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Somalia

Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda? Somali Debates on Women's Public Roles and Political Participation

Citation:

Horst, Cindy. 2017. "Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda? Somali Debates on Women's Public Roles and Political Participation." Journal of Eastern African Studies 11 (3): 389-407.

Author: Cindy Horst

Abstract:

In conflict and post-conflict settings, the international community operates with the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda supporting gender equality. During and after war, gender roles are often deeply contested as part of larger societal transformations and uncertainties. In Somalia since the 1960s, gender identities and roles have undergone substantial changes, influenced by contemporary political systems, the women’s movement, civil war and religious transformations. The international community’s role in these societal transformations should not be over-estimated. Life history research with Somali women shows that debates on women’s roles in the public sphere are taking place irrespective of the international agenda. Somali women have, at least since the 1960s, held civil-political leadership positions, despite substantial disagreements on the public role of women in Somalia. Furthermore, the “international”and “local” are difficult to disentangle. The Somali female elite have often spent years abroad and introduced new gender perspectives from places as divergent as Egypt, Russia and the United States. Global cultural and religious trends are influencing post-war Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland. In this complex socio- cultural landscape, the international WPS agenda can support –but also risk delegitimizing – Somali processes and perspectives. The article illustrates the gap that exists between global norms and local realities by focusing on Somali discourse on women’s public roles and political participation.

Keywords: gender, Somalia, women, civil war, social change, diaspora, statebuilding, nation-building, peace, security

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Somalia

Year: 2017

An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries

Citation:

Graham, Jay P., Mitsuaki Hirai, and Seung-Sup Kim. 2016. “An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries.” PLOS ONE 11 (6): e0155981. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155981.

Authors: Jay P. Graham, Mitsuaki Hirai, Seung-Sup Kim

Abstract:

Background

It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.

Objectives

This study aims to a) describe gender differences in water collection labor among both adults and children (< 15 years of age) in the households (HHs) that report spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, disaggregated by urban and rural residence; and b) estimate the absolute number of adults and children affected by water collection times greater than 30 minutes in 24 SSA countries.

Methods

We analyzed data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) (2005–2012) to describe water collection labor in 24 SSA countries.

Results

Among households spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, adult females were the primary collectors of water across all 24 countries, ranging from 46% in Liberia (17,412 HHs) to 90% in Cote d’Ivoire (224,808 HHs). Across all countries, female children were more likely to be responsible for water collection than male children (62% vs. 38%, respectively). Six countries had more than 100,000 households (HHs) where children were reported to be responsible for water collection (greater than 30 minutes): Burundi (181,702 HHs), Cameroon (154,453 HHs), Ethiopia (1,321,424 HHs), Mozambique (129,544 HHs), Niger (171,305 HHs), and Nigeria (1,045,647 HHs).

Conclusion

In the 24 SSA countries studied, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection in households with collection times greater than 30 minutes. We suggest that accessibility to water, water collection by children, and gender ratios for water collection, especially when collection times are great, should be considered as key indicators for measuring progress in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

Year: 2016

A Grounded Theory Investigation Into the Experiences of African Women Refugees: Effects on Resilience and Identity and Implications for Service Provision.

Citation:

Sherwood, Katie, and Helen Liebling-Kalifani. 2012. “A Grounded Theory Investigation Into The Experiences Of African Women Refugees: Effects On Resilience And Identity And Implications For Service Provision1.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 13 (1): 86-108.

Authors: Katie Sherwood, Helen Liebling-Kalifani

Abstract:

The current study aims to explore African women’s experiences of violence during conflict. The research was undertaken in 2009 in part fulfilment for a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Previous research on women refugees’ experiences has focused on the negative impact on psychological functioning despite indications that they show great strength and resilience. Using qualitative methods the study sought to identify the impact of violence on mental health as well as develop a greater understanding of the roles of resilience, coping and identity. Women from Somalia and Zimbabwe who attended a refugee centre in the UK were interviewed; analysis of the results identified a relationship between resilience, access to rights and support and identity. It also recognised cultural and societal influences and experiences in the United Kingdom as contributing factors. Findings support the move toward a more holistic model of understanding refugee women’s experiences. However, the study also reveals the importance of support and treatment assisting women to utilise their resilience in reconstructing their identities from traumatic events and recovery process.

Keywords: women, refugees, trauma, africa, gender based violence

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Northern Europe Countries: Somalia, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe

Year: 2012

Women's Movements and Constitution Making after Civil Unrest and Conflict in Africa: The Cases of Kenya and Somalia

Citation:

Tripp, Aili Mari. 2016. “Women’s Movements and Constitution Making after Civil Unrest and Conflict in Africa: The Cases of Kenya and Somalia.” Politics & Gender 12 (01): 78–106. doi:10.1017/S1743923X16000015.

Author: Aili Mari Tripp

Abstract:

As numerous conflicts have come to an end in Africa over the past two decades, women's movements have sought to advance a women's rights agenda through peace accords; through constitutional, legislative, and electoral reforms; as well as through the introduction of gender quotas. This article focuses the impact women's movements have had in shaping constitutions after periods of turmoil, particularly in areas of equality, customary law, antidiscrimination, violence against women, quotas, and citizenship rights. It demonstrates how countries that have come out of major civil conflict and violent upheaval in Africa after the mid-1990s—but especially after 2000—have made more constitutional changes with respect to women's rights than other African countries. The second part of the article provides two examples of how women's movements influenced constitutional changes pertaining to gender equality as well as the difficulties they encountered, particularly with respect to the international community.

Topics: Civil Society, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Constitutions, Quotas, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Somalia

Year: 2016

Triple Tensions: Somali Refugee Women in Yemen

Citation:

de Regt, Marina. 2008. “Triple Tensions: Somali Refugee Women in Yemen.” Al-Raida (120-121): 45–52.

Author: Marina de Regt

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Roles Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Somalia, Yemen

Year: 2008

Governing Mobility through Humanitarianism in Somalia: Compromising Protection for the Sake of Return

Citation:

Horst, Cindy, and Anab Ibrahim Nur. 2016. “Governing Mobility through Humanitarianism in Somalia: Compromising Protection for the Sake of Return.” Development and Change 47 (3): 542–62. doi:10.1111/dech.12233.

Author: Cindy Horst

Abstract:

This article aims to contribute to an increased understanding of the importance of migration in humanitarian and ‘post-humanitarian’ contexts, by exploring the interlinkages between protection and displacement. It argues that the strategies by which conflict-displaced populations protect themselves are largely based on mobility. Yet, humanitarian approaches to displaced populations do not take sufficient account of the mobility needs of those they assist. Furthermore, the actual location at which aid is provided is affected by funding realities and donor priorities. This article discusses the case of protracted displacement realities of Somali refugees and internally displaced people in Kenya, Somaliland and south-central Somalia. Based on in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with humanitarian aid workers and displaced people, the article offers an analysis of the recent ‘stabilization discourse’ that fuels programming directed at the return of displaced Somalis. The authors argue that humanitarian protection is compromised by immobile aid practices and by humanitarian programmes that are guided by states’ interest in refugee return.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Somalia

Year: 2016

Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists

Citation:

Bloom, Mia. 2011. Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists. London: Hurst Publishers. http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/bombshell/.

Author: Mia Bloom

Abstract:

The ultimate stealth weapon, female terrorists kill on average four times more people than their male counterparts. But why are more women drawn to terrorism than ever before? Do women volunteer to be terrorists, or are they coerced? Does women’s participation in terrorism have any positive impact on their place in society?

In Bombshell, Mia Bloom seeks to understand what motivates women and to redress the gap in our understanding of women’s roles by interviewing women previously involved in terrorist groups. Bloom provides a unique and rare first-hand glimpse into the psychology, culture and social networks of women who become terrorists. Bombshell takes an in-depth look at women involved in terrorism in Chechnya, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

Drawing on primary research and secondary literature, Bloom examines the increasing role of women in terrorism, and considers what it means for the societies from which they come.

(Hurst Publishers)

Keywords: gender studies, terrorism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2011

Transnational Family Networks in the Somali Diaspora in Egypt: Women’s Roles and Differentiated Experiences

Citation:

Al-Sharmani, Mulki. 2010. “Transnational Family Networks in the Somali Diaspora in Egypt: Women’s Roles and Differentiated Experiences.” Gender, Place & Culture 17 (4): 499–518. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2010.485843.

Author: Mulki Al-Sharmani

Abstract:

Diasporic Somalis are increasingly leading a transnational life in which family members are sustained through networks of relations, obligations and resources that are located in different nation-states. These networks and relations enable diasporic Somalis to seek safety for themselves and their relatives, minimize risks and maximize family resources. In this article, I examine three key dimensions of such a way of life, namely: migration; remittances; and transnational family care. I focus on the roles that women play in this family-based support system. For instance, women move and facilitate the movement of other family members; they remit to family members; and they provide care for children and sick relatives. But these transnational households are not free from tensions. Family members are placed in hierarchical relations shaped by age; parental authority; possession of western citizenship; financial resources; and bonds of familial reciprocity and gratitude. Women gain appreciation from relatives and a sense of self-respect for their new roles. Some of the women also make use of the family network to arrange for the care of their children and sick relatives, while they engage in transnational trading activities. However, young and single female relatives often sacrifice or delay their individual dreams because of their familial obligations. I conclude that transnationalism – as a way of organizing and sustaining livelihood, resources and relations of Somali families – is not always emancipating or marginalizing for Somali women. Rather the benefits and challenges of such a way of life for women are different, mixed and uneven.

Keywords: diaspora, transnationalism, gender, refugee families

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households Regions: Africa, East Africa, North Africa Countries: Egypt, Somalia

Year: 2010

The Impact of Civil War and State Collapse on the Roles of Somali Women: A Blessing in Disguise

Citation:

Ingiriis, Mohamed H., and Markus V. Hoehne. 2013. “The Impact of Civil War and State Collapse on the Roles of Somali Women: A Blessing in Disguise.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 7 (2): 314–33. doi:10.1080/17531055.2013.776281.

Authors: Mohamed H. Ingiriis, Markus V. Hoehne

Abstract:

Somali society can be characterized as patriarchal ‘to the bone’. Despite tremendous political and economic changes in the 20th century, and from colonial to post-colonial rule, the situation of women changed only minimally. In fact, some authors argue that women enjoyed even less independence from male ‘wards’ during the democratic and later revolutionary governments from 1960 to 1991 that were promulgating modernization and gender equality, at least rhetorically. Paradoxically, the most substantial changes regarding gender relations that led to a considerable empowerment of women in the social, economic and political sphere were triggered by the tragedy of civil war and state collapse. Women had to bear the brunt of the fighting. But they also became actively involved in armed conflict as combatants, motivators of their men and also as peace-makers. Women also took over more economic responsibilities and fought their way into politics. This article traces the challenges and opportunities that the civil war and the collapse of the state provided for women, arguing that the Somali tragedy provided a blessing in disguise at least for some women who gained social, economic and political power. Still, what we are observing is not a revolution but at best an incidental ‘reform’. If this will eventually lead to more just gender relations in the long run remains to be seen.

Keywords: women, civil war, social change, Somalia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Somalia

Year: 2013

Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: International Law, Local Responses

Citation:

St. Germain, Tonia, and Susan Dewey, eds. 2012. Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: International Law, Local Responses. Sterling, Va: Kumarian Press.

Authors: Tonia St. Germain, Susan Dewey

Abstract:

The result of a collaboration between a feminist legal scholar and an anthropologist, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence presents completely original work by anthropologists, international human rights lawyers, legal theorists, political scientists, mental health professionals, and activists who report upon their respective research regarding responses to conflict-related sexual violence in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and South Africa. Much more than a series of case studies, though, the bulk of the book addresses the implications of international responses to conflict-related sexual violence through analyses of the gaps between policy and practice with respect to efforts made by international organizations, criminal courts and tribunals to reduce or respond to conflict-related sexual violence. Scholarly, reflective, provocative yet practical and action-oriented, this book exemplifies a visionary blending of analysis, evidence, concepts and programs for ameliorating the lot of those whose lives are framed by war and conflict and the striving to find healing and justice.

(Kumarian Press)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, International Law, Justice, NGOs, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, South America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa

Year: 2012

Pages

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