News / Africa

Somali Women Train to Fight Sexual Violence

A Somali child stands under the solar powered lights at a refugee camp that were installed to help combat the rampant rapes that were occurring at night, in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 17, 2013.
A Somali child stands under the solar powered lights at a refugee camp that were installed to help combat the rampant rapes that were occurring at night, in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 17, 2013.
The Somali government and African Union have wrapped up a two-day training course for women on how to protect themselves from rapists. The United Nations says it registered 1,700 cases of rape in Somalia last year.

This is the first training to be held in Mogadishu as the government struggles to protect women from rapists in towns and camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). According to the organizers, the training focused on 20 women working with women's organizations and displaced persons camps in central Somalia.

Human rights organizations have accused Somali government soldiers and militia groups of committing widespread abuses, including rape.

African Union Mission for Somalia Gender Officer Mane Ahmed said the training is important for women as they try to find a solution to sexual violence. She said the training will make men think twice before assaulting a woman sexually, because the project aims to train all women in the country.

“We also need to think of security of women in Mogadishu and in all other regions and to give them skills to defend themselves with some basic skills, and also giving them confidence they will be able to defend themselves, they will be able to defend their sisters. And men will also know that they cannot now just try to rape or attack a woman,” she explained.

The training course teaches women how to be alert and how to defend themselves when attacked, through methods such as martial arts kicking or a punch to the groin.

Ahmed noted that women's groups asked for assistance to protect themselves because there was such a problem with sexual violence, and they wanted to be able to protect themselves.

“They were like, 'If you cannot have guns, if you cannot have weapons, please give us the skills to defend ourselves,' so this is coming from them. They believe in themselves, they believe that if they know how to defend themselves they will be able to secure their family, and to secure their environment and to remain safe.”

The organizers expect the 20 women to go back to their organizations and IDP camps to pass on the lessons and training as an important step to protect women from sexual attacks.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs