Women’s literacy in relation to poverty in Somalia

Somalia is one of the poorest countries not only in Africa but in the world as well. It is located in east Africa and is bordered by Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean with a population of 9,832,017 and a GDP per capita of $600 according to the estimates of 2006. (Aneki.com 2009). The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu and most of the population in Somalia lives below the poverty line and the female literacy is 25.8% while the male literacy in Somalia is 49.7%. (Central Intelligence Agency n.d.).

Somali women have identified the income generation, assurance building through literacy and way to health care and lawful information as to the basics of dealing their social justice issues. The healing of the ruined legal and socio-economic infrastructure wants gender responsive planning and sharing the tactic and the women have always played an important part in provisions safety; they also make food daily for the family. By tradition men were answerable for defending the farm getting plundered; on the other hand women make decisions in assembling, crop choice, for storage and retailing. Throughout the argument, the public structures were destroyed, looting and the bloodshed connected with it, amplified. The most affected were the minority tribe, and small households, above all female-headed ones and an immense movement from the South to the North has led many women and children to lead a very poor life neither did they have the support of the clans. They carried on informal labour, minor trade and asked the other people to give them supplies. The internal colonial women are agro-pastrolists with no business skills and they earn low income through non-skilled work such as casual agricultural labourers, farm animals and petty traders or retailers of Khat. Since the war, the economy based on food has been changed with beneficial weapons to the financial system and this has increased the danger for women traders to be kidnapped and rape by the militias. Besides sexual violence, there are also other causes such as lack of profit generating chances and gross employment within camps has forced many women without enough rights of entry to capital to get an option for coping strategies such as multiple relationships, petty trade and domestic labour which exposes them to greater risk of contracting HIV & AIDS.  (Abdullahi, 2001, p10).

The women in IDP camps have low literacy level, no abilities and restricted opportunities for the generation of salary; they are also not given rights to land or property, no clan safety and are categorized as lower caste people by health workers. These circumstances and their low economy increases their susceptibly to HIV and AIDS and also influences their health seeking behaviour.

UNIFEM’s are working since 2000 which has exposed that there is lack of awareness of women’s human rights among the law implementing organizations, the magistrates and public society in general. The minorities of women are entirely aware of their lawful rights and the legal practice that they must follow, thus it is becoming at risk to abuse and disagree of their rights. Women’s keeping out from the public places, low levels of awareness and understanding of legal procedures and the growing feminization of poverty have a say to the restricted admission to fair dealing by women and other disqualified groups. The United Nations as an identity of UNIFEM’s agency authorizes and offers it with a tough legal policy for the execution of this project. (Guerin & Guerin, 2002, p2).

UN organization UNIFEM has the capability to work with the authorities and planners on matters of policy improvement or preparation as well as in support of actions meant for rights of implementation at different stages. The UNIFEM mandates on women’s potency and rights are focused and particular in leading topics of women as a district as well as for addressing sexual differences. In Somalia with a new change in government, UNIFEM has a virtual benefit to work with new organizations within the support of the Rapid Assistance Plan for Somalia. UNIFEM’s bond with women’s groups especially in the last 3 years smoothes the progress of the relations of women’s voices and occurrence by means of the policies. (UNIFEM n.d.).

The UNIFEM has developed a strong bond with women in four districts of Somalia, which are Somaliland, Puntland and the Mogadoishu and the South and the teamwork has allowed UNIFEM support to have an extensive outreach, although these districts were successfully under different classifications and clan leadership. UNIFEM’s enterprises with the public society has been adding a variety of  problems such as women’s human rights, brutality against women, HIV and AIDS, peace building and umbrella networks. Hence, UNIFEM will construct on these active associations for more effective and useful implementations and networking.  Seeing that UNIFEM approach has ingrained sustainability factor as in order is shared and the partners are able put in to similar missions. (UNIFEM n.d.).

UNIFEM has implemented urbanized gadgets for strong buildings, promotion and gender testing and this consists of Guidance of Instructors physically on Gender and HIV and AIDS, women’s least agenda for harmony, he encouragement gender justice and also an authorized analysis on getting to the way of fairness for women as well as the examination of the quarrel, gender and HIV and AIDS. The local office of the UNIFEM has also given support to capacity building and instructing in a variety of sectors, therefore the accessibility of a team of professionals and reserve people who will be available to maintain the agenda. UNIFEM internal know how and human resources have a strong base in the project office, the district office as well as the head quarters make sure that the business is able to offer scientific supervision which is helpful.

In view of fact that since 1991 Somalia doesn’t have an organized, central government and this was due to many civil warfare’s that took place, external interventions and fights among the tribes has caused the country to split into a number of independent regions. The regions are symbolized by differing political military divisions struggling for central power and have power over the country’s natural resources and mines. The basic infrastructure of Somalia consists of the roads, clean water and sanitation are missing whereas, the beliefs and customs continues to refuse the access to health, education and involvement in decision making at any rank to the majority of Somali women. (Professor A. S. C. A. P., 2008, p20).

More than 80% of the Somali children are unable acquire even the most basic education. Somalia has one of the highest child death rate and only 14% of the Somali women are literate. For many years there were fights in the country which led to an increase in the infringements of human and civil rights and due to this, the women have also experienced seclusion, displacement, sadism, cruelty and rape.

For 17th of October 2007, Somalia had planned some harmonized actions to agree with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and this followed by many measures that took place in important areas of the country. The following is emphasized of what occurred in Mogadishu (the capital), Baidoa (the short term seat of the Transitional Federal Parliament), Bossaso, and Beled-weyne, which are considered as regional capitals, Campaigners in Hargeisa, Somaliland also took a number of GCAP steps.

Press conferences were also conducted at the same time in each of the five cities and these conferences were held in order to explain the GCAP morals and principles. Particular notice was given and the international movement aimed to combat those elements that were responsible for bringing about and also for spreading poverty as well as equity in the globe, and particularly in the Southern nations. There were renewed demands for public responsibility, ruling as well as providing with the human rights and fairness in trade.

There was also an increase in the number and the quality of aid and the development in the financial sector that had to be balanced by arrears as Somalia has a poor record when the country’s poverty rank was presented. The Somali population is not able to earn more than US $1/= (about Sh. So. 20,000/=) per day which is very immoral and 43.3 percent of Somalis live below the poverty line. 73.5 percent of the inhabitants are unable to earn more than US $2/= (Sh. So. 40,000) in a day which has a very bad effect. (Womankind worldwide n.d.).

The information collected shows an inferior quality of the movement in the public welfare aspects. The fraction of the inhabitants living on the minimum intensity of consumption of dietary energy in Somalia stands out 65 percent whereas the infants below the age of five die and the mortality rate is 220 per 1000 live birth infant mortality is equally bad at 132 deaths per 1000 births. The literacy rate of Somalia is very low and the adult literacy rate is reduced to 20 percent while the number of girls in the primary schools in Somalia is one third of the entire class. (MacCallum & Notten, 2005, p22).

The death rate of children under the age of five years is greater than 220 per 1000 live births while the infant mortality is also worse at 132 deaths per 1000 births. (UNIFEM n.d.).  The circumstances have become even worse by problems faced by women as 1100 mothers die on childbirth and they can also have diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other dangerous diseases. The environment of Somalia is very bad for people to live as there is soil erosion, poor supply of water and it lacks in clean water, the sanitary system is also poor and the most important public services need to be immediately repaired and the problems should be sorted out and because of these reasons many people live a life below the poverty line.

Somali leaders and the international leaders are told by GCAP not to stay reserved as there is a devastating record and in order to repeal this trend, it would be wise to design policies that could reconcile and help sustain peace in the area. The demands were articulated through the press releases but also through cultural displays where capable artists portrayed the suffering caused by poverty and unfairness. (Issaka & Osman, 2007, p23).

One of the most popular groups, Horyaal Band organized an emotional play at Shamo Hotel in Mogadishu that was transmitted by a number of media houses, both love and rebroadcasting and the same kind of cultural plays took place in Hargeisa, Beled-weyne and Baidoa towns. Even Sports conjuncture took place in Mogadishua and Beled-Weyne and an awareness program was also held at Baidoa in order to alert the people and these incidents were basically meant to spread the message of GCAP to the Somalia campaigners. About 5000 onlookers were present at the CONS Stadium which is the oldest complex in Mogadishu which was 150m long and was made with 50 pieces as a GCAP Somalia’s banner against poverty. The two teams were playing on the ground, the first team was of Banaadir Telecom and the other was of Elman F.C. Banaadir telecom who were victorious and won the match and also lifted the anti poverty cup.

Many events were organized at schools, grounds, theatres and office and even at Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDP) camps and it is hoped that Somalia’s recruitment has chipped to the record of the previous year’s Guinness Books of Records of those Standing Up and Speaking Out against poverty. A formally request written by GCAP Somalia’s Facilitaion Team was given to the Prime Minister, Professor Ali Mohammed Ghedi on 16th of October 2007 at Bakiin Hotel in Baidoa town (the temporary seat of the Transitional Federal Parliament).  (GCAP 2007).

In the end, I would conclude by saying that it is essential for the government of Somalia and the other agencies to create awareness in the minds of the people of Somalia so that education sector could improve and even the Somali women can get the opportunity to get education, only then can the level of poverty in Somalia decrease.

 

Bibliography:

Abdullahi, M. D. (2001). Culture and Customs of Somalia. Greenwood Press.
Aneki.com. (2009). Somalia. June 2nd, 2009. Retrieved from:        http://www.aneki.com/Somalia.html
Central Intelligence Agency. (n.d.). Somalia. June 2nd, 2009. Retrieved from:       https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/so.html
GCAP. (2007). Actions on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in Hargeisa,           Bossaso, Beled-weyne, Baidoa and Kismayo. June 8th, 2009. Retrieved             from:http://www.whiteband.org/regions/africa/som
Guerin, B. & Guerin, B.P. (2002). Relocating refugees in developing countries: The poverty      experiences of Somali resettling in New Zealand. June 8th, 2009. Retrieved from:       http://www.waikato.ac.nz/wfass/migration/docs/guerin-poverty-refugees.pdf
Professor A. S. C. A. P.  (2008). Understanding Somalia and Somaliland: Culture, History,       Society. Columbia University Press.
MacCallum, S.H. & Notten, M. (2005). The Law of the Somalis: A Stable Foundation for        Economic Development in the Horn of Africa. 1st Edn. The Red Sea Press.

Issaka, K. & Osman, A.A. (2007). Somalia at the Crossroads: Challenges and Perspectives in   Reconstituting a Failed State. Souare Publisher: Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd.

UNIFEM. (n.d.). Somalia. June 8th, 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.unifem-            easternafrica.org/somalia_inner.asp?cat=somalia&pcat=countryfocus&pcat1=&sid=
Womankind worldwide. (n.d.). Somalia. June 8th, 2009. Retrieved from:             http://www.womankind.org.uk/somal