IWD2012-Survivor's count no hope for redress -A plight of Somali refugee's women.

Fardosa Muse
Posted March 8, 2012 from Kenya

International women’s day provides a common day for globally recognizing and applauding women’s achievements as well as for observing and highlighting gender inequalities and issues. But not just on IWD, but all year round, many organizations and individuals work tirelessly to support gender equality through a multitude of initiatives, causes and actions.Women all over the world, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate International Women’s Day, and look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. This day is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.

this day reminds us of a lesson that we have long since learned but have not yet sufficient put into practice. The lesson is grounded in principle and experience. The principle is the basic rights and dignity of women and girls should be accorded the same respect that is given to men and boys. A principle endorsed over and over again by global conferences and cabinets Our experience is when women have the power to make our own choices, we will benefit because the chances of poverty can be broken ,families goes stronger ,environmental awareness deepens and socially constructed values are more likely to be handed down to the young. This experience has been validated in the lives of the community on every continent and yet women remain in many parts of the globe, undervalued and underutilized human resource.

Appalling abuses are still being committed against Somali women and this includes domestic violence, dowry murder, coerced abortion, early and forced marriage, FGM, honor of crime and killing of infants simply because they have born female. Some say all this is cultural and there is nothing anybody can do about it, but i say it’s a crime and each of us has an obligation to stop it.

As world celebrates international women’s day, Somali women have no hope,sexual and gender-based violence is widespread in their country and it is difficult to determine the number of cases of sexual violence in this society, and even more during emergencies crises as they look immediate respite. The status of sexual violence have quadrupled,while others cant heal after their children were burnt a live by militia when they failed cooperate or pay them. However, it is certain that Somali women are exposed to extremely high risks of human right abuse.

Survivors of sexual violence can count on little hope for support or redress due to the lack of functioning state institutions, including both the health and security sectors. The stigmatization of rape also keeps many women from reporting violence to traditional clan-based or religious justice mechanisms, where they exist. There is next to full impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence in this setting. Any possible remedy for the abuses mostly depends on clan-based support. Domestic violence against women in exogamous marriages is more likely to be addressed, as the honor of her father's clan is at stake. If the husband and the father are of the same clan, it is much less likely that her rights will be respected or protected. In there country, traditional justice systems are also being implemented, with clear impacts on women’s legal situation and recourse. For example, the level of equity and justice of the forms of redress that are offered to women is uncertain, as for example any financial compensation will be paid only to male family members.

International Women's Day 2012

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