A wake up call for action - Insolidarity of women in Somalia .
As the whole world acknowledged and recognize the newly born Somali government who replace the transition federal government after decades of violence , plagued by differences and internecine strife, and ruled by warlords. Al-Qaeda infested many of its citizens’ minds, adding to miseries and divisions to every household in already fragile state. The newly elected president demonstrates leadership to portray the country’s image with support of international community who played important role in solidarity to rebuild country that sobs decades of violence.
However,the amidst peace in Somalia was a hope and enthusiasm for millions women and girls who expected changes in judicial system dealing with injustices in respect of human right practice by combating the existing sexual violence,atrocities and prejudices to end guilts and suffering especially women and girls who suffered the brunt of sexual violence.Justice cannot be administered without mercy and kindness ,the president vow to tackles on the issue of rape ,declaring of his “Zero tolerance” to rape, and acknowledged the country is the worst place for women to live, and impose a heavy penalty to perpetrators of sexual violence. Nevertheless months down the line, the world despair his action in supporting the men in uniform and silence the victims with arrest .
Human rights activists across the globe have widely condemned the trial and sentencing of a journalist, and the alleged rape survivor he interviewed, as “profoundly distressing” and a blow to “the fight against impunity” in rape cases. The government who sworn to protect the citizens especially women and girls who are most vulnerable group suffered with war related violence has breach the trust and confidence to its people.
Over 1,700 women were rape by men in camouflage uniform according to United nation political office Somalia (UNPOS) report. The right group activist condemns the ruling as the elected president affirms the two victims fabricate the statement to insult the government body and treason that subjected an arrest for one year each.
Rape is a subject of confirmation in Somalia and difficult for women to report their disquiets for fear of reprisal, penalties and stigma .The government is silencing the vice to challenge the woman wish who solidarity come out to forged forward reporting the plight incurred to her as thousands others were mute by culture. Her strength in championing the cause in conflict area with a hostile male dominated community will not wavered to push for her agenda in the promotion of equitable development and protection of women’s rights; she heroically spoke the intolerable status quo despite the immense challenge she face, the world will solidarity stand with her as an “icon” of the desert.
Survivors are pressure to forgive with threats and reparations with clear impact to their family members. elders of clan lineage are set with all male ad hoc which are insensitive to gender issues. Political, religious, psychological and societal values endorse the virtue of forgiveness. Victims are confronted with the pressure to forgive those who caused them pain, believing forgiveness is an essential ingredient for the healing process. There’s a widespread assumption that without forgiveness, victims will never move past their trauma or achieve self-empowered freedom that conquers their sense of victimization but in the real sense is to protect perpetrators of sexual violence who commits the act.
Under no circumstance does a Somalia woman have the courage to address her dilemma in public, much less in conflict area like Somalia who silence women affairs under the justice tree. History attest itself-Somalis are patriarchal in nature. Rape is as taboo topic and is widely understood as “ a project perpetuate by a world of NGOs just to disintegrate families and empower women independently from men”.
There is prejudice in that arrest and judicial system in Somalia have no gender lens. The reporter didn’t take any precaution into account. Interviewing survivor,will always requires an extra caution in the GBV protocols .It is unethical to interview a survivor in a full camera with identifiable information regardless of her consent. Unidentifiable information to protect survivor and the interviewee should put into place for safety, confidentiality, respect and non-discrimination to ensure survivor safety and case workers or other concerns persons . .
1. Call for an action to sign petition from most influential people in the world.
2. Train the law enforcers,health providers and journalist on GBV and human rights issues
3. Continuous information dissemination to public on GBV reporting procedures.
4. Respect the survivors choice and maintain confidentiality to curb the risk of victimizations.
5. Care for survivors in conflict areas
6. Established ministry of gender to handle of women concerns