Saturday, May 25, 2013

Somali Women And Female Life In Somalia

The Somali society is majorly patriarchal. This in turn implies that the women are subjects to their male counterparts. The roles of married Somali women are usually defined to include child-bearing and household chores. Girls who are not married in Somalia are however highly respected and valued in Somalia. The Somali men have a custom of putting their sisters before their wives. A man can sacrifice his wife so as to save his sister or do something for her.

Non-governmental organizations have strongly come out to empower the girl child in Somalia by sensitizing them about their rights, encouraging them to take up leadership positions and campaigning against Female circumcision, most commonly referred to in the area as female genital mutilation which is a dangerous and archaic practice. They further campaign against arranged marriages as they are very common in Somalia.

Somali women wear long dresses known as direh in the Somali language with head scarves known as hijab covering their heads as is expected of women by the Somali religion..They mostly adorn themselves with henna which is a painting obtained from the henna plant, they use it to polish their nails and draw patterns on their bodies, especially their hands and legs to enhance beauty.

Somali women are very hard working and work really hard from morning to evening to support their families through the uncertainties of the future and famine. Even though Somali men consider themselves as the heads of their families and the superior gender, the women play a major role as well both socially and economically even by cooking for their husbands and ensuring they are comfortable. The rift between men and women is Somalia is wide to the extent that men are discouraged from shaking the hands of their female counterparts.

One thing for certain is that the women of Somalia deserve better. The antenatal and medical services in Somalia are dangerously insufficient thus leading to a higher mortality rate. The famine and the constant state of chaos doesn’t make it any better, neither does the undermining they receive from their male counterparts.
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