Women’s and Girls’ Experiences of Security and Justice in Somaliland

3rd February 2021
Author: Becky Carter

This rapid review seeks to provide an overview of the publicly available literature from the academic, donor, and non-government organisation sources on women’s and girls’ experiences of statutory and customary security and justice in Somaliland. In Somaliland women and girls experience poor security, with high rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and significant barriers to gender equality in the pluralistic legal system. The predominant clan-based customary justice system, along with conservative social norms and religious beliefs, discriminates against women and girls, while weak formal state institutions are not able to deliver accessible and effective justice for vulnerable and marginalised groups. Social stigma silences SGBV survivors and their families, with many rape crimes resolved through customary compensation or marriage. National and international organisations have undertaken various activities to promote gender equality in security and justice, with support provided to formal and informal security and justice institutions and actors at national and local levels, as well as initiatives to empower women and girls.

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Suggested Citation

Carter, B. (2021). Women’s and girls’ experiences of security and justice in Somaliland. K4D Helpdesk Report 946. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2021.077


3rd February 2021


Continent: Africa

Country: Somalia