Karama Founder and CEO Hibaaq Osman was recently featured on the Voice of America’s Somali website, in a podcast of her interview conducted with VOA journalist Houssein Aden regarding the status of Somali women and their fight for expanded rights. The interview can be accessed at VOA’s website here (in Somali), and is summarized (in English) below.
In an interview with the Somali Service of Voice of America, Hibaaq describes that Karama works across 22 countries and that she strives to ensure internationally agreed upon conventions and treaties, which regard protection of women across those countries, are upheld.
Asked to explain the core obstacles that Karama and women of the region face, Hibaaq shares that the problems are plentiful. For example, there are women who are treated as foreigners in their own homes. The rights women in Somalia have today are very limited compared to the rights held by women of her grandmother’s generation. The problems span from domestic and educational to political and cultural problems. Somali women today are exposed to a greater burden of work than before the civil war erupted. Women are expected to bring in an income, as well as look after the household and raise their children.
Hibaaq also spoke of honor killing in some of the Arab countries where women are killed simply for allegedly speaking to men.
Finally, she explains the importance of ensuring the rights of women, as this will bring mutual respect of both genders. As a result, this will lead to couples consulting one another, upholding family values and becoming valuable contributors to the society in which they live. Ultimately, gender equality and all its positive impacts will benefit overall national prosperity, producing better results in all sectors of society and better lives for men, women, and children across the board.