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Islam and development: opportunities and constraints for Somali women.

Authors
  • Ahmed, S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Gender and development
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1999
Volume
7
Issue
1
Pages
69–72
Identifiers
PMID: 12295344
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This article describes the effects of the rise of Islamic extremism on women's lives in Somalia since the early 1990s. Throughout the conflict and afterwards, Somali women's organizations in different parts of the country have been active in both development work and advocacy for peace. They were challenging both the government and nongovernmental organizations to recognize and promote the role of women in society, and to resist threats to women's rights. It has been documented that religious extremists were challenging women's rights within marriage and family, to their economic and political participation outside the home, and to their freedom of dress and behavior. The paper also highlights the fact that wholesome and unwholesome traditional practices tend to be associated with Islam, and with other rights as defined in Islam. It reconfirmed that the violations against Somali women's rights are culturally rooted, and that such practice continues unchecked. Until Somali women received a better education, particularly in religious education, this situation will continue. The only hope are the women's organizations who seriously attempt to redress the extremists' strategy of marginalizing women on the grounds of religious evidence.

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