Sexual and Gender Based Violence against Internally Displaced Women in the Camps of Mogadishu, Somalia


Publication date



OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University

Document type


Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy


The theme of this study is sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women in the camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in Mogadishu, Somalia. The aim of this thesis is to understand the causes and consequences of SGBV against IDP women in Mogadishu, Somalia. The access to restorative and retributive justice for survivors of SGBV is also a focus in this study. The theoretical perspectives employed in this study has been feminist literature, theories on power and power relations, primarily Foucault´s analysis of power, and the change of the concept of masculinity as a consequence of conflict. These theories were used to discuss and highlight the themes of this study. This study was conducted with a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. The research site was a camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. There were in total 10 interviews conducted with informants, 4 of whom where survivors of SGBV and 6 key informants. In addition, observations, informal conversations, and desk study were employed as data collection tools. Due to the sensitive nature of the theme of this study, several points of ethical considerations were made in order to protect the informant´s privacy, anonymity, and to protect them against further physical and psychological harm. Several causes of SGBV were identified in the findings, both in and outside of the IDP camp. IDP women moving to and from the camp are vulnerable to rape by thieves and rapist on the road. Therefore, several of the informants experienced rape on their ways to the camps or to their villages. Women are also vulnerable to sexual and physical violence from thieves and sexual predators inside of the camp due to the fragile plastic shelters they live in, often alone with children, without protection from male relatives. Domestic violence is also prevalent in the camp, and khat abuse amongst men has been identified as a cause. Women who work outside the camp are also vulnerable to SGBV from employers. Female survivors of SGBV seek justice through customary law, a patriarchal traditional system which does not provide adequate justice to women. The formal system is still weak, corruptible and heavily influenced by customary law and those who practice it.




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