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Portrait Of Somali War

Traditionally, Somali women have been known to play a passive role in both family and public spheres with little or no freedom given to them in decision-making. However, civil wars that started in the country in 1991 marked a transition for the women.

Besides bringing the positives in helping them get more involved in household decision-making, the never-ending wars have played an appalling role in displacing thousands of women and children. The feeble ones have been succumbing either on their way to refugee camps in neighbouring countries or inside the camps. Back in Somalia, women are regarded as well-organized, assiduous and with a patriarchal network. But in refugee camps, all these are reduced to distressed and resigned faces with questioning eyes and malnourished bodies. Every young-born no longer brings any happiness to a Somali woman but instills a chilling dose of worry whether they would survive or plunge into the world of war. Their treks to refugee camps are not only long but they stumble upon strange diseases and are also victims of rape and other egregious human rights abuses. Life in the refugee camps is not any easier as most of them sleep in cold and ramshackle tents, never mind they have left more hospitable but bullet-prone houses back in Somalia. And although most Somali women have lost the will to live, the relentless ones have decided to follow the survival route, because no one knows where her fate lies and what it has in stake.

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