Alone, Poor and Bewildered

The Women Struggling for Justice in Somaliland’s Courts

8 March, International Women’s Day, is a reminder of what every society must do, collectively, to reflect on the impediments which hold women back from full enjoyment of the rights and opportunities afforded them in law and policy statements. Wherever in the world they live, the roadblocks women and girls face are the same, to varying degrees — economic and political powerlessness, legal barriers, unequal educational prospects, discrimination and prejudice based on interpretations of cultural or religious beliefs. The cumulative impact destroys, or at best, undermines women’s self-confidence, which in turn makes it that much more difficult for them to challenge what they can only regard as insurmountable obstacles.

In a statement issued today, Horizon Institute details how the experiences of uneducated and poor women in Somaliland who go to court to register a complaint about domestic violence, to seek a divorce, to claim custody of children and ask for alimony involve prolonged, demoralizing and expensive processes. Horizon’s statement puts forward a number of feasible measures, including the appointment of female judges, which would boost the morale of women who come to court for family cases.

To read the report in English
To read the report in Somali