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Somalia - the Untold Story

Somalia - the Untold Story

The War Through the Eyes of Somali Women

Edited by Judith Gardner and Judy El Bushra

Explores the experiences of women in Somalia and how they have survived the trauma of war.
Somalia came to the world's attention in 1992 when television and newspapers began to report on the terrifyingly violent war and the famine that resulted. Half a million Somalis died that year, and over a million fled the country. Cameras followed US troops as they landed on the beaches at Mogadishu to lead what became an ill-fated UN intervention to end hunger and restore peace.

In this book, Somali women write and talk about the war, their experiences and the unacceptable choices they often faced. They explain clearly, in their own words, the changes, challenges – and sometimes the opportunities – that war brought, and how they coped with them.

Key themes include the slaughter and loss of men, who were the prime target for killings; rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war; changing roles in the family and within the pastoralist economy; women mobilising for peace; and leading social recovery in a war-torn society.

This book is not only an important record of women's experience of war, but also provides researchers and students of gender and conflict with rare first hand accounts highlighting the impact of war on gender relations, and women's struggle for equal political rights in a situation of state collapse.

Judith Gardner has a special interest in gender relations and how communities cope with crisis. She has worked in Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. She is currently the Africa & Middle East Regional Manager for CIIR.

Judy el Bushra has worked in the field of community development in Africa for 20 years, specialising most recently in research on gender and on conflict, and on development methodologies.

'Shows the damage caused to society by the conflict, the breakdown of clan traditions and the way it impinged on women, and the use of rape and sexual violence by combatants' - Oxfam
Part 1: Experiences in War
1. Women and Pastoralist Economy - Roda Ibrihim
2. Marriage in Traditional Somali Society – Sadia Ahmed
3. Rape – A Weapon of War – Fousia Musse
Part 2: Impact of the War On Women and Their Responses
Section 1: Changing Roles and Responsibilities in the Family
4. Single Mothers in Canada – Ladan Affi
5. Women Traders – Amina M. Warsame
Section 2: Women Mobilise For Peace
6. Women and Peace-building Somaliland – Zeynab Hassan & shukri Hariir
7. Wajir Women for Peace – Dekha Ibrihim
Section 3: Women and Leadership
8. Women and Leadership
Facts & Figures
Further Reading
Resource List
Published by Pluto Press in Jan 2004
Paperback ISBN: 9780745322087

135mm x 215mm