work industry. It has received widespread news coverage in deferent incident after an Ethiopian nanny in Libya who had suffered from the abuse and severe burns at the hands of her employers that was exposed by a CNN reporter. Also Ethiopian Domestic worker, Alem Dechasa, in daylight in Lebanon dragged to the car by her employer and shortly later reported of committing suicide. These and other similar incidents have been exposed by Aljazeera, BBC and other Medias. The human right violation of Ethiopian Immigrant workers story elicited heated reactions from Ethiopians and the worldwide, putting the spotlight on thousands of others who continue to toil under dangerous conditions in various countries in the region. These surfaced cases, domestic worker travesty, are still prevalent. Let the world know the extent of the problem and the need of urgent action!
Having said these, ESAC kindly invites you to join us on our panel discussion of experts advocate to create awareness and seeking justice for Abused Ethiopian Domestic Workers.
Click here for this event’s flier:
New York, NY (December 10, 2013) — Despite uninviting snow storm in New York City, ESAC and protesters held a candlelight vigil in front of Saudi Arabian Mission to United Nations in memory of Ethiopian Migrant Victims of Saudi Arabian abuse.
During the event of Nelson Mandela’s untimely death, ESAC remembers Mandela’s contribution to equality and human rights. On December 10th, a day commemorating Human Rights all around the world; ESAC and protesters came together to also remember Ethiopian Migrant Victims who suffered and died in result of their basic human rights being violated. The abuse of the Ethiopian Domestic workers abroad must come to an end and we continue to request and make sure Saudi Arabia is held responsible and that we will not give up until we get a lasting and substantial solution to this problem. We (ESAC) ask that these victims not suffer in vain but that Ethiopians who are still trapped and voiceless, be noticed and be freed without reservation.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
On November 18th, 2013, ESAC and community came together to join and march for the voiceless. Many Ethiopians have been deported from Saudi Arabia, as of recently. Groups are now trying to get funds to help these victims. The struggle for many Ethiopians is still not over, some are waiting to get transportation back to Ethiopia and are our begging for help. For those who lost their lives, ESAC is calling everyone to come together for a candlelight vigil on December 10,2013 and prayer. For more info, refer to the flier below:
In the wake of the violence against Ethiopian workers and immigrants in Saudi Arabia, ESAC is going to demonstrate in front of the Saudi Arabia Mission.
New York,NY (November 18th, 2013) — With the current situation for Ethiopians in the Mid-East, many Ethiopian domestic workers and immigrants are being abused in the form of torture, rape, beating, murder and etc… These Ethiopian domestic workers and immigrants commit no crime as they just desire the opportunity to work, provide and simply survive. ESAC and many Ethiopians in New York plan to protest in front of the Saudi Arabian Mission with hopes that the Saudi Arabian Mission will live up to its international responsibility to protect migrant workers and immediately end the of abuse of these vulnerable human beings. We demand that Saudi Arabian Mission end the gross violation of basic human rights and to launch a thorough and independent investigation into the killings and bring those responsible accountable.
ESAC and protesters will hold a peaceful demonstration in front Saudi Mission, on the corner of 46th street between 1st and 2nd street NY, NY. Anyone is welcome to support this cause and join our demonstration against the abuse of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia. If you want to attend and demonstrate, the flier is attached below:
(ESAC) is a non-political, non-profit organization. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation law for welfare and educational purposes. ESAC’s objective is to support and advocate for the youth, women’s rights, health, and education, Health one of ESAC objective and bring In order to raise awareness on the issues mentioned, ESAC plans to provide basic educational seminars as well as organize conferences, panel discussions, and communal events on health for communities.