This paper shall examine Somalia’s status of women. Somalia is located on the eastern coast of Africa. According to one source, “It is home to over 8.8 million people bound together by a common culture, ancestry, and religion. Yet a bloody civil war still rages as Somalis fight one another for political and territorial control.” (p. 5). Somalia is a country where the warlords and clans have divided control over the country and thus continue to undermine the capacity of the government to function. Handelman states, referring to third world countries, “That political scientists have referred to them as countries without a state.” (p. 10). These cultural factors have influenced the roles of women in Somalia and the human development that restrict women’s rights. In the first section I will describe the roles of women during the 1960’s through 1990 in Somalia. Then I will explain how education will help women gain greater opportunities in Third World countries and follow up with where women are today in Somalia.
Roles of Somalia Women During the 1960’s to the 1990’s
Revolutions and bloodshed tend to alter or destroy many of the traditional social structures and beliefs a country may have.
Third World countries such as Somalia are still trying to improve the status of women and change the traditional sexist cultural values mostly based on religion. Handelman points out, “Culture, including religious values, sets baseline boundaries around women and influences the opportunities available to them.” (p. 139). Somalia was granted independence in 1960 and it is hard to believe that some women were active participants in politics in that decade. The differences between north and south Somalia are endless because of their outside influences from Italy, Britain, Kenya, The Soviet Union, and even China. These people speak different languages, have different currencies, and enjoy different cultural priorities....