Somali Women

Somalia was recently ranked as one of the five worst places in the world for women. The country was in a state of civil war and without an effective central government from 1991 until August 2012, when a new government was elected. Until the 2011 famine, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) controlled only a small section of the capitol; the majority of central and southern Somalia was controlled by al Shabaab, a radical Islamic group intent on
implementing an extreme version of Shari’a law. The famine further destabilized the country, forcing many women and children to relocate Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in and around Mogadishu. Over the past year, al-Shabaab has been forced out of dominance in many areas. Nonetheless women remain in the camps in extremely high numbers and they continue to be targets of brutal gender based violence.Somali women face several forms of gender-based violence: forced and very early marriage, almost universal female genital mutilation; rape and other forms of sexual violence. Young girls, unaccompanied women, and displaced women are particularly vulnerable. Acts of sexual violence usually go unpunished, and survivors face high levels of stigma. If a woman does speak out, she risks being accused of promiscuity or adultery, which al-Shabaab punished by beheading or stoning.

At the founding of Sister Somalia, there were NO resources for women who had suffered sexual attack or abuse.
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