The International Crisis Group released a briefing which details the intricate role Somali women play in enabling and assisting Al-Shabaab’s activities in Somalia. The brief explores the terror groups gender strategy and details how it contributes to its lasting presence in Somalia.
The brief contains information gathered through interviews that were conducted with Somali women who were in close proximity to Al-Shabaab fighters, either through marriage or other family relations. According to Crisis Group, the findings gathered in the brief were verified by ‘former male militants, government officials, security officers, activists and rehabilitation advisers’.
According to the brief, Somali women sustain the terror group through marriage, recruitment and indoctrination, fundraising, gathering intelligence and transporting weapons and combat. However, Crisis Group points out that the cooperation of women with the terror group does not always insinuate that they support their actions. This is because some women engage with the terror group solely as a way to survive and stay safe from physical harm due to the inability of the Somali Federal Government to safeguard its citizens.
Crisis Group acknowledges the potential Somali women have in countering violent extremism in the country through its findings by stating ‘… if the choices women make help propel the conflict, they could also eventually play a role in resolving it’.
The organization advises the Somali Federal Government to develop a strategy specifically targeted towards combating the exploitation of Somali women in order to improve the lives of the women in the country.
Read the full brief here.
[Imagive via MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP]
*This article was originally posted on our previous website on 28th June 2019.