SIHA Launch: The Other War – Gangrape in Somaliland


As chronic occurrences of conflicts over the past decades have left the Horn of Africa struggling with fragile state structures and nations’ tribal and ethnic affiliations opposed to states’ modern obligations, the report sheds light onto the interconnection between historical development, existing clan structures and Somaliland plural legal system, from a women’s rights perspective.

The report touches upon concepts of gerontocracy and gender assumptions influencing the lives of Somalilands’ population and further highlights notions of gender relations and the frustration experienced by youth in terms of limitations of the traditional system and the weakness of modern statuary legal scheme.

This paper outlines the challenges women and girls face on a day-to-day basis in Somaliland and highlights their systematic victimization, subordination and subjection to violence. In contrast to the intents of limiting women and girls’ opportunities and appearances however, women are aiming at capitalizing the small space and opportunities they’re gaining, leading to their engagement and presence in public life, as well as their demand for justice.

SIHA wishes to dedicate this research to the countless victims of sexual violence in Somaliland and would like to thank them foremost for speaking out and their tireless contribution in trying to access justice.