The Anti-Terror War in Somalia: Somali Women's Multifaceted Role in Armed Conflict
Forum für Sozialwissenschaften Forschung
Mag Jerusalem W. Negash
November 21, 2008
Osterreichische Zeitschrift fur Politikwissenschaft (OZP) (Austrian Journal of Political Sciences), Vol. 2, pp. 196-214, 2008
The major aim of this paper is to explore the US-led anti-terror war in Somalia and to evaluate its impact on the status and role of Somali women. When al-Qaeda attacked the US embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and in Dar es Salam (Tanzania) in August 1998, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism became a major threat to the region. In response to this threat the United States started anti-terror war in East Africa particularly in Somalia. In both the civil war and the anti-terror war in Somalia, Somali women's participation is significant. So far, however, no sufficient study was conducted on the role of women in armed conflicts, and their impacts on women in Somalia, a country that has been already plagued by famine, political instability, ethnic war, and gender-based violence.
Armed conflicts offer new opportunities and responsibilities in both domestic and public spheres that assist in redefining social relations between women and men. After conflicts, however, the changes in gender roles fail to show continuity and the pre-war patriarchal gender roles re-appear in many societies in developing countries. By investigating the case of Somalia, this paper examines why the pre-war gender roles re-emerge after conflicts.
Keywords: Al-Qaeda, Anti-terror war, conflict, Islamic fundamentalism, Gender, Somalia, Terrorism, USA.
JEL Classification: Z00, N47, H8, H10
Date posted: November 21, 2008