TrustLaw, an organization that provides legal aid and information on women's rights, set out to determine which countries were the most dangerous for women. By polling more than 200 international gender experts on general perception of danger and six other issues – health threats, discrimination, cultural and religious norms, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and trafficking – TrustLaw determined that women were at the most risk in the following five countries. (See full report here)
Gender experts cite maternal mortality rates, a high prevalence of rape, female genital mutilation, and child marriage as just a few of the dangers facing Somali women. In addition, women face the same issues men deal with: no rule of law, the prevalence of violence, and inadequate education and healthcare.
TrustLaw reports that 95 percent of Somali women were subject to female genital mutilation, typically between the young ages of four and 11. The practice was once banned, and people were punished for flouting the ban – but as the country deteriorated into lawlessness, the practice picked back up.
Somali women’s minister Maryan Qasim told TrustLaw that women there face so many risks that she was surprised the country was not first on the list.
"The most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia can do is to become pregnant. When a woman becomes pregnant her life is 50-50 because there is no antenatal care at all. There are no hospitals, no healthcare, no nothing.
"Add to that the rape cases that happen on a daily basis, the female genital mutilation that is being done to every single girl in Somalia. Add to that the famine and the drought. Add to that the fighting (which means) you can die any minute, any day.”
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