News / Africa

    Activists Discuss Plight of Somali Women

    Internally displaced Somali women wait for medicine at a Save the Children UK clinic at their camp in Hodan district of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, Nov. 21, 2012.
    Internally displaced Somali women wait for medicine at a Save the Children UK clinic at their camp in Hodan district of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, Nov. 21, 2012.
    Reuters
    Somali women activists recently shared their experiences and challenges with the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay at a meeting in Mogadishu.  

    The women from different groups across the country raised discussions about protecting human rights, promoting women's political participation and addressing sexual and gender-based violence.

    Somalia has been plagued by civil war, anarchy and Islamist insurgencies for over 20 yeas. Women carried the heaviest burden - struggling to care for their children and to survive in the insecurity.

    But analysts say women, especially in the capital, Mogadishu are seeing more opportunities than ever before.

    In September last year, Somalia held peaceful presidential elections, the first since military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991.

    Meetings like these help spread the word on what Somali women need to improve their lives, participant Fartun Abdisalaan Adan, director for a local human rights group said.

    “This meeting is very important for us, because we have a channel we can go through, because if you are on the grass root level working as NGOs it's very difficult to reach the government and the U.N.,” she said. 

    “You can see how many women just talking what they need, just to listen they need someone to listen. This country, we are the majority and we act like a minority,” she added.

    Kay said the U.N. would play an active role in improving access to justice for women and girls, particularly in relation to gender based violence, supporting women's leadership, political participation and the importance of ensuring coordination of government efforts with development partners to support women's rights.

    “I learned at least that there is a very vibrant, very active network of strong women activists here in Mogadishu which is great. I have learnt also, real concern still about the political stability and security in the country and a determination not to return to the civil war of the last decade a very strong will to see peace in the country and also very strong support to their Government and the wish that the international community and the U.N support fully the federal Government here,” said Kay.

    In a 2011 expert poll, Somalia ranked fifth most dangerous country to be a woman due to a catalog of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape and female genital mutilation, along with limited access to education, healthcare and economic resources.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    June 13, 2013 7:48 PM
    We all deliberately did let Somali women and girls down. For the past 22 plus years they were subjected to relentless public rape, sexual violence, mistreatment, arrest without cause, starvation and killing. Short while ago a woman, who claimed that she was raped by police officer in her home, was arrested by the current government and taunted her with jokes about her genitals. She was only released from prison when international community expressed an outcry over her detention. No further investigation was done. Somali women and girls need meaningful assistance and protection of their rights. Lip service from UN is not enough!
    In Response

    by: Fatima Xuseen from: Kenya
    June 14, 2013 2:36 AM
    Could not agree more!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora