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Somalia hears women voices after two decades

by Abdulaziz Billow Ali
Monday, May 14, 2012

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A two-decade civil war in Somalia has made the Horn of African Nation to be among the few countries in the world generating the highest number of internally displaced persons and refugees with the worst affected being women and children.

Women in Somalia have been subjected to violence, harassment and discrimination at every level. Many are forced to give birth in appalling conditions, with little or no antenatal or postnatal care. As a result, Somali women are among the most high-risk groups in terms of maternal healthcare in the world.

If the current draft constitution is ratified in Somalia, women’s voices will be heard in the political process for the first time in almost two decades.

Women in Somalia have ventured in all filed despite the challenges and are serving even in the security forces in a country fighting a group like the Al-Shabaab who have been waging a five year war against the country’s weak embattled Transitional Federal Government.

But now the Somali women would have at least 30% of the seats in the new Constituent Assembly and will be a part of the permanent Somali government set to take office at the end of August. However Somali women still contribute to the largest percentage on camp dwellers in Mogadishu and the neighbouring states like Kenya.

In Mogadishu, committees of women are leading NGO’s and other groups towards reconciliation. They have organized committees for improved health and educational services, some of which have been collaborating with United Nations and international organizations.

And despite the endless combat in Somalia the Somali women’s persistent efforts, complemented by other domestic and external pressures, have helped bring about the present situation being experienced in Mogadishu and Somalia at large

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