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Somali Women Fall into Barbaric Rape Practices

December 9, 2013

From now on, whenever I speak about Somalia, I will put it in quotation marks because the Somalia I once knew is no longer there. We now have a “Somalia” that has fragmented in mini so called states where the definition of nation state is no longer applicable. The most troublesome reality of “Somalia” is how women are regarded especially rape victims and the treatment they receive, when they press charges against their assailers. I am mortified to read about this bone chilling news over and over again. If I were to rate a country and its progress, I would assess how women are viewed and how their rights are protected. It is morally and ethically un-Islamic to treat women in such a barbaric and inhumane way.

I just read on Al-Jazira website an article by Hamza Mohamed which talks about how a court in Somalia’s capital has handed down six-month jail sentences to a 19-year-old alleged rape victim and the journalist who interviewed her after convicting them on defamation charges brought by the accused.

The alleged rape victim – a reporter for the UN-funded Kasmo FM radio station – gave a video interview to Mohamed Bashir – a journalist for the Shabelle radio station – in which she alleged she was raped at gunpoint by other journalists working for state-owned Radio Mogadishu. The woman and journalist who interviewed her were arrested soon after those accused filed a defamation suit”.

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The issue at hand remains how violence against women is being used by NGO’s and power hungry individuals to make quick bucks out of the plight of Somali women. The result is more and more women hiding this barbaric act of violence and internalizing it as a normal issue.

The article talks about the situation of  “those who have worked in Mogadishu say any statistics should be treated with much scepticism. “NGOs tell you one number, the government tells you that number is wrong and victims come to you without evidence months later. And we stay away because we can’t tell who is telling the truth. It is impossible to know the true extent of rape in Somalia.” Dahir said.

With journalists threading carefully around rape for fear of arrest or being duped, and NGOs and the government disagreeing on the prevalence of rape, the real victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Somalia will continue to suffer in the dark.

 

As I have said many times, this is the result of a prolonged state of lawlessness and anarchy which resulted in a predatory society that treats its women as animals. We have a long way to go. It could be your sister, your maternal grandmother, your paternal grandmother, your mother, your paternal aunt, your maternal aunt, your friend, your cousin, your neighbour. We are all one family, one nation, one people, one blood.

Reference: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/12/dangers-reporting-rape-somalia-20131261475333929.html

 

 

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