Activists have welcomed a ban on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the new constitution of Somalia – a country where 96 percent of women undergo one of the more extreme forms of the practice – but warn that translating the law into action will require more than just a legal declaration.
The Somali Media Women’s Association is a grassroots NGO in Somalia dedicated to increasing the presence of women in the media. They also organize capacity building and empowerment projects. The founder, Marian Zeila, is currently based in London and leads the organization from abroad.
According to a recent study carried out by Transparency International, Somalia was deemed to be the most corrupt nation in the world. The economic and political instability of Somalia has made it the site of many human rights violations, particularly against women. Females are underrepresented in the workforce as well as education. In fact, slightly over 1/3 of the students at the primary school level are girls, and very little progress has been made in this regard.
Six independent UN experts* on Thursday condemned the recent public execution, by firing squad, of two teenage girls in central Somalia, saying the executions are the latest manifestation of the “appalling human rights crisis that is plaguing the country.”
He has learned to button his shirt using only his left hand, to roll his sleeve with his teeth, to balance on his right foot in the shower. He cannot forgive, though he is desperate to forget. But at night his dreams betray him. This is how it happened, Abdulle told the Guardian. He was a prisoner in an insurgents' house in Mogadishu, lying on his side, one hand chained to his ankles. He was 17, with fluff on his cheeks and unspeakable fear in his heart. Three other young men were with him – Jalylani, Ali, Abduqadir.
Weak leadership and internal divisions have prevented Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) from exploiting splits among its Islamist insurgent enemies, say analysts. Al-Shabab and Hisbul-Islam insurgents have, in the past two months, intensified attacks against government forces and allied African Union (AU) troops. Clashes in Mogadishu between 1 and 3 October, for example, left at least 50 people dead and 174 wounded, according to local human rights organizations.
Ahmed Mohamoud* seems like a typical eight-year old boy. He is dressed in jeans and sneakers and wears a hat of the New Orleans Saints, the team that won the US Super Bowl this year. Mohamed fled from the Hawiye area of Banadir region, not far from Mogadishu, with his parents. IRIN met Ahmed in Kakuma, northwestern Kenya, where his mother Fatuma agreed to tell IRIN their story.
The Muslim parents of a 17-year-old Somali girl who converted to Christianity severely beat her for leaving Islam and have regularly shackled her to a tree at their home for more than a month, Christian sources said. Nurta Mohamed Farah of Bardher, Gedo Region in southern Somalia, has been confined to her home since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity, said a Christian leader who visited the area. “When the woman’s family found out that she converted to Christianity, she was beaten badly but insisted on her new-found religion,” said the source on condition of anonymity.