High level concern about gender-based violence has emerged only in relatively recent years. Whilst rich countries are by no means free of violence against women, the problems – which range from low level domestic violence to some of the most horrific abuses within the human family – are perceived to be more serious in Somalia.
Circumstances of extreme poverty or conflict are indeed associated with higher incidence of violence against women. For example, sex trafficking flourishes in regions where hardship weakens the natural bonds of family life, already eroded by traditional attitudes towards women.
Women and children that end up living in the IDP camps occasionally face a number of violations such Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), deprivation of food or rights to obtain humanitarian aid, children are exposed to child labour and are deprived from rights to go to school, the youth also are another vulnerable group that are affected by the general crisis.
Forms of SGBV
- Forced/Early Marriage
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Exploitation
- Attempt rape
Who is likely to be a victim varies across the age. In Middle, Lower Shabelle and of course across the country women in different ages become victims to SGBV. There are young and old victims but the majority of victims are from 13 years, sometimes even younger, to 45 years old. This is the most vulnerable age group that can be victims of SGBV.
In conflict zones rape has been exploited as a weapon of war. The extent of such abuse may never be known, and perpetrators rarely called to account.
Similar deep-rooted cultural discrimination accounts for the widespread practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia. Despite being outlawed in most of the Somalia regions where it survives, FGM endangers perhaps as many as thousands of girls each year.