Goddesses in the Dirt - Women of the Ivory Coast

Unearthing the Divine Feminine, one archetype at a time........

Issue #5:  Women of the Ivory Coast

I had originally planned another subject for this issue of Goddesses in the Dirt, but after hearing about the massacre of women in the Ivory Coast, I changed my mind. I'm usually not a very political person, but when I read about a group of peaceful women protestors being gunned down by armed vehicles, call me political.  I once read somewhere that if an American gets killed abroad, it makes the front page. If someone from another country, in Africa, say or Southeast Asia gets killed, you'll find it buried deep in the back, somewhere near the weather report.

When the story first broke late last week, this article was buried deep in my local paper:

It hasn't received much more attention in the press since.

The women in question were marching peacefully, smiling and chanting slogans, protesting the current government, calling for the ouster of self-proclaimed president Laurent Gbagbo, referring to him as a "robber of power."

Suddenly, three armored vehicles pulled up, and without any warning, opened fired on the crowd, leaving by some reports, seven dead, including a child, but the death toll could rise. Hundreds were injured. One woman was possibly decapitated, another was videotaped trying to raise her head from the pavement but gave up, lowering her head to the ground.

It seems many are rising up to protest their current government, or lack thereof, around the world. Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and now the Ivory Coast. This group consisted primarily of women: women asking for change from a corrupt regime and getting caught in the middle of what seems to be a country escalating towards civil war.

When the crowd scattered to escape the gunfire, they left behind a pavement littered with flip-flops and purses. 

Covered in blood.

Why is it that so many have to die in order for their voices to be heard?

But let there be no mistake: their voices do not die. 

They live on, as through this young girl, singing at a protest march in Tunisia. Her words are haunting yet they evoke the spirit of millions, including those who lost their lives in this senseless massacre

making their voices heard, loud and clear.....

I am free.......my word is free......I am the voice of the uprisers who are not afraid....

our voice will not die.....


  1. i saw the YOuTube video of the Ivory Coast murders on a blogsite this morning. We must be careful our world is a tenderbox(by design),,sickening,,,we must ask, "why"?

  2. So many uprisings and upheavals. It is all so sad. Sometimes I just skip the world news because it depresses me. It's like I can't take all the horrors anymore. I jad not heard about the massacre in Ivory Coast. Thanks for making me aware.

  3. Thank you for this post. We must never forget it. Change is coming, and women are going to take their rightful place. Change is coming...

  4. Very interresting your post !

    Bye :))

  5. They should be heard. They NEED to be heard. You've raised YOUR voice here. Let's hope more will raise theirs, especially those who might be able to help all those who experience such horrible things!!!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting about Green Month, a quite insipid topic in the face of such tragedy. But then, I guess we need something to make us smile in the face of such atrocities. Since my daughter and I don't have TV, I get my news from the Internet, and I missed this. Thanks for posting this today!!

  6. Profoundly disturbing...

    Profoundly inspiring.

    Thank you, Amanda.

  7. So sad, and unfortunately so common, this happens throughout much of Africa. And has been happening for a long time. There is a different mentality in some people, but I do hope and pray for change too.

  8. A sad post, but one that inspires much though.

  9. i see her sing, her beautiful body, her beautiful face, beautiful voice, and i imagine great love in her life. i imagine too how easily her life could be taken. just as the women were taken on the ivory coast.

    we have great gifts of freedom here. i'm not sure how to share them. i pay witness and feel this is not enough.


  10. What a beautiful woman and what a lovely, enchanting voice. Why is it that tragedy often brings out the best in people?

    And the poor women of the Ivory Coast suffer because a man who has been rejected by his country hangs on to power - whatever happened to statesmanship where a man or woman stepped down from power because it was for the good of the country?

    PS I enjoyed your post on the rolodex but didn't comment at the time.

  11. I read this and can't believe our world. Why does this happen? Haven't we learned what this type of horror does? And you're right - we simply can't cope with the facts and simply bury the information. So, so sad.

    The woman in Tunesia is just wonderful. With her wonderful voice and red coat and scarf she is a beacon for freedom.

  12. The joy almost exuberance of the protesting women in the first photo makes for such a cruel and stark contrast with the account of such slaughter, hammered painfully home by the question you raise: why so many have to die for their voices to be heard. With a timid nod to hope, I recall Neruda's line "you can cut all the flowers, but spring will still come".

  13. This is such a powerful post, Amanda. Notice that I have a new address, all my blogs, including sixtyfivewhatnow have been highjacked.

  14. thank you, amanda. thanks to you i will now have awareness of the ivory coast and the voices of its women. to be shot down like this is beyond my comprehension. i know this is happening in libya today and i wonder what those blood stains do to person.

    thank you again. you have so many worthy topics to highlight on your blog. that you took the time to highlight this one just affirms your own character.


  15. Amen Sister ~ the Divine Feminine is returning.

    Hold on dear sisters and let your voices be heard.

    We are listening.

  16. How horrible – we take our liberties and rights as women for granted here. The singer was very moving. Thanks for sharing this and giving the disturbing news the attention it deserves.

  17. glenn -things are blowing up now all over the place it seems..

    loree - i sympathize -- i skip the local news, that's for sure...... too many shootings

    nancy -- amen to that. change is coming whether people want it or not!

    mahon, thanks ;-)

  18. thanks for reading, tess~

    ann - i believe more and more people, particularly women, are raising their voices and asking to be heard. with that comes tumult, as the shift towards a more balanced world between the male and female principle is being felt~

    and i completely agree -- we do need to do things that make us smile ;-)

    jo - thank you for reading ~

    lori - you're right, this has been happening for some time, particularly in africa. when that continent shudders it reverberates throughout the world..

  19. farmchick - thanks. those women inspire me with their courage..

    erin - it never feels like it's enough, does it? and you're right about the great gift of freedom we have -- how often do we take it for granted?

    dd - whatever happened to statesmanship? good question. so many countries are trying to get rid of corrupt regimes -- hopefully that augurs a path towards making our way back to valuing just that. good governance.

    mim - i agree - with her powerful voice, she is truly a beacon for freedom and courage.


  20. lorenzo - that is such a poignant, yet beautiful and hopeful quote.

    thank you for sharing that...

    rosaria -- having your blog compromised is a violation. i'm so sorry to hear this happened, dear rosaria. i checked today and it seems you were able to recover it, so thank goodness for that ~ i'm really happy to read things worked out.

    sending big hugs, my friend ♡

    this is so kind of you to say, kj.

    yet in all honesty i have to say i feel helpless in the face of such atrocity. sometimes the events of our world only serve to make us feel like violence like this will never end. but we have to hope, don't we? if we lose that, we lose it all.

    thank you my friend. your words always touch me with their depth of feeling.


    deb - yes. the Divine Feminine is both speaking and listening.

    sending love, dear sister, and wishes for safe travels home.


    sarah - agreed. our rights as women in this country were certainly - and continue to be - hard fought. but when compared to what these women are suffering through, your statement about taking our freedom for granted is undeniable.


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