Excluding women: the clanization of Somali political institutions
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Original versionBergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief no. 2020:9) 4 p.
Hawa Jibril, a poetess and a long-time activist for Somali women’s rights, identified male elders as a barrier to women’s inclusion in the politics and governance of their society. In her 1962 poem, ‘the old men who hold us back’ Hawa recited “don’t you see these old men; who hold us back, let them not prevail over us” (Jibril 2008:151). Sixty years later, Somali women still face elders attempting to hold them back. This CMI Brief examines the effects of the political institutionalization of clan and its effects on women’s aspirations to participate in politics and outlines how Somali women have responded to these obstacles.