Eritrea A Case Study Sociology Essay

This assignment is based in a instance survey of a specific state ( in this instance Eritrea ) developed by each pupil in the Gender and Development Module, taking to the analysis of development jobs that intersect with gender, a reappraisal of how gender inequality is experienced in Eritrea, a policy analysis and the effectivity of the execution of policy directives every bit good as the state of affairs of HIV/AIDS.

Situated near the Horn of Africa, Eritrea is bathed in the E by the Red Sea and it has five million dwellers. Harmonizing to some paleontologists Eritrea, is celebrated for being the cradle of the elephant and one of the sanctuaries of the hominids of the universe.

Like many states in Africa, Eritrea was colonized by Italy in 1880-1941 and afterwards occupied by England in 1941. It was awarded to Ethiopia as portion of a federation in 1952 as an understanding against the Ethiopian claims for sovereignty and the Eritrean aspirations for independency. Meanwhile, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie ten old ages after decided to annex it, being the beginning of a war that lasted 32 old ages ( World Bank, Country Brief, 2010 ) .

Facts of the State


Estimated population

Official Languages

Major faiths

Life anticipation

Main exports

GNI per capita



km2 ( 45,560A sqA myocardial infarction )

5 million

Arabic, English and Tigrinya

Islam, Christianity

57 old ages ( work forces ) , 62 old ages ( adult females )

Livestock, fells, sorghum, fabrics, salt, and light industries

US $ 300 ( World Bank, 2008 )

Isaias Afewerki ( Since 1993 )

Table 1: ( BBC website 2010 )

After a war that lasted 32 old ages, the independency of Eritrea was approved in a referendum in 1993. Nevertheless, in 1998 boundary line differences between Ethiopia and Eritrea, around the town of Badme, erupted into unfastened belligerencies. This struggle ended with a peace trade in June 2000 and as all wars, go forthing both sides with 10s of 1000s of soldiers dead.

Now they face a hard undertaking: reconstruct the state that was devastated by a struggle for over 30 old ages, non merely its economic system, but infra-structures and agricultural Fieldss.

A Position on Education, Health, Economics and Policy

Education and Health

Education and literacy is indispensable in the modern universe in a sense that educated people are more productive and advanced. Education is non merely directed to inquiries related with economical development such as scientific discipline and engineering but besides with a vision of the universe and its values.

In this instance survey when concentrating in gender and instruction it is of import to detect that before their independency, the traditional formal instruction was simply established for spiritual intents and domination of the will of the people. During the class of the colonisation and the wars and alterations in authorities, there was non much infinite for gender issues or for the “ authorization[ 2 ]“ of adult females and their rights.

During the struggles, adult females decided to assist in the battle to liberate their state from foreign subjugation and the changeless battle against Ethiopian domination and in position of that, the chief party ( EPLF – which soon is the swayer party ) decided to prosecute in a new investing focused to set uping gender equality in instruction. During the first post-war period the EPLF, decided to let adult females to fall in its ranks and increase policies that surrogate adult females ‘s emancipation, therefore making the National Union of Eritrean Women ( NUEW ) in 1979, a motion that had a great impact in the alterations adopted by the state ‘s Civil Code. But as a former Eritrean combatant said and cited in an article written by Dan Connell, this Movement was ‘an organisation of adult females, non a adult females ‘s motion ‘ ( cited in Connell, Dan 1998 ) .

An article written by Ravinder Rena in 2005 showed that the gender disparity in Eritrean instruction reached a point that ‘the spread between male and female pupils had gone up from merely 4 % in 1991 to 33 % in 2003 ‘ ( Rena, Ravinder 2005 ) , and the latest Human Development Report issued in 2009 showed that ‘out of the 155 states with both HDI[ 3 ]and GDI[ 4 ]values, 135 states have a better ratio than Eritrea ‘s ‘ ( UNDP 2010, Human Development Report 2009 ) .

A few of the grounds refering the low or non attendings in schools particularly were the female gender is affected relates to:

The fact that misss are forced to go forth school due to set up matrimonies between households ;

The fact that misss are responsible for the care of the family and siblings, and we must non confound and believe that they have “ power ” of determination nor of pick, but that they are merely one more labour force in the house and in the agricultural Fieldss ( a fact that is witnessed in all undeveloped states, that translates in the fact that the more kids a household has the more rich it is specially in a patriarchal system ) ;

The fact that tradition and faith play an of import function in regard of adult females ‘s instruction and that there is this traditional belief in male high quality and therefore preferring to put in male childs instead than miss ‘s instruction ;

In position of the aforesaid one facet is highlighted: educated adult females are able to make or make up one’s mind things by themselves instead than depending on kids for economic and societal endurance and instruction may take female parents to value the instruction of their kids more extremely including a alteration from child measure to quality, taking a similar construction of the Women in Development attack which was inspired by Ester Boserup ‘s work in the mid 1970 ‘s where one of the schemes was ‘women should be offered equal entree to instruction and resources ‘ ( Foster, Emma 2010 ) .

Health – As in every state that has been through war and struggle, it is necessary to analyze the wellness system and the ongoing battle against HIV. A survey conducted by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS ( table 2 ) , showed that the figure of people populating with HIV has increased quickly and harmonizing to Dominique Mathiot ( UNAIDS Country Programme Adviser ) , cited in an article published in 2002, ‘there are a figure of grounds for concern, including the extroverted demobilization of 195,000 soldiers, the mass motion of people that followed the last struggle, every bit good as the economic exposure of many people ‘ ( cited in Limson, Janice 2002, Science In Africa 2010 ) .

Table 2


The World Bank stated that, ‘Eritrea is one of the poorest states in the universe with an mean one-year per capita income of US $ 270 in 2008, and ranked 164th out of 179 states in the 2008 HDI ‘ ( World Bank, Country Brief, 2010 ) . It is besides a dry state with few natural resources and its chief agencies of subsistence is agriculture and fishing with 80 % of the population involved.

Since the terminal of the war, the authorities has maintained a strong clasp in the economic resulting in the ban of all imports. As a consequence few private companies have stayed in the state, therefore one of the grounds that Eritrean economic system depends to a great extent ‘on loans and the net incomes of the diaspora ‘ ( BBC website 2010 ) .

Harmonizing to Marie W. Arneberg ‘women besides earn less than work forces within the same industry. However, adult females who have received instruction above basic degree seem to be treated equal to work forces one time they have entered the labor market ‘ ( Arneberg, Marie W. ( 1999 ) ) .

It is stated in the state ‘s Macro Policy that equal rights of adult females will be upheld and all Torahs that detract from this right will be changed, but despite these attempts adult females in Eritrea continue to be affected by traditions that prevents them accomplishing higher instruction and work topographic points and hence holding a low per centum in the economic system of the state. Harmonizing to Ravinder Rena, ‘women are most critically affected by nutrient insecurity and malnutrition, which puts them at a greater hazard of complications and decease during gestation and childbearing ‘ ( Rena, Ravinder 2005 ) .

Therefore sustainable human capacity development should be taken as most of import portion of adult females ‘s economic development.

Policy Analysis and Execution

During the post-war epoch and the creative activity of the Women ‘s motion there were important alterations in the civil codification which was enforced by the Constitution ( the ‘mother jurisprudence ‘ ) :

There is to be no favoritism between adult females and work forces in divorce instances ;

Illegality of polygamy ;

Abortion is legal in instances where the female parent ‘s mental or physical wellness is threatened and in cases of colza or incest ;

The Family Code recognizes 3 types of matrimonies: civil, spiritual and customary ( but all customary Torahs gives authorization for set uping engagements to male parents or male relations ) ;

Eritrean jurisprudence does non know apart in relation to inheritance rights ( but: despite this attempt, many adult females still lack the agencies of working the land and face troubles particularly in parts which cultural norms prevent adult females from uncluttering land ) ;

Since most of the society remains traditional and patriarchal most adult females have inferior position than work forces, both in their places and communities. Though the jurisprudence provides a model to better the position of adult females, it will take some clip for alterations to happen in traditional society and before civil rights addition precedence over customary traditions.

All of the alterations in the civil codification autumn in contradiction with the Islamic Sharia Law where for illustration, under Islamic laws, adult females may inherit from their male parent, female parent, hubby or kids, but, their portion is by and large merely half of that which work forces are entitled every bit good as the illegality of polygamy that clashes with Islamic law imposts that permits polygamous brotherhoods for Muslim work forces, who may take up to 4 married womans.

One of the most of import alterations made was in the beginning of April 2007, when the Government of Eritrea issued a ‘Proclamation to Abolish Female Circumcision ‘ , saying that it earnestly endangers adult females ‘s wellness – and violates their human rights ( Leshomo, Kutloano 2010 ; Unicef website 2010 ) . Even so adult females in Eritrea have comparatively low protection for their physical unity and the cogent evidence of it is the fact that although colza is punishable by jurisprudence, with a maximal imprisonment of up to 15 old ages, the same jurisprudence does non specifically acknowledge spousal colza.

In footings of engagement in the society, adult females receive six months of military preparation and are so deployed in rural countries for a twelvemonth to assist with route edifice, re-afforestation, and other undertakings. But some Muslim Eritreans have tried to reason for the freedom of Muslim adult females and some households seemingly tried to utilize matrimony as an freedom, but the authorities has held fast to the demand that all immature citizens irrespective of Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea gender, faith, or matrimonial position must finish their national service. The demand of non lone national service but military preparation for adult females is a important bequest of EPLF ‘s radical civilization.

3. Decision

On the first term of this Course, we attended talks of Critical Approaches to Development, and in the first talk the lectors requested the pupils to specify or represent with an object how they defined development. One of the chief apprehensions was that development is instruction. The economical hereafter of Eritrea depends on the ability to rule the most of import jobs, such as illiteracy, unemployment, and the will of the authorities to back up a true market economic system.

If it is true that the riddance of gender disparities in relation with instruction represents a cardinal aim of development, it is every bit imperative that adult females have entree to labor market and that they participate in the procedure of political determinations. Even so adult females ‘s engagement in the political domain is turning really easy with the intercession of the National Union of Eritrean Women.

Harmonizing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( which Eritrea is province party to this human rights convention ) , on its article 1 ‘all human existences are born free and equal in self-respect and rightsaˆ¦ ‘ and analyzed jointly with article 26 ‘everyone has the right to educationaˆ¦ ‘ ( United Nations 2010 ) , it is clear the natural rights that a individual is born with, independently of their gender.

Furthermore the Fundamental law of the state states on article 2 ( 3 ) : ‘This Fundamental law is the supreme jurisprudence of the state and the beginning of all Torahs of the State, and all Torahs, orders and Acts of the Apostless contrary to its missive and spirit shall be void and null ‘ ( ) and at the same clip we have the Islamic law jurisprudence that clashes with the chief jurisprudence. It is hard to come to a decisive and clear decision when faith and tradition is involved, particularly when covering with the execution and ordinance of the jurisprudence.

The authorities has a right to enforce the jurisprudence but at the same clip must esteem the right of practising faith and its beliefs.

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